Information in this day and age is power. Because if you look at information all it is a collection of knowledge stored within a database for people to look at. This article goes over information and how it is used in my company, how we use our information and the safeguards we use from the employee as an individual and as a company to protect our clients Information and my organization Information is the key to any organization in the world today; it is what makes an organization successful, accurate and proficient in an increasingly competitive market.
Without information a company is powerless, it does not know its customer or understand them, it does is not able to cater to their needs, and it’s not able to follow-up on those needs after the initial needs are met. In my paper I’m going to go over how my organization which is a large retail chain (which I won’t name for confidentiality reasons) functions. I will go over what we information we keep, How we use it in everyday business, and how we protect it from competitors, fraud and even insider threat. To begin with one must ask themselves what information is important.
Too such information and you make your customer feel uncomfortable, however not enough and your unable to help the customer when he needs to because you lack what you need. At my organization in the monthly billing department, at the customer level, we keep the customer’s name, phone numbers, Address and Email address as well as notes of previous conversations. With the exception of name we can have multiple of each of these entries. On the product level we maintain, the name of the product, the serial number, the product Contract number, credit card information and purchase history.
So as you can see there’s a lot of information that is very useful here. But it’s only useful if it can be used in a beneficial matter. At my company we use our information in several ways. At the customer level we use it to identify our customers. We can search their name by cross referencing it to their zip code or state. We can identify them through their email and phone number. We can also identify them with previous case numbers we have linked to previous notes we had. If we have more the one phone number for the customer any of hose numbers old or new will bring up their account.
At the product level we can change their credit card information, check if a current plan or subscription expired or renew it for them. We can also check the billing information for any discrepancies and pull up the receipt from their purchase history. Almost any information can be cross reference in our system. We can email old receipts for customers to examine and help customers with any questions they have on any purchases or charges made by the company. This makes are information very invention and helpful to both us and the customer.
As you probably noted from above we keep customer credit card information, purchases and personal information in one very large database. The important question here is how do we protect it? Also who do we protect it from and how. To start we protect the customer from outsiders getting their information. This is done by using Linux which is uncommon so viruses aren’t normally as well used on that platform. Next Login to the work SO is protected by employee SIN/UP which is keep in a database safeguarded remotely at the corporate level.
After the intruder must then switch to working on a virtual SO and login to a separate UN/UP to our specific database. Now assuming that our threat isn’t an outsider but an inside threat from a disgruntled employee how do we protect from that. For starters all the actions done on a customer’s act is documented. The database records everything that is done from the moment the employee logs in and out and records it specifically to that employee ID. Credit card numbers last 4 numbers are the only numbers visible and the rest must be given to the gent by the xx.
Assuming the employee gets on the phone with a customer that call is also recorded and monitored by our Quality control. A final concern is what about customer privacy from other customers or outsiders. Our company uses a verification system of receive 2 and give 1 with customer information. A customer must give us their name and 2 pieces of info… (Usually phone and address) and we give one like the email. If the customer is a close family they must verify all 3 pieces of info in order to work with the act.
These preventive assures insure our customers information is safeguarded from exploiting from within or outside our business. In my Essay I have gone over the information we keep, how we use the information, and most importantly how we protect it. These 3 principals within a system are key to making a successful and safe information database in to function as a company. I have seen many companies that used poor data management and struggled with even the simplest of tasks. I am hopeful as while I see our systems constantly updating that soon we will have even more improvements to help us better perform our jobs.