Eight ways to improve cyber security for retail and eCommerce businesses

Eight ways to improve cyber security for retail and eCommerce businesses
December 16, 2016 Mike James

hacker

Does your business have enough cyber security to protect it from attacks? Retail and ecommerce websites are some of the companies that are most likely to be attacked by cyber criminals due to the variety of valuable data that many hold.
With hackers becoming more aware of the flaws and vulnerabilities that can be exploited to gain access to your system, it is absolutely vital that you invest properly in the right defences.

Here are eight ways to improve your cyber security.

Stronger passwords

Ever heard of Occam’s razor? Paraphrasing, the lesson is that the simplest solution is usually right. And even in 2016, despite everyone knowing about the need for stronger and more complicated passwords, it is weak passwords that are still an unnervingly common undoing of cyber security systems. It’s difficult to get away from the fact that passwords are still one of the major weaknesses of any online retail or eCommerce business.

It’s a great idea to require users to use stronger passwords. The most important factor in password strength is actually the length – the longer the better. It’s also worth implementing rules that passwords should have both upper and lower case characters as well as numbers.

Understand the threat from insiders

It’s important to note that outside attacks should not be the only focus of your cyber security investments. People within the organisation can often be the culprit in a cyber attack, either intentionally or unintentionally. Aside from the nightmare of a staff member maliciously using their position to hack in to the system, there is also the threat from people mistakenly allowing hackers to enter the system. This, however, can be remedied easily with user training.

User training

Given that staff can inadvertently be the cause of cyber security problems, one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve your internal defences is to provide training for your team on how to deal with the most common issues. There is still a massive problem with users clicking links or downloading content that contain malware; this is one of the easiest ways for hackers to get into your system.

Just a short training session informing staff on how to notice suspicious emails or avoid dangerous websites can make a massive difference to your vulnerability.

Keep software and apps up to date

When you start to shut the easiest doors used by cyber criminals, they will often start looking for others. Hackers often exploit weaknesses found in legacy or un-patched software and applications. It’s important to regularly test and monitor anything that is used by your system. These should then be updated as soon as possible to avoid having any easy entry points for cyber criminals.

Be proactive

With every passing day, hackers and cyber criminals become more sophisticated and advanced in the ways that they can attack your business. Therefore it is important not to just feel satisfied with the system that you have in place. This means it is increasingly important to spend more time and money on getting your business prepared for emerging threats.

PCI DSS compliance

It is extremely important for any retail or eCommerce business to comply fully with the regulations if the Payment Card Industry Security Standard (PCI DSS) in order to stay ahead of the hackers.
Given that compliance can place a lot of demand on your IT services, sometimes it can be challenging to keep up with the required standards. If you that find that this is case for you it is always worth bringing in outside help to stay up to date with the regulations.

Configuring your system for security

It is vital when dealing with the coding of software, applications and payment gateways, that your system is configured with security in mind. It’s also essential that you invest in threat detection technology. You need to be confident that your system can detect threats quickly enough to be able to do something about them.

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