Cyberattack Monday? What Ecommerce Vendors Need to Know

The long-awaited retail holiday known as ‘Cyber Monday’ is right around the corner, and it seems to get bigger every season. In fact, ecommerce appears to be growing year-over-year as more consumers prefer to shop online rather than in person. This trend is a boon for e-stores of all sizes, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its dangers.

Online businesses, including ecommerce sites, are vulnerable to digital scams, attacks and data breaches, as any cursory look at cybersecurity news will confirm. Thankfully, you can stop ‘Grinchy’ hackers from ruining your seasonal sales by following a few cybersecurity tips.

Limit the Customer Data You Store

Every ecommerce site stores data on their customers. This ranges from analytic data about general consumer habits to specific financial and personal data on buyers. And it’s this latter category that needs attention.

Storing information such as a user’s credit card number or shipping address is super useful for quick checkouts, but did you know it can also lead to data breaches? It’s true. Hackers are hungry for this kind of data and will do just about anything to get to it.

Don’t make it easy for them! Remember to:

  • Store all information in a password-protected cloud (or comparable storage container)
  • And purposefully require some information to be entered every time (such as a CVV code)

Stronger Passwords Are a Necessity

Speaking of passwords, it’s high time that you revisited the strength of your login credentials. Make sure you are using robust and unique passphrases on all your accounts. These should include letters, numbers and symbols to thwart brute force attacks.

And don’t be foolish enough to save all your passwords to an online grid. This is just asking to be hacked. If you need a little extra help keeping all your social media, platform and data storage passwords straight, try using an offline password manager.

Encourage Credit Cards & Secure Payments Over Debit Cards

While you can’t force your shoppers to make smarter decisions online, you can give them recommendations. For instance, you can include a short blurb on your checkout page urging consumers to use a credit card or secure payment system (such as PayPal or Google Wallet) to complete their order. This is vastly superior to debit card payments which are easier to hack and harder to track.

Watch Out for Suspicious Messages

One of the more popular scams in recent years is the social engineering hack. Basically, a scammer reaches out to your brand via an email or phone call pretending to be someone else. They then use this fake persona to pry information out of your business to be used for nefarious means. Here’s an example:

Let’s say a shopper messages you requesting the password to their account. You let them know they can just reset the password and find a new one in their email, but they say they can’t get into that either. “It would be really helpful if you can just send me the password, please,” they say. Before you know it, that simple request turns into a data breach, identity theft and one very angry (real) customer.

But it’s not just phony customers. Social engineering attacks can pose as business partners, friends and family members or even security professionals. Do yourself a favor and invest in cybersecurity insurance to help you combat these threats.

Even if you do fall for one of these scams, your cyber insurance provider will help cover damages and get you back on track.

Don’t have a cyber insurance policy? No problem. Visit CyberPolicy for your free quote today!

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