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Major Security Risks For Ecommerce Businesses

Hackers and thieves have been targeting ecommerce businesses for years. While big corporations are generally hit hardest, hackers tend to go after small ecommerce businesses because they usually have less of a security system in place. Knowing the major security risks that exist in the cyberspace realm can help you protect your ecommerce business by making sure you prepare for what can happen.

Malicious Code

A virus or software bomb can be lethal to an ecommerce business and have terrible long-term effects. Software bombs in the past have been known to destroy literally all computer programs and code generators. When this happens, companies can lose millions of dollars and have to lay a lot of people off to make up for the loss.

Preventing this malicious code from entering your system is easy, and should be one of the top security priorities for any ecommerce business. Make sure to install anti-virus programs, anti-spyware programs and firewalls on all computers and ensure that they are up to date and being used properly at all times. It only takes one hole in the security system to cause a major problem, so your information technology department has to be on top of things at all times. Also, make sure that all programs are in their most current version including the programs listed above as well as any other operating systems and software.

Spear Phishing

Phishing is when somebody masquerades as a trustworthy person or company (generally through e-mail or instant messaging) to get important, sensitive information such as usernames, passwords or credit card details. Sometimes people pose as banks or executives in a company to attempt to access this information.

It’s important to tell your employees not to give away administrative passwords or any other valuable company information through e-mail or any other form of online communication without first checking with the person who supposedly sent the e-mail. It’s not very tough for scammers to pose as a higher-up person in your company. Therefore, make sure to let your employees know that they should call a supervisor, manager or even the person that sent the e-mail to make sure that they should be sharing this information with said person. Moreover, have your employees report anything that appears suspicious, no matter the incident. It is definitely better to be too cautious than let something slide that could potentially ruin your company.

Lost Or Stolen Laptops/Mobile Devices

A lot of valuable information is often stored on laptops and mobile devices. Unfortunately, those are two of the most common things that are stolen at gyms, libraries, restaurants and any number of other public places. Even if it’s not technically classified information, hackers can use the information they find to breach security, learn about your customer base, access personal information, etc. The easy solution to this problem is to make sure that you install encryption programs, which make it tough for outsiders to access your data. The encryption programs work by requiring the user to enter a password or encryption key before accessing information.

Unsecured Wireless Networks

Your Internet networks should always encrypted with a Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). Not only will this keep other people off your wireless network so that it can run faster, but it will also make your network that much more secure. In the past, hackers have been able to steal valuable customer information such as financial information through open wireless networks. Not only will this anger much of your customer base, but will also cause your company to lose a lot of money. Password-protecting your network is a very simple step that goes a long way to making sure that your ecommerce business is more secure.

Disgruntled Employees

One of the biggest security risks to your company can be an angry employee. While it’d be nice to think that everyone who works for you is happy with his or her job and completely trustworthy, this is not always the case and you need to protect against that.

A good idea is to divide critical functions and responsibilities among many different employees so that one person doesn’t have too much power that they could eventually use against your business. Furthermore, constantly change the passwords to accounts and critical information to minimize the damage if someone were to leak a password. Always change passwords after letting an employee go as well, as that is prime time for a disgruntled employee to exact revenge on you and your company.

There are many security risks involved with running an ecommerce business. Nevertheless, with the right preparation and tenacity, you can make sure that your company is properly protected.

Sources

http://smallbiztrends.com/2007/06/top-five-small-business-internet-security-threats.html

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/rsstory/56468.html

http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?itemId=1075385862&type=RESOURCES

http://www.e-commerceguide.com/news/news/article.php/411401

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/websphere/library/techarticles/0504_mckegney/0504_mckegney.html

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