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Online Vulnerabilities: Safeguarding Sensitive Company and Customer Data

Online Vulnerabilities: Safeguarding Sensitive Company and Customer Data

Businesses these days depend on a strong online presence to conduct business and stay competitive. An increasing number do business solely online, processing transactions and conducting marketing initiatives via their primary public-facing feature, their website. Ecommerce has made it easier than ever for customers to find and purchase what they need without even leaving their homes.

It’s a commercial dynamic that’s revolutionized the marketplace and driven many brick-and-mortar businesses into obsolescence. Unfortunately, it’s also made computer hackers into one of the most dangerous threats facing businesses. If you’re an online business owner, securing your company against cyber criminals must be one of your highest priorities. Consult informational resources for ecommerce business owners who need to understand the threat that cyber crime poses and how to counteract it. Fortunately, there are a number of effective precautions you can take.

Updated software

These days, when a computer expert says you need to update your security software, it’s like telling homeowners they need to install locks on the front and back door. The threat level really is that imminent. Consider the amount of money that’s transacted via your website and how much you value your customers’ business. An outdated security software package can leave your clientele as vulnerable to online theft. Just one such incident is enough to undermine everyone’s confidence in your ability to protect your own business and their privacy. We’ve seen in recent years the damage companies including Target have sustained because of compromised customer data. Why take the risk? Be sure to have the latest security software and operating system.

Safe transactions

More companies are using mobile apps for online transactions. Unfortunately, these apps come with a laundry list of vulnerabilities including malwares and complex codes and processes. Consider running a mobile application penetration test to look for malwares. Data encryption is a particularly effective form of protection against hackers being able to identify/steal passwords.

Secure authentication

Your computer system interacts with a dizzying array of external systems every day, which makes putting the strongest possible authentication tools in place all the more necessary. User names and passwords often aren’t enough to protect your most precious online assets and personal information, so it’s important to make use of the best protection technology has to offer, such as encryption software, biometrics, security keys and unique one-time codes.

Delete it!

Hackers have many ways to worm their way into your information and place your business at risk. Social media posts, online advertising and emails are common weapons in a cyber criminal’s arsenal, and it just takes one ill-advised click to put your most sensitive information in the hands of someone who knows just what to do with it. Remember - if it’s unfamiliar and looks fishy, delete it immediately.

Danger from within

If you operate an e-commerce business with employees who have access to sensitive data files and accounts, you’re at risk of a security breach, especially if you lack a sufficiently strong internal security protocol. Consider acquiring software that can identify unusual activity in your system and detect outbound communications, an effective way of monitoring who’s doing what with your information. Require more than a user name and password for access to your businesses’ computer system by adding a second password that’s changed daily to establish an additional layer of internal security. There’s also software technology that can encrypt email communications.

Exercise common sense in how you employ technology to run your e-commerce business. Take steps to go beyond the traditional user name/password security methodology, adopt the latest security and encryption technology and always be mindful of the sensitivity of your customers’ personal and financial data.

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.

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