Technology has many advantages to offer businesses, but it also presents unique threats. Cyberattacks are levied at businesses and consumers alike, but companies are often directly targeted. This is because companies deal with large amounts of valuable data, including the personal information of customers and clients, and that can make for a veritable treasure trove for hackers. Protecting your company and your customers from bad actors on the world wide web should be a major priority. Here’s what you need to know.
Handling Sensitive Customer Data
Because customer data accounts for the majority of valuable information targeted by hackers, protecting yourself from cyberattacks often means protecting your clientele. In order to do so, you’ll need to understand when and where your customers’ data can be compromised.
When your customers access your e-commerce services via your company’s website and/or app, this opens them up to data theft. This problem will require you to enable certain cybersecurity protocols in order to thwart hackers by eliminating various backdoors they can use to infiltrate your network. For example, unsecure websites can become hotbeds of hacker activity by virtue of lacking the crucial security feature known as encryption.
Encryption is the process of rendering data illegible so that it cannot be used by parties such as hackers that intercept it illicitly. Decryption is the process of reversing that encryption and making the data readable again. These fundamental features of safe online activity are not granted, however, and each website’s own owners and operators will be responsible for investing in encryption protocols such as SSL.
Proprietary apps have become a staple of the modern business landscape, but this is a logical result of the ease of access associated with developing these apps. That accessibility comes from the use of APIs that serve as shortcuts to developing end user applications, and these APIs are publicly available. That means that they are just as available to hackers as they are to businesses, and bad actors can and will target them to get at your customers and their personal information.
Therefore, API security is a necessary part of a healthy app that promotes ecommerce functionality for your customers without putting them at risk. Likewise, thwarting this known method of cyberattack can disincentivize hackers and reduce the risks your business will face.
Protecting Your Network
While protecting the personal information of your customer base is the bulk of your work, you’ll also have to take the necessary steps to keep your company’s market data and the private information of you and your staff out of the wrong hands. This starts with investing in the consultation of cybersecurity professionals that can help you chart a safe course through troubled waters.
The interlocking series of security softwares you’ll need to fully protect your company’s network will require a certain degree of knowledge and skill that many don’t possess, so hiring experts in the field to construct your security system is advised.
Some of the tools you’ll need include staples like antimalware software, as well as more business oriented tools such as DDoS prevention tools and intrusion detection and prevention software. Network monitoring is also an important part of cybersecurity, and that monitoring entails a mixture of software and human observation and expertise.
Monitoring traffic within your network is often the first step of anticipating cyber attacks in advance by observing suspicious activity and responding accordingly.
You’ll also need to account for the human element by implementing protocols that can reduce the risk of your staff inviting hackers into your network. For example, multi-factor authentication can reduce the negative impact of hackers getting the passwords of your employees by requiring additional confirmation of identity, typically a device that your staff will carry on their persons on a consistent basis. Basic cybersecurity training will go a long way toward reducing the number of mistakes made by your staff, and that will be the most important way to decrease your risks of cyber attack around the office.
Using technology to stay competitive is a necessity for digital age businesses. However, negligent use of technology can create more problems than it solves. These tips can help you protect your company and your customers from hackers.
Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.