Cyber SecurityHow to Protect Your E-commerce Business from Cyber Risks

How to Protect Your E-commerce Business from Cyber Risks

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E-commerce businesses are flourishing right now. People have embraced the convenience of online ordering and home delivery like never before. However, the more entrants into a commercial space there is, the more the risk of crime focused on that space rises, and e-Commerce and online businesses are not immune from those risk factors. Cybercrime is rising, and many entrepreneurs are so focused on building their businesses that they forget to protect them! Here are some tips to help you stay safe while you grow and flourish. 

What are Cyber Threats? And How Do I Stop Them?

What do we mean by ‘cybercrime’? Most people think of hacking, and that is a severe risk, but there are some more insidious types of cybercrime and theft to consider:

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Data Theft

While it’s easier for criminals to trick you into giving them your data on a plate through phishing, data theft from more nefarious instructions is a significant risk, too. This is a multifactorial crime with many potential breach points.

Solution: Strong passwords across your company are one of the simplest and best ways to avoid data breaches. Make using MFA, or multi-factor authentication, a must. This introduces a two-step sign-in process that’s much more complex than a regular password. Using an encrypted VPN for all access to company documents also prevents data ‘hijackers’ from intercepting your data. Staff at remote locations can use tools like the Express VPN app to obscure their digital footprint safely. Make sure only those who truly need access to vital and sensitive documents have that access and don’t use ‘community’ servers that allow people to access things they don’t need.

Phishing

We think of phishing emails as the ‘Nigerian Prince’ scams, but they’ve become much more sophisticated in recent years. Phishing emails commonly present as invoices (sometimes from clients’ hacked addresses), banking and affiliate emails, and more. 

Solution: Training your staff to identify these emails and act immediately instead of blissfully handing out company information to criminals is essential. When in doubt, call the ‘originating’ person and ask if the mail is legitimate before you act.

DDoS Risk

Distributed Denial of Service attacks happen when criminals try to overwhelm your online presence and normal business model with a flood of malicious internet traffic. Think of it like a traffic jam blocking legitimate visitors from accessing your e-Commerce site. Anything connected to the internet, including smart devices, is at risk. 

Solution: DDoS attacks can be pretty complex to break down, so you may need expert help to protect yourself. They do everything possible to masquerade as legitimate traffic. Solid security protocols, including secure web pages and portals, excellent password hygiene, and internal safety measures like dropping IP addresses generating unusual traffic volumes are needed to mitigate your risk, so use a strong IT partner. Regular software updates are necessary so you always have the latest security updates.

Financial Fraud

Financial fraud has always been a business risk. As banking has gone online, so have the fraudsters, and with immediate digital transfers, you can lose a lot in a short time. 

Solution: As with data theft, controlling who has access to sensitive company financial information, securing passwords, and keeping an ‘audit chain’ that lets you see activity are critical in combating financial fraud in online environments. Ensure you’re using only safe and trusted payment partners, and keep your software and code up-to-date. Make sure all financial information is safely collected and stored securely.

Malware and Ransomware

These are malicious programs introduced to your PCs or site. They can then use your IP to transmit fraudulent data, do ‘backdoor’ data and crypto mining, or even corrupt your data and threaten you with its loss if you don’t pay up. 

Solution: Poor security protocols and bad user behavior are responsible for most malware reaching your system. Staff must be trained not to open unsafe sites, suspicious attachments, and unknown programs on your systems. A VPN can also help prevent malware transfer from user devices to your organization. 

Ensuring staff are well educated in cyber threats, you keep software and web code optimized with security updates, using a secure VPN, and cultivating excellent password hygiene (backed with multi-factor authentication) are some of the best ways to stave off cybercrime as an e-Commerce business. Make sure you’re safe today and take back control of your precious data.

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