Whether you are trying to improve your business’s online presence or are taking commerce online for the first time, cybersecurity is part of any good online business strategy. There are security realities that you must face as someone trying to reach and sell to customers online, which are omnipresent and only expected to grow as we move further along in the 21st century.
Businesses of all sizes are having to contend with the increased threat of cyber attacks and the growing sophistication of untraceable modern cyber attacks. The difference between preparedness and informing yourself could be the survival of your business. With that in mind, below are some of the features that every online business should have in place if they don’t already.
Secure Payment Gateways
Businesses continue to face significant challenges when trying to protect their customers’ personal information and dealing with chargebacks. In order to provide optimum protection to business owners and their customers, the best payment gateways include features such as online fraud detection, PCI-DSS compliance, and data encryption.
Payment delays, late deliveries, a poor payment processing environment, and fraud are the most pressing payment gateway-related issues that will prevent your company from growing its customer base and expanding. Having a secure gateway makes business more seamless, makes it easier for you to sleep at night as the owner, and gives customers more peace of mind when providing their sensitive financial info.
Anti-spam refers to programs and plugins for both your email and website. They are related, given that people will be using your business website to get in touch with you and, if you have a blog (which you should), you will very likely have a comment section where you encourage readers to post their thoughts and engage with you. The problem is, cybercriminals and unscrupulous marketers take advantage of things like your listed email address and the comment section to bombard you (and your site users) with offers and even malicious links.
Having a good anti-spam feature in place is important because it limits the amount of junk you receive, both on and off your website, and it protects you and your users from potentially dangerous attacks. Cybercriminals frequently post harmful links, including spyware and other malware, to the comment sections of blogs and email addresses, so having plugins and/or software to help fend off these efforts is necessary if you run an online business.
SSL certificates must be installed on a company’s website to ensure that online transactions and customer information remain private and secure. SSL protects internet connections by preventing thieves from reading or altering data sent between two systems. You can identify sites with SSL certificates by the small lock icon on the left-hand side of the search bar.
SSL prevents sensitive information like credit card numbers from being stolen by criminals online by keeping them private and confidential. You need to invest in an SSL certificate for your domain if you want to improve the security of online transactions and, importantly, if you want to instill the kind of trust that will make people comfortable doing business with you.
A DDOs or denial of service attack is a coordinated attack on a website aimed at overwhelming the site’s ability to handle traffic, rendering it unusable. The end result is often significant downtime and potentially lost revenue for an online business. Effective DDoS protection can be implemented in a variety of ways, but the most common is a hybrid solution that combines attack detection, traffic classification, and various blocking strategies.
The use of a ‘black hole’ to divert questionable traffic to a non-existent server is one of the available technologies. A content-based intrusion prevention system (IPS) can also be used to detect and block attacks. However, because recent attacks have tended to disguise their nefarious objectives behind legal information, this type of defense may be ineffective. Firewalls and other traditional security measures can also help protect against DDoS attacks.
The rise of ransomware is another global trend that is gaining traction. Once you’ve been infected with ransomware, your entire network will be encrypted. You will be locked out of your own network unless you pay the hackers a ransom, which is commonly done with a crypto-currency like Bitcoin, at which point the hackers disappear and don’t always deliver you your data as promised.
Don’t think that your small business would go unnoticed in the event of a cyberattack. There has been a marked increase in ransomware attacks over the last several years, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ransomware criminals frequently target small businesses because of their lack of security infrastructure, as well as a similar lack of cybersecurity knowledge on the part of owners and small business employees.
Constantly Updated Plugins
WordPress core, plugins, and theme updates frequently improve security by addressing vulnerabilities and bolstering defenses against attackers. With that said, you need to make sure you are constantly updating your site to lessen the danger of it being hacked or otherwise compromised.
When it comes to WordPress security, one of the first things that any professional will highlight is the need to stay on top of regular updates. Hackers and other bad actors keep an eye on the release notes, and they begin exploiting a vulnerability as soon as they become aware of it. As a result, you should upgrade as quickly as possible to minimize the amount of time your site remains susceptible.
Doing business online means coming to grips with a number of cybersecurity threats and realities if you want to remain safe and enjoy the confidence of your visitors and customers. Depending on the size and profile of your businesses, you may want to consider all of the above and more in order to keep your company safe and profitable. Most large companies have dedicated IT infrastructure and teams in place to stay on top of both their online and offline security issues, but for smaller businesses, the above provides a formidable cybersecurity foundation.
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