How to shield online business from cyber attacks?

Nowadays Internet security is particularly important for both business and customer. Every consumer should distinguish whether a site is secured before revealing the confidential information, while every online business owner should implement the preventive security measures in order to keep the sensitive information safe.
In addition, every company that conducts business has to comply with strict requirements concerning the protection of customer data such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The provisions oblige the businesses to protect the sensitive personal data and privacy of EU residents; these rules are compulsory for any business in EU and any non-EU businesses which keep personal information of European residents.

What is valuable?

Every business owner preserves its customers’ confidential information in order to build a reliable relationship with them. The importance of keeping customers happy as well as an online reputation for an online business is above all. While buying something every buyer gives seller certain degree of trust. If the seller satisfies the buyer, the level of trust and confidence is increasing. Thus, on the one hand, shopper’s usernames, physical addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers could be stolen in the result of cyber-attacks. As, on the other hand, the sophisticated cyber criminals use some techniques like malicious softwareunauthorised access, and a distributed denial of service attack in order to destroy computer systems of the business owner.

Which are the consequences:

  • Such menaces pose a substantial negative impact on business’s reputation and even could lead to the shutdown of the business;
  • Cyber-attacks cause a decrease in the business sales or a delay of online transaction;
  • Such damage is costly as valuable customers’ information stolen in an attempt of the attack could be worth millions of euros.

How to avoid the risks? 7 things to know:

1. Keep the data in the right place.

The general rule on how to avoid the risk of being caught out by these thieves is to apply security guarantees. First of all, do not store customer’s credit card information, and business sensitive information on the website. Instead, it will be useful to store copies of the data in different locations or to use a reliable specialized server dealing with payment data.

2. Use SSL/TLS certificates.

Secure Socket Layer is a security standard that is useful for thousands of online business owners that protects the transactions with the customers. In fact, SSL/TLS is of the utmost importance for any site that sells services or goods while it ensures that the essential information keeps private and secure.

3. Comply with standards and rules.

Today almost every time people are providing their name, address, telephone, debit or credit card numbers in order to buy something online. It means that every online platform has to follow cyber security procedures and policies that provide the guarantees and safety in the Internet. Moreover, any online platform should protect such customer’s information as address or ID information, biometric data, IP address, location, etc. For instance, data protection is strictly regulated within the EU by GDPR as well as by Data Protection Authorities  (DPA). Besides, a plenty of other regulatory bodies protect cyber environment, for example, ENISA – the Cyber Security Agency (EU), NIST Cyber security Framework (USA), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC), etc.

4. Provide personal security of employee.

It is vital for every business to educate employees on how to protect themselves. It is a widespread practice among hackers to attack some employees of the company by getting credentials in order to get access to the whole company’s system. How does it work? If the employee has an entry to sensitive areas on the servers, then it is easier to get control over one employee’s computer in order to attack the whole system. The aim of business is to implement multi-party authorization or not to allow the use of own device.

5. Use Cyber Insurance.

Cyber insurance could be out of the way for some businesses, but nowadays any online business could be insured. It is better to have a cyber insurance when the hack has happened rather than to spend thousands of euros of own money to clean up the hack. The case is that a hack costs large amounts of money to fix; usually, it is more than business may have at all; even not having taken into account the loss of revenue and damage to the brand.

6. Perform regular server security checks.

It is of high importance to execute the regular security scans in order to find out vulnerabilities of the server. Modern security tools could scan any computer for virus, spyware, malware, and other threats. It is compulsory to make the regular scans of the computer and to remove any suspicious files.

7. Expect the best, prepare for the worst.

Cyber-crimes are increasing rapidly. Such kind of fraud prospers today as there is no direct punishment for its commitment. In the modern world, the frequency of the cyber-crimes is measured both by the number of people robbed and the number of assets stolen. For instance, in 2016 Yahoo announced that 3 billion accounts of Yahoo users were affected by 2013 attack. Moreover, in 2017 the NotPetya attack happed and caused billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia, and the USA. IT systems of 64 countries were broken in the result of malware attacks of Russia government. In May 2017 ransomware WannaCry attack took place and targeted computers in more than 150 countries. The damages are estimated by billions of euros. In July 2017 cyber thieves have caught Equifax and stolen the sensitive data of 145 million clients.

Be ready!

The list of data breaches and cyber attacks in 2018 is by no means a short one. In fact, it’s the longest lists we have ever read: 7,073,069 only in January.
There is no perfect way to completely secure a system, but every online business can apply precautionary measures against potential attacks that may happen.

Mon-K Team

Mon-K Data Protection EU is a private British and Italian technological Scaleup company based in London and Milan. It is based on an idea of Gianfranco Ilacqua and Paolo Ferrari – two entrepreneurs who were born in Italy but gained experience and studied at an international level – with the aim of creating technological solutions capable of protecting and encrypting data and information.

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