Launching an online business offers a ton of benefits. It can introduce your brand to a wider audience, engage more prospects, and ultimately increase sales. But these advantages also come with security risks.
In fact, 64 percent of companies have experienced cyberattacks. Hackers often target small businesses, which are usually the most unequipped to handle a cybersecurity breach.
This is an alarming fact for online retailers, but it can be prevented. Learn the best cybersecurity practices enterprises can apply to their e-commerce business.
Create Strong Passwords
Passwords are the first thing hackers will try to crack. Give them a hard time by getting rid of commonly used passwords. It’s surprising to know that some people even have “password” as password to their email and work-related accounts.
Here are some combinations that cybercriminals can easily decode and use against small businesses:
These may seem familiar to some. It’s time they change it now before it’s too late!
Secure Your Network
Small-business owners must ensure only authorized personnel can access their networks. Aside from using strong passwords on their devices and WiFi access points, it’s best to bulletproof their network with a firewall, which is one of the first lines of defense when it comes to cyberattacks.
The Federal Communications Commission advises small businesses to use a firewall to barricade their data from cybercriminals.
Install Antimalware Software
Employees may receive phishing emails that contain malware. While some employees may know better than to open suspicious emails, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Installing antimalware software to the company network and devices will ensure these malware attacks are kept at bay.
Back Up Your Website
Cybercriminals often hack small-business websites with weak security measures. Whether it’s to steal sensitive data or to corrupt website traffic, it’s best for businesses to keep a backup of their website files to ensure everything is retrievable in case of a cyberattack.
Consider Selling on E-commerce Platforms
For online retailers that aren’t so keen on maintaining a full-blown e-commerce site, they have the option to sell their goods on online marketplaces like Shopify. These platforms already have stringent measures that ensure transactions and customer data are secure.
Update Your Software
Software developers create constant updates to boost the security of their applications. Enterprises that continue to use outdated versions may provide an opportunity for cybercriminals to make their move.
Small businesses should make sure their IT team regularly audits their devices and applications and installs any updates available.
Implement a Security Policy
One common mistake small businesses make is not having an employee cybersecurity policy. Having a documented policy makes it more effective than simply relaying it by word of mouth.
This policy may include the appropriate use of websites and applications and punishments for certain violations. Business owners should make sure to discuss the policy with all employees and even provide an orientation on cybersecurity.
Limit Admin Access
Not everyone in the company needs to have administrative access to its software. Limiting it to only a few key people will also limit the chances for hackers to breach into their system.
An excellent tip to monitor user access is to do a regular audit on user accounts. For example, ex-employees who are no longer affiliated with the company may still have active accounts that cybercriminals can take advantage of.
Bulletproof Mobile Security
Bring your own device (BYOD) is a common trend among start-ups and small businesses. While it’s efficient for both the company and its employees, it can open up entry points for cyberattacks.
Businesses should set a strict mobile-device policy for their employees. Here are some tips to consider:
- Use a virtual private network (VPN) when accessing sensitive information through employee devices.
- Enforce strong password locks on their personal devices.
- Consider providing only guest access to BYOD employees.
- Restrict the storing of sensitive data, such as customer credit card information, on personal devices.
Cybersecurity Is a Must
A single cyberattack can raze a business to the ground. While security is, no doubt, a challenge for all e-commerce businesses out there, it can be easily overcome by enforcing these measures before it’s too late.