10 Ways to Protect Your Online Business from Hackers and Cyber Attacks
One of the primary concerns that plague both online shoppers and eCommerce retailers is the looming threat of cyber attacks. Customers have become warier about sharing their personal information online due to the rising savviness of hackers, and merchants want to ensure that their online business won’t become the next target of a cyber attack.
The risks of having your data compromised can have seriously detrimental effects, as a recent consumer intelligence study shows:
- 87% of customers say that they’ll take their business elsewhere if they think a company is untrustworthy.
- 88% say that the amount of data they share with a company depends on how much they trust the business.
- 92% believe that companies need to be proactive about data protection.
To keep your business safe in 2020, follow these 10 tips to adequately protect yourself from hackers, cyber attacks, and more.
10 Ways to Protect Your Online Business
10. Use an internet security suite.
If your online business isn’t already using an antivirus program, you should strongly consider using one combined with an internet security program. The reliable protection of this security setting will help you avoid malicious content and activities by:
- Preventing accidental downloads/installs of malicious software
- Stopping “Man In The Middle” (MITM) attacks
- Protecting you from phishing
- Protecting you from the potential damages of seemingly-innocent Trojan Horses
9. Use strong passwords.
It’s 2020; you cannot be using passwords like “password,” “qwerty,” or “123456” for your eCommerce information. A strong password should ideally have 12 or more characters, consisting of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols, and every account you have should have a different password. For even more security, change passwords frequently to make sure nobody can ever “crack the code.”
8. Require customers to create strong passwords.
Although your online business wouldn’t be entirely to blame if a customer’s weak password causes their data to be compromised, you should still take steps to prevent this from happening. You can ask a developer to set a minimum character requirement for anyone who wishes to sign up for an account, and you could offer suggestions directly on the log-in page to show users how to create unbreakable passwords.
7. Remember that Small ≠ Safe.
One survey showed that a stunning 85% of small business owners believe that their sites are safe from hackers, data breaches, and other security threats. This false sense of security stems from the mistaken assumption that small businesses are rarely targeted for cyber attacks. In reality, hackers typically don’t aim for a specific target; they’re merely looking for the easiest target. Symantec found that 40% of attacks happen to businesses that have fewer than 500 employees, possibly because small eCommerce merchants have a false sense of security.
6. Train and educate your staff.
One single session about cybersecurity during the onboarding process is not enough for your employees. They need to be kept updated about the latest threats, understand why they have to follow certain precautions, and know what steps to take to protect themselves and the company. Along with having regular training sessions about internet use and data security with your staff, make sure they all have individual accounts, update their passwords frequently, and consider limiting how much information they can access. The fewer people that can access sensitive data, the better.
5. Use an SSL certificate.
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) shows customers that their information will be kept secure and protected while using the site. Site URLs that begin with HTTPS instead of the old-fashioned HTTP are capable of encrypting standard HTTP requests, making it far more trustworthy to wary shoppers. 85% percent of online users say they won’t buy from a site that does not have an SSL certificate.
4. Create backups of crucial information.
Just as you should make copies of other relevant documents, your site should have a backup in case of primary data failure that can occur from software failure, hardware malfunction, a cyber attack, or simple human error, such as an employee accidentally deleting important data. Having a backup (and storing the copy safely) will allow you to restore the data available before the unexpected event occurred, allowing you to quickly solve the issue and get your site back up and running.
3. Use a firewall.
If your small business has several necessary components, having a firewall is a simple way to help you avoid ransomware, protect you from social engineering threats, and stop cyberattacks. According to Digital Trends, firewalls from Fortinet, Ubiquiti EdgeRouter, and SonicWall offer some of the best options for small businesses.
2. Protect yourself from identity theft.
Identity theft can seriously harm your business and your personal life, so all of your data must be kept secure. Even seemingly innocent information you share about your life online, such as your mother’s maiden name or the name of your first pet, can give hackers the answers to common security questions. To minimize the threat of identity theft, take these proactive measures:
- Never share your SSN with anyone you don’t fully trust.
- Resist posting sensitive data on social media platforms.
- Change the settings on your social media pages from “Public” to “Friends Only” to protect your more personal information.
1. Keep your site updated.
One of the easiest ways to keep your site safe is to keep your website up-to-date with the latest fixes and security patches, but merchants can’t always update their sites as soon as they’d like. In a new initiative to help eCommerce sellers maintain their site security worry-free, Wagento is offering a year of No-Hassle Upgrades. Retailers can adjust the plan to fit their budget, choose when they want their sites to be updated, and avoid being surprised by sudden changes or unexpected costs. Additional features of this program include:
- Security updates and bug fixes
- Automatic upgrades (similar to a SaaS Platform)
- Magento security scanner
- Redundant module checks
- Integrations and third-party updates
- Assistance with maintenance, API integrations, migrations, and more
Wagento has more information about the No-Hassle Updates program, and create your customized solution today!