In the world of online businesses, security is extremely important to the survival of your business. Breaches of security can quickly put an end to your business, as some businesses have already discovered.
Credit Card Security
If you want people to make purchases from your website – which is why you are in business – then your customers are going to want to know that you offer security and safety for their credit card numbers and other personal information. No thinking person wants this information to get into the hands of online thieves.
When it becomes public information that a company has experienced the loss of large amounts of credit card information, customers quickly will find other places to buy their products or services – resulting in potentially large losses in a short period of time.
In recent years, several large companies have suffered having their accounts hacked into, which has resulted in hundreds of millions of individual’s credit card data being compromised. Some large companies have even reported that attempts were made to hack into their computers at least once a month!
What Breaches Mean to Your Business
Large companies have the benefit of suffering the least, due to the fact that their losses are almost negligible when compared to their annual profit. [ https://paysimple.com/blog/why-security-is-more-important-to-small-businesses-than-it-is-to-mega-companies/ ] In contrast, small companies will suffer drastically when they experience a data breach. Research from the Champlain College has revealed that as many as 60% of small businesses will close down within six months after a breach.
Ransomware Is on the Rise
The year 2017 has seen a dramatic increase in the use of ransomware. This is where software completely locks out the use of a website until a ransom is paid to the hackers. Its use has risen about 250% this year, and companies have reportedly paid out as much as $301 million to the criminals.
Small Businesses May Be the Preferred Target
Although large companies offer potentially larger profits for hackers, their increased levels of security make it more difficult. Smaller online businesses offer less reward for criminals, but criminals are also aware that a smaller business will likely have fewer security measures in place. This may be why as many as 50% of the companies hacked are smaller in size.
Security Breaches Are Often Preventable
The same research from Champlain College revealed that most of the breaches could have been prevented. The data revealed that as much as 89% of them would never have occurred if the right security measures were taken by the companies involved. It has also been shown in that research that as many as 50% of those small companies had been hacked into more than once!
Help Prevent Hacks and Breaches
Several things can be done by businesses of any size to help secure their website and customers. Some of these steps are free and others are not. Businesses need to stay informed about what current security measures can be applied to ensure the safe purchasing and data storage of their customer’s information.
Measures should start with adding Secure Socket Layers (SSL) to your site. Then, add Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to it. Software should always be used to prevent viruses and hack attacks. Intrusion detection software should also be employed to notify the business when an attack is taking place – or an attempt to do so.
Reporting Data Breaches Is Required by Law
A number of laws on various levels require businesses of all sizes to report breaches to the customers involved. This means that there is no legal way to hide a breach. As many as 46 states require that customers be notified, and so do the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and more.
The Limitations of Internet Security
It should be understood that no security is completely safe for an indefinite period of time. Hackers are daily seeking to find new ways to break into websites, or override present security measures. This makes it necessary to constantly update and improve security, and to make every possible effort to minimize the likelihood of a security breach.
If a hacker is really determined to hack your website, it is likely that they will succeed sooner or later. They only need time and continuous effort. This is why it is so important that online businesses keep updating their security. Using outdated systems, or a lack of security, only makes it so much easier for a hacker to breach your computer system.
Effective Method of Security for Your Customers
One of the best ways to ensure that customers are safe when purchasing from your online business site is to outsource the method of payment. Using online pay sites such as PayPal enables your customers to safely use the security system that PayPal uses. This enables your customers to benefit from their much higher levels of security and constant upgrading.
Become Internet Savvy
One way that hackers break into online websites is to look over information that the website owner has posted online. In some cases, some people post so much information about themselves online that it does not take long to piece the information together. All they often need to do is to look at Facebook accounts, Instagram, etc, and a lot of personal information can be applied to break into an online business. Make it more difficult for them by using more complex security questions on your other online accounts, get better software, and be sure to have backups of all your data.
Your online business needs to have excellent security. Change passwords from time to time, keep strong security software in place, and even try to store your customer’s data somewhere other than on your website. Internet security companies can keep an eye on intrusions for you and can often stop hackers in the act. Having good security is something many of your customers will respect you for through the years and help them to want to stick with you.