Today’s businesses have more and greater tools at their disposal than ever before thanks to up and coming technology. This helps companies optimize their workflow and profit margins, and nowhere is this better exemplified than data. The big data economy has been a blessing to businesses of all shapes and sizes, but that dependence on data makes companies veritable treasure troves to hackers that can make a killing by stealing that data. Here’s what you need to know to protect your company’s data, and that of your customers, from bad actors.
While data security takes many forms, it’s best to start with the basics. Securing your company’s network should be your first priority, because all roads lead back to the network when all is said and done. Long thought to be an essential part of security, passwords are actually pretty flimsy in the face of the advanced methods that hackers have at their disposal. Hackers can easily “brute force” a password by using advanced software to rapidly try all possible character combinations until the correct password is generated, and modern computing speeds guarantee an alarmingly rapid process that can produce the correct password quickly. Multi-factor authentication has proven to be much more effective, and it can be used in conjunction with an existing password or for passwordless authentication that can turn away virtually any hacker that manages to obtain a user’s password. MFA operates by sending a one time use code to the user’s smartphone, virtually guaranteeing that a hacker can’t possibly get their hands on it within the timeframe allotted to them during an attempted cyberattack.
Another crucial development in business tech is that of e-commerce. While e-commerce isn’t a singular, monolithic technology, it is one of the most impactful uses for today’s advanced business tech. It also serves as multiple potential points of failure for data security, because, by definition, e-commerce entails the use of the internet and involves the exchange of data online. This begins with your company’s own website, the foundation of e-commerce functionality and, in many cases, the hub for various additional services such as customer support. Protecting your website from hackers is as simple as shelling out a small fee for encryption and decryption protocols. Without these essential cybersecurity features, hackers can easily intercept data as it is exchanged between your site and your clientele. Encrypted data can be intercepted all the same but in a jumbled and unusable form. Another important consideration is that an unsecure website is able to be hijacked by hackers and made into minefields of malicious software that can siphon data over time or even “zombify” the computers of unsuspecting users for later use by hackers. Another major hub for e-commerce takes the form of an individual business’s proprietary app. This opens up your company and its customers to more potential risks, and addressing these issues is perhaps an even greater priority as more and more customers prefer these apps over company websites. The widespread proliferation of e-commerce apps has been made possible with the advent of application programming interfaces, also known as APIs. A
business can purchase an API to gain a template from which to develop an app quickly, and this also makes the whole process more affordable. However, any security features present in the API will be present in your app if you fail to address them. This is a major issue because these APIs are publicly available for a fee, meaning that hackers can obtain them and use them to pinpoint security flaws that can then be leveraged against the companies whose apps were developed using them. You’ll want to thoroughly vet your options before choosing an API and, more importantly, invest in API security services to ensure that you don’t fall victim to a zero day exploit that puts you and your clientele in harm’s way.
Hackers will always be lurking in the shadows, waiting for unsuspecting victims, but these proven methods can secure your business and its customers against every trick in the book.