Most Common CRM Security Concerns and Solutions


The rapid growth and cost-effectiveness of cloud-based CRM solutions have led to a substantial increase in revenue, surging from $14 Billion in 2010 to $69 billion in 2020-an impressive 393% increase. This trend is particularly evident among emerging businesses increasingly gravitating towards cloud-first solutions due to the ever-evolving technological landscape. Customer relationship management (CRM) software benefits companies selling goods or services. It empowers companies to manage customer interactions effectively, enhances customer satisfaction, and facilitates informed decision-making by providing comprehensive customer data. However, using CRM software involves processing substantial amounts of personal customer data, raising essential considerations related to CRM security concerns, privacy, and data protection.  

CRM data has become the source for a broad spectrum of private information vital to companies and their decision makers. This encompasses corporate intelligence and sales data and extends to customers’ details, including their purchasing patterns and personally identifiable information. The potential consequences of a data breach in CRM systems are profound and could inflict severe damage, ranging from lawsuits to irreparable harm to your brand’s reputation and customer trust. 

Given the substantial stakes involved, being well-informed about the measures compulsory to safeguard CRM systems is necessary. Let’s delve into the mechanics of CRM security concerns like data privacy issues, relevant security challenges, and actionable steps to mitigate these risks.

The Threat of Increasing CRM Security Concerns

In recent years, security threats have witnessed a significant upsurge, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The implications of these security breaches are far-reaching, encompassing substantial financial and reputational consequences. According to a recent study sponsored by IBM, the global average cost associated with a data breach has reached an estimated $4.45 million in 2023. This represents a substantial 15% increase over the past three years. 

In the absence of adequate protection measures, both internal and external threat actors have the potential to exploit this data in multiple ways. These malicious CRM security concerns include: 

  • Identity theft (can also be medical identity) 
  • Fraudulent activities 
  • Surveillance by nation-states 
  • Corporate and competitive spying 
  • False billing schemes 
  • Illegal sale of data to third parties 

Most Common CRM Security Concerns

CRM systems are increasingly harnessing the potential of IoT technology to enhance their front-end operations. Moving forward into 2023, projections from IoT Analytics indicate that the global count of active endpoints connected to IoT devices is set to experience another 16% surge, reaching a substantial 16.7 billion. This exponential growth brings significant responsibility. It also amplifies the variety of cybersecurity threats that CRM systems face. The need to conduct comprehensive security testing for cloud-based CRM systems is evident in this context. The publications (between 2018 and 2022) on CRM systems for the last 11 years have shown the following statistics on malicious activities: 

this image shows CRM Security Concerns

Since cloud-based CRM platforms store vital data and sensitive information, they naturally draw the interest of malicious entities. Present CRM systems can access critical business data, from logistical details to sales figures and customer records. Within these systems, a pivotal focus lies on the business-to-consumer relationship, which has become a security challenge. As depicted in the figure below, we can observe the most significant CRM security concerns in the form of site attacks. 

This image shows Top CRM Security Concerns

These security threats are the most common compared to other malicious activities, such as hacking tools, advertisements, illegal disclosures, and spam links. Beyond these common security risks, it’s essential to be aware of additional potential threats, including: 

  • Denial of Service (DoS) attacks: DoS attacks occur when aggressors flood a system with traffic exceeding its capacity, causing the system to become overwhelmed and cease functioning. Perpetrators of these attacks may include irritated customers, former employees, automated scripts, or competitors within the same industry.
  • Intrusion into customer data storage and sales automation systems: CRM systems often include sales automation software with extensive customer databases containing personal customer information. This is a common CRM problem as it creates a security vulnerability wherein malicious actors may attempt to steal customer data for nefarious purposes.
  • Identity theft: Identity theft means using another individual’s personal information to commit fraudulent activities. 

Solutions to the Increasing CRM Security Concerns

This section will explore some of the most common and effective CRM security solutions. These measures safeguard sensitive customer information and ensure compliance with data protection regulations, fostering trust and reliability in customer relationships. 

Ensure Security Against DoS Attacks:

To ensure the effectiveness of CRM security, it’s necessary to implement the right technical controls for detecting and mitigating malicious traffic. Intrusion Detection Prevention Systems (IDPS) and firewalls, either integrated into their core functionality or as optional add-ons, are commonly equipped with DoS protection mechanisms. All the technologies employed to safeguard CRM resources and infrastructure should be able to counter such attacks effectively. 

Moreover, beyond external threats, internal CRM threats must also be addressed. Attackers can exploit a company’s technological assets to create CRM problems. To mitigate this risk, you can use: 

  • Antivirus solutions: Ensure that robust antivirus solutions are installed and regularly updated across all devices and systems within your organization to avoid such CRM problems. This proactive approach helps thwart potential internal threats originating from malware.
  • Software and hardware maintenance: Regularly maintain and update computers and software applications to address known vulnerabilities. This practice is instrumental in fortifying your infrastructure and preventing attackers from turning your technology against your CRM system. 

Use Vigilant Data Protection Methods:

Here are some fundamental guidelines for safeguarding customer data: 

Implement vigilant data monitoring: To protect sensitive customer information and records stored in CRM databases, consider deploying proactive monitoring systems equipped with sound alarms. These alarms serve as an early warning system, alerting you to potential data breaches. Such timely detection enables swift response and intervention, preventing extensive damage from occurring. 

Employ multi-factor authentication: To reinforce data security, companies can implement additional layers of consumer identification, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA adds an extra verification level, making it more challenging for unauthorized users to access sensitive information. 

Utilize IP address restrictions: Imposing restrictions on IP addresses can control and limit access to a company’s cloud CRM systems. This helps safeguard against unauthorized access and potential security breaches. 

Activate CRM audit logs: Enable the audit log function within your CRM solution. Audit logs are valuable tools for monitoring and tracking system activity. Turning off these automated logs can hinder effective monitoring and investigation. Forensic analysis, often time-consuming and costly, becomes less viable without comprehensive audit logs, potentially creating audit control gaps in certification and regulatory compliance. 

Implement continuous user activity monitoring: Regularly monitor user activity and employ alarms to provide real-time alerts for suspicious activities. This proactive approach enhances security management by offering visibility into potentially unauthorized or malicious user actions and avoids common CRM problems associated with security. 

Promote data protection awareness: Emphasize the significance of data protection within your organization by regularly discussing it in internal company forums. Incorporate data protection as a crucial component of internal training programs. 

Streamline Data Access and Permissions Management:

An effective strategy for maintaining control over critical data involves establishing distinct levels of access based on the roles and responsibilities of staff. This approach ensures that individuals are granted access only to the minimum necessary data required for their job functions. Regular data access and permissions updates are essential, ideally quarterly or bi-monthly. To avoid CRM security concerns, access that is no longer necessary should be promptly revoked. 

Furthermore, it’s important to extend this layer of protection to encompass third parties, including vendors, partners, and external contractors. To bolster security, these third parties must adhere to the data privacy standards. This ensures that data remains secure within the company and throughout a broader network of associates and collaborators.  

Select a Reliable CRM Solution Provider:

The primary step in ensuring data privacy while utilizing CRM software involves carefully selecting a dependable CRM provider. This choice should be underpinned by a vendor’s ability to offer vigorous security features and assurances. Key considerations when evaluating CRM vendors include: 

  • Transparency and privacy policy: Seek out a CRM vendor that maintains a clear and transparent privacy policy. This policy should align with pertinent data protection laws and regulations. 
  • Security features: Assess the vendor’s delivery of encryption, backup, and recovery options to safeguard the company’s data effectively. 
  • Access control: Look for CRM solutions that control who can access and utilize your data. 

To make an informed decision when choosing a CRM solution provider, consider these basic steps: 

  1. Thorough research: Research multiple CRM companies before purchasing.  
  2. SOC 2 compliance: Verify whether the vendor adheres to SOC 2 compliance, a widely recognized framework for information security management.  
  3. Review data breach history: Examine the vendor’s website, blog, and other IT news sources.  

Read more: The Comprehensive Guide to CRM Software Selection. 

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Embedded CRM Security Solutions in Dynamics 365:

Microsoft’s commitment to security and data privacy is at the forefront of its cloud-based solutions. Investing in the Dynamics 365 CRM solution means you can have confidence that you are leveraging cutting-edge security, privacy, and compliance measures, as these solutions are built on the secure foundation of Microsoft Azure. 

Microsoft is a trusted custodian, taking extensive measures to safeguard data through encryption and robust security protocols. To empower businesses to focus on their core objectives, such as enhancing customer experiences and driving revenue growth, Microsoft offers a dedicated solution: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection. This comprehensive offering is designed to combat fraud and protect against fraudulent transactions, allowing businesses to thrive confidently in a secure digital landscape. 

Advanced capabilities of Dynamics 365 Fraud Detection include: 

  • Artificial Intelligence and Fraud Protection Network 
  • Purchase Protection 
  • Account Protection   
  • Loss Protection  
  • Device fingerprinting  
  • Virtual Fraud Analyst (VFA)  
  • Graph explorer and scorecard  
  • Transaction acceptance booster  

For in-depth information about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fraud Detection.   

Customers often seek detailed information about Microsoft’s security policies and practices. There’s a range of security documentation related to Microsoft Dynamics 365 to facilitate understanding security measures. This documentation comprehensively describes the security controls in place and answers common inquiries customers may have about security practices.  

Here is a list of available security documentation that you can receive from trusted Microsoft partners like AlphaBOLD: 

Documentation Description
Full report of penetration testing
The resulting penetration test report by a reputable third-party vendor has critical information, including:
  • Engagement Overview
  • Methodology
  • Executive Summary
  • Technical Vulnerability Details
  • Mitigations and Vendor Response
Network vulnerability scan report
Process of scanning the service network/application.
Network security policy
Guidelines outlining security measures for a network infrastructure.
Information security policy
A set of rules and practices to protect sensitive data and information.
Data flow diagram
Visual representation illustrating how data moves within a system or network.
Incident response and triage policies
Procedures for managing and responding to security incidents effectively.
Third-party audit reports
Assessments of external organization’s security practices and compliance.
Backup policy
A defined plan specifying data backup and retention practices.
Disaster recovery document
A comprehensive strategy for restoring operations in the event of a catastrophe.
Cloud Security Alliance Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM) self-assessment
Assessment guidelines for cloud providers
Change management policy
Protocols governing the management of system changes and updates within an organization.


Evolving technology means new challenges for the CRM landscape. However, the best way to protect against these CRM security concerns is to prioritize system security and implement these standard solutions. Staying consistent with these security measures and updating them as new technology launches, companies can confidently navigate the digital terrain, protect sensitive data, and build enduring trust with customers. 

While Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM solution provides a wealth of built-in protective features, it is equally important for companies to take a proactive stance in addressing potential CRM security challenges. With years of expertise, AlphaBOLD’s team of Microsoft Dynamics 365 consultants will handle all your CRM security needs. Contact our managed services team for comprehensive assistance with all your CRM security concerns, from seamless implementation and integration to reliable support, privacy, and strict compliance adherence.  

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Need expert assistance for your CRM security? Our managed services team specializes in everything from smooth implementation to integration, security, and compliance. Connect with our experts today! 

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