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Why Data Privacy vs. Data Security is Essential in Client Relationships

For professional services firms, ensuring robust data privacy vs. data security practices is paramount to gaining client trust and fostering successful long-term relationships. It’s not enough to just provide clients with the services they need — professional services firms must ensure data privacy and security practices and controls are embedded within their organizations to be fully trusted by their clients as data custodians. The latter refers to the safe aggregation, storage, and use of data.

In the professional services world, data privacy and security are important as clients often entrust professionals — like lawyers, consultants, and accountants — with sensitive information that could pose firm-wide risks if accidentally — or purposefully — leaked. For instance, if a prominent financial services firm experiences a data breach that releases unauthorized personal information, such as European clients’ financial transaction histories, that firm could be subject to hefty fines under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and face serious reputational damages.

What’s the difference between data privacy vs. data security?

Data privacy involves properly aggregating, storing, and using personal and confidential data. It’s considered a fundamental human right by the United Nations, and some governments have even embedded it into law, including Europe’s GDPR.

On the other hand, data security refers to protecting data from malicious attacks and breaches, as well as ensuring its confidentiality and integrity. And while data security is a prerequisite to data privacy, it’s not sufficient alone to address privacy. To minimize risk and build trust with clients, professional services firms need both data privacy and security.

How do you maximize client relationships with data privacy and security?

Data privacy and security are the cornerstones of building and maintaining effective client relationships for professional services firms. This is because clients expect their professional services partners to be stewards of their confidential information. Data privacy vs. data security are equally important since safeguarding personal information not only protects individuals from potential misuse — it also ensures the trust and integrity of digital systems and services, forming the foundation for a secure and reliable online environment.

Below, we address commonly asked questions pertaining to data privacy and security and explore how both are embedded into Introhive’s platform.

What types of data privacy vs. data security requirements are there for professional services firms?

Multinational professional services firms are subject to different jurisdictional data regulations and requirements. For instance, firms operating in Canada are subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), while UK and European firms are governed under the GDPR, and many US firms fall under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Introhive’s platform adheres to all these regulations, giving professional services firms peace of mind that they can leverage client intelligence while ensuring both their and their clients’ data are safe. Introhive also has data security controls in place that are independently verified through annual SOC 2 Type II audits, proving the platform’s commitment to best-in-class security controls and procedures.

Why are data privacy vs. data security equally valuable in client relationships?

Balancing data privacy and security is crucial for cultivating and sustaining client relationships. Strong data privacy and security controls help to build trust with clients who prioritize the protection of their sensitive information and demonstrate a commitment to ethical practices, enhancing transparency between firms and their clients. By prioritizing data privacy and security, firms meet client expectations, fostering long-term partnerships that are founded on trust, reliability, and shared values — an essential foundation for mutual growth and success.

What do professional services firms need from vendors when it comes to data privacy and security?

On the data privacy side, large firms require vendors to have strong GDPR practices, which Introhive fully integrates into its platform and operations through its GDPR compliance program. The GDPR is one of the world’s most stringent data privacy rules, meaning that having a robust GDPR program in place lays the foundation for aligning with many other data privacy regulations worldwide. From a data security perspective, many large professional services firms have required data security schedules, which means vendor compliance with SOC 2 and ISO 27001 is paramount. 

How do client intelligence platforms promote data privacy?

Client intelligence platforms like Introhive build the highest degree of privacy standards, including those required by the GDPR, into their software and company processes. When Introhive designs and updates its platform, it fully accounts for how it will fit into the privacy practices of professional services firms. The proof is in the pudding, with some of the world’s top professional services firms — such as Colliers International, Grant Thornton, and Simmons & Simmons — trusting Introhive as a data steward to strengthen their client relationships and expedite revenue growth.

How does Introhive equally ensure data privacy vs. data security?

By embedding data privacy vs. data security controls into its platform, Introhive ensures it is appropriately collecting, storing, and using data. It also ensures it has the appropriate measures in place to safeguard data against potential breaches. 

To build trust surrounding data privacy, Introhive’s engineering personnel are well-versed on the key tenets of privacy legislation and regularly communicate with Introhive’s General Counsel and Data Protection Officer, who is fluent when it comes to privacy risks and what professional services firms value from a privacy perspective. The Introhive platform also has privacy and security features that ensure data safety.

What data privacy and security features does Introhive’s platform have?

Introhive’s platform allows users to create deny lists, which consist of items, actions, or contacts that are not allowed to be transferred onto the Introhive network. For example, if an employee accidentally emails their spouse from their corporate email address, they can set controls on Introhive’s platform that prohibit the processing of data from personal or other email addresses. Another time this may be relevant is with respect to mergers and acquisitions (M&As). In these cases, a professional services firm may be electronically communicating about an M&A and want to keep information confidential. Introhive users can deny this information from being processed. 

Introhive’s platform also only processes email metadata, which includes names, sent and received dates, as well as occasional subject fields. Users are able to include certain keywords in an email subject line — such as “private,” “confidential,” or “privileged” — to prevent Introhive’s platform from processing that data.

Why choose Introhive for client intelligence?

While some client intelligence platforms don’t prioritize data privacy vs. security, Introhive considers them both top priorities. Introhive knows that professional services firms need to protect client data and has constructed its platform in a way that honors both data privacy and security regulations and ethics. Introhive’s platform maintains the highest level of data privacy and security, while delivering professional services firms with the necessary relationship intelligence to drive collaboration and revenue. Request a demo to learn more.

David Goyette, General Counsel at Introhive

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