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Protecting Your Ecommerce Business from Inside and Outside Threats

Image by YkleduY ABH from Pixabay

The e-commerce market has been booming over the past several years. However, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many businesses were forced to move to the online environment to stay afloat, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of online retailers. 

Retail websites received almost 22 billion visits in June 2020 alone. Compare that to the little over 16 billion in the same month last year, and it becomes clear just how much e-commerce has grown. 

Naturally, this attracts both positive and negative attention, and it’s more important now than ever to keep your business protected from inside and outside cyber threats. If you’re new to running an e-commerce site, check out what you can do to ensure its top-notch security. 

The Safety of Your Business Starts With Your Employees 

You could be investing millions in cybersecurity, following the best security practices, ensuring all software and apps have no known vulnerabilities, and yet you’d still be putting your business at risk if your employees unknowingly click on a suspicious email they’d received. 

Over a fifth of all registered data-breaches are caused by employee negligence (accidental or not). So, if you want to ensure your business’s safety, you need to start with educating your employees. 

All of the employees who are accessing your platform, logging into your systems, or simply using the office computer for browsing social media need to know how to follow proper cybersecurity measures. 

This includes using strong, unique passwords, avoiding common scams and phishing, staying away from unsecured public networks when logging into their accounts, using a reliable VPN, and more. It’s in your best interest to invest in top-of-the-line cybersecurity training for all employees. 

Protecting Sensitive Data Is Your Top Priority 

As an e-commerce business, you have access to quite some sensitive data. You likely need to collect your customers’ names and email addresses, physical addresses for deliveries, credit card information, and much more. It’s your responsibility to keep this data secure. 

If it gets stolen or lost, you will be held accountable regardless of whose fault it is. You’ll face expensive fines, legal repercussions, lawsuits. However, what will end up as the most expensive consequence is lost reputation – it’s difficult to get that back. 

There are several ways you can protect sensitive data and ensure a spotless reputation: 

  • Only collect the information you need 
  • Don’t store credit card information 
  • Get an EV SSL Certificate 
  • Ensure your website is PCI DSS Compliant 
  • Have your customers use two-factor authentication 
  • Frequently check who has access to which information 

These are all essential steps you need to take to protect your customers’ data and keep your business secured. 

Age Verification Systems Should Be Bulletproof 

If you’re selling age-restricted items or content such as video games, tobacco products, hemp-derived products, pharmaceuticals, video games, alcohol, or other, you need a bulletproof age verification system. 

It will help you verify the identity of your customers and prevent illegal selling to minors. It can help you mitigate the risks of government fines, inspections, and interventions. 

With a good age verification system, you’ll keep your site secure and your customers safe as it can help speed up the identification process. 

Investing in the IT Department Always Pays Off 

It’s always a good idea to have a knowledgeable in-house IT department that can help you boost your cybersecurity and optimize your e-commerce site. The only problem is that hiring experienced IT professionals is often outside the budget of a small online retailer. 

If it’s impossible for your business to have an in-house expert, you should look into outsourcing your IT needs. 

It will help you cut costs, improve your efficiency, boost your cybersecurity, and increase your employee and customer satisfaction. With experienced IT professionals by your side, your business will be significantly less vulnerable to inside and outside threats. 

Keeping Your Site Updated Is a Must 

Although the constant site, program, app, and system updates can be time-consuming, they’re essential. The purpose of most software updates isn’t to simply improve the aesthetics or introduce new features. It’s to patch up known vulnerabilities that could put your business at risk of a cyberattack. 

This is especially true if you’re using open-source software that enables anyone to easily inspect its code. 

So, don’t neglect those “update” popups. Keep everything up to date, and have your IT department monitor your site for vulnerabilities. 

Final Thoughts 

Protecting an e-commerce business from cyberattacks and data breaches is of utmost importance. A single vulnerability could end up costing you thousands of dollars in damages, but even more in reputation. 

So, take a proactive approach and protect your business in advance.