The issue of online security has regularly returned to the mainstream media’s agenda recently, following incidents such as the Dyn cyber-attack in October and allegations that the US election was affected by foreign hacking. It’s left the online world looking more vulnerable than many of us might have previously thought – but there remain ways in which you can better safeguard customer data.
Spend on a secure web hosting service
When shopping around for a web hosting service that will support your websites, resist any temptation to simply opt for the cheapest option, as recommended on Business 2 Community. It’s worth paying more for particular security features – including not only a system capable of repelling hackers, but also proper backup systems for quickly getting your website back into operation should there indeed be a security breach.
Update your website to SSL/TLS
Your site should employ the vital security protocols of SSL – Secure Sockets Layer – and TLS – Transport Layer Security. These are crucial for keeping the site safe from hackers seeking to intercept sensitive data as the site sends it to a server or another application. With SSL and TLS, that data will be encrypted to ensure that it remains secure when in transit over an insecure network.
Encourage security-conscious habits in your customers
A hacker can inflict a lot of damage once they have admin data or a customer’s login details at hand. This makes a website’s login portals among its most vulnerable areas – and you can take account of this by reminding your customers to change their passwords every other month. You could also give customers advice on how to strengthen the security of passwords – which will be stronger if, for example, they each have at least 8 characters, including a minimum of one number and one symbol.
Avoid storing customer data unnecessarily
Should your customers’ data be leaked through hacking, you could become accused of negligence. However, the sting would be diminished if there is little information for the hackers to access. It’s particularly worth avoiding storing payment details or information that could personally identify customers, though subscription-based sites could obviously struggle somewhat with this.
Constantly test your security systems
In an article for TNW, Anthony Pezzotti of Knowzo.com advises: “The only way to make sure something is consistently secure is to test it all the time.” Therefore, it could be worth conducting vulnerability scanning and evaluations both inside and outside your company’s security system. Pezzotti insists: “If you can find a way to get illegitimate access to your data, the outside world can as well.”
Quite simply: stay vigilant!
Prevention, as the saying goes, is better than cure – and Brilliance‘s Marcela De Vivo says: “Being vigilant is a matter of continual monitoring to make sure systems are still secure.” A company like TenIntelligence can help your business with that monitoring. By providing vital insight and confidence into people and organisations you do business with, they can help you to avoid risks.
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