How to know if data in your marketing automation software is secure.

When on the hunt for the perfect multi-channel marketing automation solution, marketers often look at features, deliverability, and costs. These factors are important, but today that is not enough.

There is a growing concern about data security. Your business needs to keep a close grip on data security now more than ever. In this article, we explain one of the best ways of making sure that happens.

Customer data is one of your key assets

Your customer data is one of your key assets, and as such, it should be secure (we don’t need to persuade you there!) In the recent Data Privacy & Security survey from the RSA, 72% of consumers said they are very concerned about identity theft.

There are different ways — or levels — of ensuring data security. So, how do you tell if your data is being protected in the correct way and is not prone to security breaches, theft, and fraud? The answer is quite simple: by using a provider that has been certified with a internationally recognized certification — like ISO 27001.

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is an information security standard. It helps businesses prevent mishandling of data. To receive the ISO 27001 certificate, a Multi-Channel Marketing Automation Provider is examined for information security risks. They need to create an information security management systems, specific to each organization, that is then examined by the auditor. Then, it needs to put in place risk treatment and regular security controls.

iso27001 compliance email marketing automation(img source)

Getting the certification is not a one-time event. The security system is designed to continually improve. So, the organization has to systematically examine both risks and the way it deals with them.

What other types of data security certifications are there?

The ISO 27000 family of standards offers a number of certificates suitable for different businesses and sectors. However, ISO isn’t the only one out there. There are other standards that can help to mitigate data security threats and vulnerabilities. Including:

  • ISO/IEC 27018:2019 – Information technology — Security techniques — Code of practice for protection of personally identifiable information (PII) in public clouds acting as PII processors
  • ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework designed to standardize the selection, planning, delivery and maintenance of IT services within a business. The goal is to improve efficiency and achieve predictable service delivery..
    ICOBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies) framework and supporting toolset that allows managers to bridge the gap between control requirements, technical issues and business risks.
  • IO-ISM3 (The Open Group Information Security Management Maturity Model) 2.0. for managing information security. It aims to ensure that security processes operate at a level consistent with business requirements.
  • SOC 2 (System and Organization Controls) cover controls such as security and privacy and may be used by leaders in internal audit, risk management, operations, business lines and IT, as well as regulators.

As far as data security is concerned, ISO 27001 is amongst the most popular frameworks chosen. In the U.S. alone, certification to the ISO 27001 is growing at 91% year-on-year. This is much higher than the global growth rate of 20%.

Why choosing a ISO certified service provider is a good idea

There are at least three reasons why Choosing an ISO 270001 Certified Service Provider Is A Good Idea

1. You are ensured your vendor‘s data processes are reviewed

ISO 270001 certification gives you the certainty that the data you process is taken care of. This means the data is handled according to the ISO standards — not only when audited periodically, but at all times, as the ISO requires data to be constantly monitored, with zero exceptions made.

What is equally important, certified providers focus on preventing data breach incidents. So, if such an incident happens, they follow very specific guidelines. Additionally, you are always able to review them and understand what the entire process looks like.

As a result, the ISO certificate makes it easier for marketing teams to buy access to such services and get things approved by their internal compliance/IT departments.

benefits ISO27001 marketing automation data

2. Your effectiveness will increase

The ISO 27001 certification requires businesses to minimize the downtime of delivering security measures. This constant focus on improving results in a much better performance of the entire service. This improves your experience with their service — or to put it bluntly: it saves you time and money.

3. Other businesses will trust you

Once an organization has passed the ISO 27001 certification, it is committed to maintaining high data management quality, and it will do its best to maintain those standards. If you operate globally, it is good to work with an email service provider that conforms to a standard that is recognized — and trusted — all around the world.

What types of companies should get the ISO 27001 Certification?

As with any other certification system out there, the ISO 27001 is not a must. There is no law that requires organizations to get certified. But some brands will only work with other ISO-certified companies.

By acquiring the certificate, you become a potential supplier to them, and you’ll be improving your organization overall in order to qualify.

Certification also makes you look more professional and credible to all the other potential clients out there. They will feel at ease for working with you, as it shows that their data security is taken seriously.

So, if a company processes any type of personal data, acquiring the ISO 27001 certification can only be an advantage.

How can you make sure a provider has the ISO Certification?

All companies certified with the ISO 27001 should display information about it on all of their educational and promotional material. So, the easiest way to find out if a company is compliant with ISO is to look for the ISO 27001 certification logo on their website (see the bottom of our website for example).

iso certification sign

If you want to be 100% sure, contact the company and ask for proof of certification.

Bear in mind that a negative answer doesn’t automatically have to be a deal-breaker. When submitting a request for proposal, ask the following questions:

  • Are you certified with ISO 27001?
  • Are you planning or implementing the ISO 27001?
  • If not, have you implemented a data security management system? If so, how does it work?
  • What other security policies have you implemented in your organization?
  • How to get the most out of an ISO Certified SaaS-provider

    Performance-related improvements aside, the ISO certification confirms that a company’s data security standards and procedures are top-notch. It means that your data is as safe as possible with them at all times.

    A good idea is to include information about the certification in all external communication with prospective and existing clients. It should be visible on the website, social media channels, company presentations, printed materials, and any other communications.

    Conclusion: Why use an ISO 27001-Certified marketing automation provider

    Entrusting your customers’ data to an ISO 27001 certified service provider for Multi-Channel Marketing Automation or all you Marketing Saas service lowers the chances of a data breach, theft, or any other problem caused by the mishandling of data. To put it simply — it saves you a lot of money and protects your biggest asset — your reputation.

    Krzysztof Jarecki

    About Krzysztof Jarecki


    Krzysztof has been professionally involved in the email marketing industry since 2003. Initially, on the programming front, then later, focusing on email deliverability and online marketing best practices. Today, as the CEO of ExpertSender he leads the company into the multichannel marketing platform market.

    He is an active participant in key international email industry organizations, including, MAAWG, ESPC, EEC, Signal Spam and the Internet Society of China. Krzysztof is a contributing writer for several online email marketing publications.

    Strategically, he is engaged in product research and development, while overseeing the relationships with ISPs and the biggest customers in the USA, Europe, Russia and Asia.

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