Cyberattacks have increased dramatically in recent years. Online businesses need to be aware of the threats and take the necessary precautions to protect their sites.
Is Your Online Business Vulnerable to Hackers?
Hackers are merciless criminals that will attack virtually any business. Many small online businesses believe they are safe, until they fall victim to a cyberattack.
Here are some frightening statistics that every online business needs to be aware of:
- The number of cyberattacks against small businesses increased 9% between 2014 and 2015.
- One in 40 small businesses will be targeted by a hacker in 2016.
- An estimated 43% of all cyberattacks are made against small businesses.
- Over a third of all cyberattacks are launched against retailers.
- Online based businesses are more much more susceptible to cyberattacks. The 2014 Trustwave Global Security Report reveals that 54% of all retail cyberattacks were made against an ecommerce website.
- About 77% of businesses do not have a formal internet security policy.
- Another 63% of businesses do not have policies regarding employee social media usage.
Hopefully, these statistics illustrate the importance of cybersecurity. All online businesses must be aware of these risks and take all possible precautions.
5 Tools to Protect Against Cyberattacks
Hackers use extremely sophisticated technology to exploit their victims. Fortunately, there are a number of great tools that you can use to fight back. Here are some essential security tools that you need on hand.
FCC Small Biz Cyber Planner
The Federal Communications Commission recognizes that cybersecurity threats against small businesses are more serious than ever. They also warned that most small businesses are not taking adequate measures to address these threats.
“Small businesses are more dependent on the Internet than ever before, but 83 percent don’t have a formal cybersecurity plan to protect against cyber threats. As larger companies improve cyber defenses, American small businesses are becoming more vulnerable targets. According to Symantec, they were subject to hundreds of millions of cyber threats in just the first few months of 2012. A typical cyber-attack that infiltrates a small business can cost, on average close to $200,000 – enough to put many of them out of business.”
In 2015, the agency issued its final report on the cybersecurity practices every organization should be following.
The FCC recognizes that many organizations need more personalized advice. They developed the FCC Small Biz Cyber Planner to help small businesses develop a customized plan to ward off hackers.
You need to make sure your system is well encrypted, so data packets can’t be intercepted by hackers. There are a couple of data encryption tools worth looking into:
- GnuPG is a free data encryption tool that any online business can use.
- Hotspot Shield is a great tool for encrypting data on public Wi-Fi networks. This tool is necessary if you ever plan to manage your ecommerce site from a public network.
Make sure all data is at least 128-bit encrypted. You may want to use even stronger encryption if you are accessing your site from a public network.
Safe and Regular Online Backup
Is your ecommerce site properly backed up? You don’t want to find out in the middle of a cyberattack.
If you are trying to identify security vulnerabilities, it’s important to get the information from an online security company with a longstanding history of excellence. Qualys was awarded “Best Security Company” by SC Magazine in 2014 and received other awards from the same magazine every year between 2002 and 2014.
Qualys Scan is one of the best tools Qualys ever released. It is used by thousands of companies to back up their data in case of a cyberattack.
Authentication for Payments
Online payment fraud is costing businesses 7.5% of their revenue every year. It’s important to authenticate payments to avoid these costs.
There are a variety of tools on the market for verifying payments. Cybersource has been one of the best payment security and authentication tools since 1994.
Many people use VPNs to watch geo-restricted content, but there are additional benefits for e-commerce companies. Online businesses use VPNs to protect their online privacy, which reduces the risks of:
- Protect against ransomware
- Reduce the risk of social engineering by hackers
- Avoid having hackers identify your financial information through personal details
- Reduce the risk of pocket flooding and other cyberattacks by masking your real IP address
Having a VPN will be even more important for small businesses in the future, because the risk of cyberattacks is expected to increase. So protect yourself and don’t give cyber attackers a way into your website.