Today’s business environment has changed a lot. We hear about hackers stealing valuable company data all the time and holding it for ransom or pawning it on the dark web to the highest bidder. This information might be in the form of messages, personal data, credit card information and other forms of sensitive material from e-commerce sites. This is a serious breach of security and could result in severe losses and loss of confidence from your customers, which for any business would mean the loss of income.
However, there are some precautions a business can take to make themselves safer and less prone to attack.
Take care of your human resource
Many people in today’s workforce are not aware of the many dangers that lurk on the internet. During office hours, many of us check our mail on company computers. These computers are linked to the whole network infrastructure of the enterprise. As such, hackers have become cleverer and devising new ways to penetrate the system without using too much effort. In this regard, you find that malware is packaged in a way that seems less than harmful in the form of pictures, documents and so forth. Embedded within these attachments is malware, viruses, ransomware among others. By a single click, employees can leave their whole business infrastructure open to attack.
To prevent all of this, a security firm from outside should be contracted to test the systems via breach exercises and also leverage social engineering tactics to test for weak points in the system. This shows where the weaknesses are and helps in the patching process in employee training.
Opt for a secure eCommerce platform
Since every business needs an eCommerce platform, it’s important to make that platform as safe as possible. One of the key ways to ensure this happens is by using a platform that uses complex object-orientated programming language. This type of platform is more secure than the open-source type. Due to the complexity of the code, it’s easier to keep things on a tight leash. The admin panel should also be designed in such a way that it’s only available on the internal network and inaccessible from outside. There should be a separation between the internal network and all the public facing servers.
Off-Site Data Storage
As your business continues to flourish, malicious persons are looking to take advantage and steal sensitive information from your system. They want to get access to your financial records, emails, customer data or even employee identification data. All of this data is toxic in the hands of intruders as they will sell it to your competition or hold it over your heads for payment.
Offsite data storage solves this problem for us. The most sensitive data should be stored outside your business where hackers won’t find it. Apart from making sure that the offsite location the data is sent is secure, a company should also be concerned with how they are sending this data to the off-site facility. When data is being sent over the internet, it should be fully encrypted so that even if it is intersected in transit, it will be useless to the thieves. Virtual Private Networks (VPN) can also be used when accessing work matters outside the home network.
Use SSL encryption for your website
Getting an SSL certificate for your site goes a long way in enforcing security for the business. Especially when it comes to an eCommerce site where people buy goods and share sensitive data such as credit card information, SSL/HTTPS in a must. To ensure that your financial transactions are secure, one must implement SSL encryption. For businesses, an Extended Validation SSL Certificate is appropriate. EV SSL makes sure that the website does belong to the organization in question. This not only gives you peace of mind that client activity and transactions are secure, but it also shows that the business is legitimate and it can be trusted.
Use strong passwords
It is the responsibility of the company to keep customer data out of the wrong hands. However, the retailer has a responsibility to the customers to help them adopt practices that make it harder for unauthorized persons to access their accounts. An easy way to do this is to demand that users make passwords as secure as possible. You can implement this by making sure the passwords have a minimum number of characters, and they incorporate numbers and special characters. Having a longer, more complex password will deter criminals from breaching the website via the front end.
Don’t keep sensitive customer data
As transactions are being processed, many stores ask for credit card information for payment purposes. However, this information should not be stored by the business for longer than required. Data such as credit card numbers, card verification value (CVV2) and their expiration dates shouldn’t be kept for longer than necessary. According to standards set forth by the PCI (Payment Card Industry) Security Standards Council, old records about such client data should be removed completely from company databases. The only information the company might keep should just be for charge-backs and refunds. The danger of keeping such records far outweighs the convenience customers enjoy during the checkout process.
Use Web Application Firewalls
While SSL encryption secures data transmitted to and from the website, the web application firewalls will protect the site from Denial of service (DOS) attacks, brute force attacks, cross-site scripting among others. This type of protection is inexpensive and doesn’t need a lot of time or expertise to configure.
Technology impacts business in several ways. Unfortunately, there are those that seek to steal information from organizations that are not up to date concerning their security measures. These security arrangements stipulated above will boost the security in your organization but should not be the limit to what you implement. As your business continues to expand, so should your security practices. Always make sure that you monitor your eCommerce websites. There are many real-time analytic tools out there today. When they are properly used, they can be just as effective as cameras as they help you monitor activity on your online store. You can catch fraudulent or suspicious activities before they compromise your business.