How a CDP ensures that customer data is secure at every step of their journey

Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Dave Hitchins

Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Doing business successfully in 2024 requires getting the most out of your hard-won customer data. Enabling conversational interactions and ensuring secure engagement requires unifying all key information into a single repository or customer data platform.

With your business depending on it, protecting this data becomes a key priority.

The importance of safeguarding customer data

Your immediate concern may be the financial cost of a data breach, but there are many more reasons to take data security extremely seriously.

$4.45 million

The global average cost of a data breach according to Statista.


Average decrease in company share price after a data breach.

Building trust: Customers are far more likely to share zero-party data with a business if they know it will be used responsibly and stored securely. Trust is the foundation of strong customer relationships and data losses will instantly kill any that has been built up.  

Ensuring the integrity of the data ecosystem: Key to success in an ever more data-driven economy will be to successfully participate in data ecosystems that transcend individual businesses. Trusted business partners are increasingly sharing and connecting data from different sources for given use cases, to deal with missing or anonymized data, and to support sophisticated predictive analysis models. Businesses that don’t have adequate data security will be excluded from these consortiums.  

Reputation in the market: Just as important as customer trust is a company’s reputation in the marketplace. Negative PR related to data breaches will deter investors and might limit a business’ ability to raise capital. Implementing stringent data security practices will do the opposite and enhance credibility.

Competitive advantage: Where two businesses are competing to win a contract and are equal on all other measures the one that can clearly demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding data will most likely win.

Cost savings: By securing their customers’ data, companies will reduce churn, increase positive recommendations, and avoid the hefty regulatory fines related to the misuse of data. The medium and long-term benefits of implementing an effective data security strategy far outweigh the short-term costs.

Data security throughout the customer journey

Effectively securing your customer data is far from a box ticking exercise. It requires a comprehensive strategy that considers and mitigates all risks across all your business workflows and at every customer touchpoint.

It is said that customer data is like gold dust, but it is not the kind of treasure that can be locked away in a vault. To realize its true value and potential it must be used in every beneficial way. That means collecting and unifying customer data in a CDP (Customer Data Platform) that can help to:

  • Create rich customer profiles that enable hyper personalization and increase conversion rates.
  • Use real-time data to trigger messages at the optimum points in the customer journey.
  • Integrate with other systems and share data with partner organizations to increase the use cases that can be covered.

The multiple forms of data

When talking about securing data in the overall eco-system of a business, we need to consider the three forms that data can take.

  1. Data in use: This is data that is in the process of being used by an application or process. For example, when making a purchase using a store’s loyalty card, the transactional system may look up the customer’s status in a separate loyalty database to establish what discount should be applied. Securing this type of data means verifying that the application is allowed to access it and that the user has been properly authenticated.
  2. Data in motion: This is data that is being transmitted across the data network, in real time or as part of an automated daily process. Ensuring the safe transmission of private data requires encryption and/or additional messaging security measures.
  3. Data at rest: This is data that is stored on a network drive within the organization or on the cloud which needs to be available to be queried by applications and users with the correct access rights. Data should always be backed up and there should be a tested disaster recovery plan that minimizes downtime.

We can then look at the types of threat and how to mitigate them effectively for each type of data.

5 types of data threat and how they can be prevented

1. Physical access threats

This threat covers unauthorized individuals gaining physical access to servers, storage devices, or networking equipment. The risk is significantly reduced in the cloud storage model as servers are located in purpose-built data centers which have the highest level of access controls and on-the-ground security.

In the case of malicious attacks from outside the data center, for example the cutting of power lines or the sabotage of cooling systems, providers will work closely with local law enforcement and security contractors to reduce the risk. They will also have thorough contingency plans in place to minimize downtime in the case of an incident.   

2. Network access threats

This covers threats to data that is in the process of being transmitted over the internal network, the internet, or during transactions and integrations with third-party systems. Strict access controls, multi-factor authentication, and data encryption are the key tools for mitigating network access threats.

3. Virus and malware threats

Malware such as viruses and ransomware are a significant risk to organizations that don’t have adequate preventative measures. Once introduced to a network they can spread through emails, social media, or automatically in the case of more sophisticated attacks. A combination of robust and up to date virus protection and education of employees are the best ways of protecting against malware attacks.

4. Physical data loss

Stolen or lost hardware that contains confidential data has historically been a significant risk that has been hard to mitigate. Adopting a cloud storage model where no data is physically stored on connecting devices and stringent access controls are in place is the best way of preventing physical data loss.

5. Distributed denial of service attacks

Denial of service attacks are when bad actors attempt to disrupt or bring down a server, network, or service by overwhelming it with internet traffic, usually using botnets installed silently on host computers that can then be controlled by the hackers. This prevents customers from accessing data and services and can cause significant financial and reputational losses for affected businesses. Cloud providers will have sophisticated monitoring in place to catch these attacks early before they have an impact on operations.

Working with a cloud service provider to ensure data security

Working with a cloud service provider to host your customer data gives you all the benefits of centralized data security, accessibility from anywhere and any device, and savings on hardware and maintenance. Reputable cloud service providers will also have stringent data security strategies and will work with you to ensure your customer data is secure at all stages.  

Some key best practices include:

Work with a certified provider: By choosing a provider that has achieved industry certifications, for example ISO 22301 and ISO 27001, gives you the peace of mind that they offer the best available secure data storage, encryption, and access controls, and that their products and services align with the most recent information security best practices.

Use strict authentication: Using passwords alone significantly increases the risk that hackers will be able to access your customer data. Implementing multifactor authentication where a password is required in conjunction with a code sent to a registered mobile device will significantly reduce the risk. Other options include biometric authentication using facial recognition, fingerprints, or iris scans.

Encryption: Encryption and data masking are the most important tool for ensuring data security, especially when information is being transmitted over the internet or data network when it is more vulnerable to being intercepted. Cloud providers should be able to offer encryption services for data that is being imported or automatically updated through API integrations, and data that is being stored. For example, even if a pen drive was inserted into a server, no data would be read or transferred.  

Least privilege model: By adhering to a least privilege model or taking a zero trust approach ensures that users only get access to the information they require to do their job and prevents hackers from exploiting weak links within your organization to get access to confidential data.

Understand shared responsibility: A cloud service provider should help its customers to understand the role they play in ensuring the integrity of their own data. No matter how secure the storage and processing phases are, customer staff need to play their part and adhere to authentication and security procedures.

Monitoring and reporting: Constant monitoring by both AI and trained humans, and regular audits of the entire environment will flag anomalies early and show any unauthorized access attempts.

Service-level agreements (SLAs): Work with your provider to draft SLAs that align with your own business goals for uptime, responsiveness, and technical troubleshooting availability.

How People CDP ensures data security at every touch point

Our customer data platform People CDP is trusted by some of the world’s top brands to unify and use their data to create better customer experiences and save on costs.

Data security is a fundamental part of the design of People CDP which ensures that your valued customer data is safe at all stages:

  • On load: Data imported into People CDP by file import, the People API, via prebuilt connections, web SDK and Mobile SDK events is all encrypted in-transit. This avoids the risk of this data being intercepted during the transfer and data load process.
  • Data at rest: Once the data is in the People CDP it is also encrypted, meaning that if anyone did manage to get physical or remote access to the server, they wouldn’t be able to read any of that data.
  • Data in use: Data transferred during transactions and when sending messages is also encrypted. This means that the data exported from Infobip’s database using People and Events Export API, data import, and prebuilt connectors is also encrypted in transit.

In addition, People CDP is both ISO 22301 and SOC 2 TYPE 1 certified, giving our customers peace of mind that their data is protected according to the highest industry standards.

Case studies


Learn how implementing People CDP with an omnichannel customer engagement solution led to a 7.8% increase in donor retention rate, 33.3% decrease in churn rate, and 4% conversion rate on cart abandonment flow.


Learn how implementing secure data validation with a single omnichannel communication platform based on People CDP resulted in a 50% reduction in operational costs and 30% conversion rate.


Learn how by using People CDP with our omnichannel customer engagement solution the disruptive startup was able to improve marketing performance and double purchase frequency.

Talk to an expert about your customer data requirements.

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Feb 16th, 2024
8 min read
Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Dave Hitchins

Senior Content Marketing Specialist