Whether you love it or loathe it, online shopping has many benefits. It saves time, is more convenient than physically going to the shops and you don’t even have to leave the house.
Gone are the days of setting aside half a day to drive to town, pay an extortionate fee for parking and wander aimlessly around the shops until you find what you need. Now all that hassle can be avoided, and we can order a new dress and some shoes to match at the touch of a button.
Unfortunately, the rise in online shopping has led to a surge in cybercrime, particularly during the pandemic when more than 6,000 cases of online fraud were reported to UK police. Consumers are becoming more aware of the risks of buying online and want to feel assured the companies they’re buying from are taking steps to protect them. Here are some things you should consider when protecting your company and customers from cyber-attacks.
What is a cyber-attack?
A cyber-attack is a malicious assault instigated by cybercriminals. The attack can be made from a single computer or several, against one device or multiple. Once an attacker has taken control of the computers, they can access data, disable the devices, or utilise them in another cybercrime.
Cyber-attacks can be launched in a variety of ways, including malware, phishing, ransomware, and denial of service. If your business’ network is hacked by a cybercriminal, you could face irreparable damage, both to your company and your reputation. This is particularly true if sensitive data is accessed and released to people outside your organisation.
Use secure systems
The best way to prevent cybercrime and protect your business from an attack is to invest in secure IT systems, which are specifically designed to keep you and your data safe. A secure system will deny spyware and prevent it from taking effect and protect personal information such as bank details.
Online banking platforms are often used to handle customer orders and employees’ financial matters too, such as expense claims. An open banking platform will allow your customers to share their bank details securely, with other providers at just the touch of a button.
Restrict to a ‘need-to-know’ basis
When it comes to protecting sensitive data, only share passwords and log-in details with those who will need access to the information regularly. The more people who know the information (and likely store it on their computer), the higher the risk of it falling into the wrong hands.
Ensure your staff understand the importance of keeping the information to themselves. Provide regular, up-to-date training on GDPR and cyber security awareness. Anyone working for your company should be clued up about phishing and online scams, as well as being aware of what to do if they spot anything suspicious.
Perform regular data checks
Data should be encrypted and backed up to provide you and your customers with the best protection. Should a breach occur, encrypted data will be harder for a hacker to identify and cannot be tracked back to your organisation as easily.
Schedule regular data checks and assign responsibility to someone trusted to ensure these are carried out on time. These checks should include checking the data has not been compromised or corrupted and deleting any data you no longer need.
Your organisation should have a policy which states how long data should be retained for. You must ensure you are keeping to these guidelines, or you could be in breach of GDPR. Failing to comply with GDPR can lead to a fine of up to £17.5 million or 4% of your annual turnover.