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Data security inside a CRM and how should you have it

7 min read
Access to relevant data about clients and leads is essential for any business. However, many decision-makers still need help with collecting and analyzing accurate data. But that doesn’t have to be the case when your customer relationship management (CRM) platform can provide valuable information.
As the single entry point for all data, your CRM will help you collect information that different verticals in your business, such as sales, marketing, and customer service, can use. The data you gather will help you create sales funnels that convert leads into paying clients and build client loyalty and advocacy. 
Using this data, you can increase sales, grow your business, and build long-term client relationships. Read on to learn more about the importance of CRM data, the types of data you can collect with your CRM, and how to create a data structure that will let you make sense of it all. 

Have you come close to this case?

Whenever there is a discussion about integrating a new CRM into the existing marketing platform, it can become quite a hassle for the team. The entire integration process does look like a solid challenge. However, the security of your client’s data is the top priority. We asked our partners what kind of obstacles they encounter while integrating a new CRM, and here’s what they have to say:
  • The IT Department wants to refrain from installing third-party tools.
  • The new integration may need to be addressed since the CEO or other stakeholders can place data security at the top.
  • The business needs the funds to set up the required integration. 
  • The existing marketing platform cannot promise zero errors during the data transfer.
So how exactly can you secure your CRM? Does it have a core value for your marketing platform? The short answer is yes, and you need to understand the general principles and policies connected with the GDPR.

How exactly should you store the data inside your CRM?

In most cases of email marketing, you will be required to use the GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation, a set of laws applied inside the EU and the European Economic Area. There are several crucial moments and touch points that any organization should follow. Let’s look at each and understand how you can guarantee that your data is safe and transparent.

Set the proper GDPR encryption and security

If you collect, store, or use the data of people in the EU, then the GDPR applies to you. And that means you may be obligated to change how your organization operates in some fundamental ways.
The GDPR requires “data protection by design and by default,” meaning organizations must always consider the data protection implications of any new or existing products or services. Article 5 of the GDPR lists the principles of data protection you must adhere to including adopting appropriate technical measures to secure data. Encryption and pseudonymization are cited in the law as technical measures to minimize potential damage in the event of a data breach.
When it comes to email, encryption is the most feasible option. As little as five years ago, that would not have been true. But email encryption technology has developed rapidly, and several companies now offer end-to-end encrypted email service. While encryption is not required, it is up to every organization to establish a rationale for developing the most appropriate data security practices.

Utilize email retention

Data erasure is a large part of the GDPR. It is one of the six data protection principles: Article 5(e) states that personal data can be stored for “no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed.” Data erasure is also one of the personal rights protected by the GDPR in Article 17, the famous “right to be forgotten.” “The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without delay.” There are some exceptions to this latter requirement, such as the public interest. But generally speaking, you must erase personal data you no longer need.
Many of us never delete emails. There are plenty of good reasons: We may need to refer to them someday as a record of our activities or even for possible litigation. But the more data you keep, the greater your liability if there’s a data breach. Moreover, the erasure of unneeded personal information is now required under European law. Because of the GDPR, you should periodically review your organization’s email retention policy to reduce the amount of data your employees store in their mailboxes. The regulation requires you to be able to show that you have a policy in place that balances your legitimate business interests against your data protection obligations under the GDPR.
Email data erasure can be simple and often automated from a technical standpoint. Proton Mail and other email services have an expiring email option that allows you to set messages for deletion after a designated time. Whatever email retention strategy your organization decides, it will require some getting used to but will significantly lower your GDPR exposure.

Organizational security

Email encryption is a technical measure. Organizational measures have to do with internal policies, management, and training. Ninety-one percent of cyber attacks begin with a phishing email, in which hackers attempt to gain access to an account or device using deception or malware. Links and attachments from unknown accounts should never be clicked or downloaded. Once an attacker gains access to one account or device, it’s often easy to access others, meaning a mistake by one employee could compromise vast amounts of data. Suppose you cannot show regulators that you have implemented the proper technical and organizational measures. In that case, you could be on the hook for huge EU fines and compensation to data subjects.
To avoid liability, educating your team about email safety is essential. Basic steps like requiring two-factor authentication can go a long way toward protecting data and complying with the GDPR.

Make your opt-in forms GDPR-friendly

The GDPR has added many requirements for email marketing, especially regarding opt-in forms.
The regulations talk about subscriber opt-in, specifically ensuring that you clearly explain your intentions (explicit consent) and actively empower users to give their consent (active consent).
Beyond being as transparent as possible with your consent forms, you must record every subscriber’s consent. The burden of proof is on you to prove that the individual consented to your terms. One way to accomplish this is through double opt-in, which provides a paper trail of the transaction.

Update your privacy policy for GDPR

According to privacy laws, you must clearly describe how you plan to use your subscribers’ data, including using third parties like MailerLite.
You have to state each data processor separately and clearly explain how and why they are using the data. To make your life easier, we wrote a statement about MailerLite that you could add to your privacy policy.
Under GDPR, people have a right to know how their private data is handled. If you don’t have a privacy policy, you should consider adding one now. It’s one of the most inconspicuous legal requirements, but it’s still necessary.
Here are some of the basics to help you get started. In general, most privacy laws require you to inform users of the following:
  • Your name (or business name), location, and contact information;
  • What information you’re collecting from them (including names, email addresses, IP addresses, and any other information);
  • How you’re collecting their information, and what you’re going to use it for;
  • How you’re keeping their information safe;
  • Whether or not it’s optional for them to share that information, how they can opt out, and the consequences of doing so;
  • Any third-party services you’re using to collect, process, or store that information (such as an email newsletter service or advertising network)


CRM data collection helps teams better understand their leads, customers, and operational processes. CRMs, by default, already serve as an organized database—allowing users to add, access quickly, and utilize identity, descriptive, qualitative, and quantitative information. Thoroughly managing CRM data is an excellent way to improve relationships, solution offerings, and sales, marketing, and customer support activity efficiencies.

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