5 Steps to Secure Holiday E-Commerce
The pandemic will drive a lot of 2020 holiday shopping online, presenting new opportunities for cyber-attackers.
Doug Shimokawa, senior VP at Pacxa, recommends taking these steps to protect your operations, e-commerce efforts, customers and staff during this holiday season.
1. Assess your vulnerabilities
McAfee Security says almost half of midsized American companies do not see their businesses as “valuable enough” to be targeted by hackers. But the same McAfee report warns that size is not a factor when it comes to cybercrime. No matter how large or small your business, it is crucial to identify any vulnerabilities listed below.
2. Keep software up to date
The older the software, the weaker the security. In addition to installing firewalls and antivirus and anti-malware software, it is critical to use the latest versions of applications. Updates are not just cosmetic; they improve performance, increase stability, fix bugs and, most importantly, address security vulnerabilities. Updating your website before the holiday rush is a simple way to add extra protection.
3. Encrypt customer data
If your customers’ information is compromised, the consequences can be catastrophic. Not only will you lose business, but your brand will lose credibility and possibly face litigation. Always ensure customer data is encrypted in transit (during submission to you and your partners) and while at rest (when it is stored in your systems), and use a trusted e-commerce partner such as PayPal or Shopify for financial transactions.
4. Educate your employees
Regardless of how meticulous your security processes are, there is always room for human error. If they have access to extremely sensitive data, your employees must be properly trained on their responsibilities to consistently follow security protocols, secure credentials and use safe network logins. They must also stay informed about the latest threats, warning signs and phishing scams to prepare for an encounter.
5. Know when to hire outside help
You have a business to run and may not be equipped to address the many aspects of cybersecurity before the holiday shopping season. Protect yourself and your team by enlisting an outside expert with the skills to properly assess your processes and implement the solutions you need.