With more and more people turning to the internet for communication, transactions and data storage, how do you stay safe? Corporate data theft is a huge concern, but there are some things you can do to keep your online business and the data of your customers safe.
Many customers can benefit from the convenient “anytime, anywhere” online access their online banking institution or venues such as PayPal for bill payment receipt of funds. However, customers will not continue to put their funds and identities at risk if they don’t trust your site to protect their interests.
Phishing is one of the most malicious acts of hackers. They send out fake emails that encourage users to log on to what appears to be a legitimate website account so their data and info can be captured. If you store any personal data or credit card information ‘on file’ – you are subject to higher risk. Don’t do it yourself, and don’t offer this as an option to your customers Yes, it’s convenient, but it;’s just not best practice.
Software viruses and Trojans can easily and effectively embed themselves on helpless home or office computers. This results in compromised passwords and breached online accounts. Imagine the consequences in lost funds and angry customers. Even if you use anti-virus software, there is still a chance a new hack can penetrate your defenses.
If you do collect data from consumers, you need top notch encryption supported within a secure environment. You must actively pursue true security and privacy solutions that directly support both your business goals and client demands. Typically,even a small business’ needs will include requirements such as trusted and secure email; effective data protection of electronic files (regardless where they are electronically stored) and strong authentication of all staff associated with the site as well as any financial partners.
Weak authentication equals weak security. Single-factor password authentication results in a complexity that makes passwords impossible for many to remember, meaning it gets written down or saved making the point of the password moot. 2-factor authentication results in providing more secure access, but without strong user acceptance it can’t become an effective tool.
Even if you have installed SSL-enabled products that easily encrypt email traffic while being sent or received, once the data is stored locally on the computer, you should supplement the security with products that provide whole-disk encryption. Even this is not proof against the most dedicated hackers.
Bottom line – always be security minded and do your best to protect your customers and your own data – plus, educate consumers so they don’t get aggravated at the security precautions!