The Importance of Secure Identity & Data Management in Subscription Services

Scott O'Neill Thursday, 18 August 2016

Companies across the media sector require the ability to access, understand and action subscriber data.

Without this information, the day-to-day running of the business becomes almost impossible; as an example subscribers are left waiting for their print subscription to arrive, but because their data, i.e. their address in this case, is not accessible, fulfilment cannot happen or will be delayed. While in terms of digital services, without access to the data of a subscriber who has a tailored bundle package, businesses might not be able to serve up the right content meaning the service they are paying for is not being adhered to.

Security & Accessibility

In recent months we have seen the digital world experience instances where security, or lack of, and data made headlines, such as the Ashley Madison incident. It has become even more crucial for organizations dealing with sensitive data to follow a high level of security and standards.

Ensuring data is housed within a Level 1 PCI-DSS certified environment is critical when it comes to working with customer and payment data. While the process of gaining and managing PCI-DSS compliance is often deemed very time consuming and expensive, working with a vendor who adheres to these standards means these obligations are drastically reduced, without compromising the security of customer information. This not only ensures data is protected and accessible, but also saves the business a substantial amount in both time and cost. The process for obtaining Level 1 certification takes a vendor beyond the self-assessment process, requiring an annual on-site review by an independent auditor.

Business Continuity (BC) & Disaster Recovery (DR) Plan

As well as having a secure platform in place to support many businesses and their data, it is also vital to have a BC and DR plan in place to deal with natural or human-induced disasters. Organizations need to have disaster recovery plans, including guidelines and procedures, which need to be undertaken to effectively respond to and recover from disaster recovery scenarios. These scenarios adversely impact information systems and business operations.

Planning “steps” is essential, and well-constructed, well-implemented steps will enable organizations to minimize the effects of a “disaster” and resume mission-critical functions quickly. The key phases to consider when drafting your procedures include:

Data Collection

  • Organization of timeline, resources and expected outputs
  • Regular business impact analysis
  • Frequent risk assessments
  • Review onsite and offsite back-up and recovery procedures
  • If an alternative site is required, it must be selected and ready for use

Plan Development & Testing

  • Development of Disaster Recovery plan (DRP)
  • Testing of the plan

Monitoring & Maintenance

  • Maintenance of the plan with frequent updates and reviews
  • Periodic inspection of DRP
  • Documentation of any changes

It is also important to have a Disaster Recovery team within the organization who can actively create the procedure, implement processes and maintain the plan.

Protecting & Managing Customer Information

Every company’s worst fear is to have their customers, then in turn their friends and family, move their loyalty elsewhere due to a poor and insecure service. On behalf of their subscribers and consumers, media companies need to be assured that vendors across the industry are able to fulfil their role in the service, whether that is ensuring a print subscription is sent out to the right address or a digital sports subscription is allocated to the right customer.

With this in mind, media and subscription companies need to have a platform in place which not only meets standards in terms of security, but one that provides the functionality to enable them to effectively access, manage and optimize their customer information.

Meet to Discuss Accelerating Revenues with Digital Intelligence

MPP Global will be attending several events over the coming months, discussing the importance of innovative integrated platforms which drive revenues and develop audience relationships.

Meet the publishing specialists at Digital Media Strategies in New York (7-9 September), FUSE in Philadelphia (12-14 September) and Digiday Publishing Summit in Key Biscayne (19-21 September).