We cannot function without our electronic devices anymore, and therein lies the trouble. It is far more difficult to keep an electronic record secure than it is to lock a physical filing cabinet.

Launching an ecommerce website is a trend now – but that’s quite an investment as creating, designing, and optimizing a webpage costs money. Yet, there is an easiness for users and business ventures alike.

Consider your website as a local store at a mall. How would you cater for its security?

On ecommerce platforms, you have to deal with sophisticated hackers rather than shoplifters. Instead of putting up CCTV cameras or alarm systems, you need to invest in expert security measures to avoid exploitation of website information and ensure that your customers shop safely.

Your business is at risk! Take necessary action to secure it.

Cybersecurity and Its Reach

By definition, it simply refers to the process of protecting your computer-based data from unauthorized access. Since the world became automated and started shifting more and more of its systems online – ditching paper receipts in favor of electronic ones – it became even more difficult to protect our systems.

Until yesterday, weren’t cybercrimes an issue for huge corporations, banks and governments to worry about? But now, their reach is everywhere.

According to professional hacker Cesar Cerrudo, technology may be improving with regards to the ease that it is bringing to our lives, yet most technology is vulnerable and security situation is worsening.

We look at cars being hacked in both reel and real life, alarm systems broken into, and mobile banking apps being hacked. Even pacemakers aren’t safe and traffic system have been hacked as well; the list will continue so long as technology continues to advance.

In the United States in 2013, 3000 companies reported instances of security breach by cyberattack. It has also been estimated that cybercrime costs the US economy about $400 billion annually. As technology grows more and more sophisticated, hackers are also growing in knowledge and thirst for the potential rewards after the crime.

Why You Need a Cybersecurity Expert

Here’s why you need a cybersecurity specialist to help you run your e-commerce business smoothly.

Protect Website Information

If you are familiar with incidents of petty hacking such as those we often witness happening to our email and social media accounts, then you may be able to picture the same happening on a broader scale.

Annoying and embarrassing as our account hacking incidents may be, when security breach takes place at huge companies, it results in loss for not just the business owners, but for stakeholders including the investors, shareholders, account holders and more.

Equifax is a global consumer credit-reporting agency that experienced a data breach in the year 2017 which affected 147 Million customers. The costs of recovering from the hack were recently estimated at $439 Million.

The UK National Health Service suffered through a random ransomware attack that resulted in canceled operations and considerable clean-up costs. The web giant, Yahoo, was attacked in the recent years and the breach affected all three billion of its customers. While these are the companies that made headlines, several more grace the technology news of smaller magazines and newspapers, and thousands more remain undeclared or unreported because they are probably not as notable as Yahoo.

If these companies and government agencies could not stay protected from cybercrimes, what makes you think your company has a chance?

Analyze Security Situation of Your Webpage

With the way things are going, cybercrime is only likely to increase. And that is despite the best efforts of government and security agencies. Like Cerrudo said, technical innovation is not helping at all, in fact, the same security weaknesses are still in place which only adds to the frustration of cybersecurity experts.

It is interesting to note that advancement in technology actually makes it easier for criminals by allowing them easy access to data at one place. For example, migration of data to third party cloud providers is a very unsafe move. Similarly, the provision of mobile technology to anyone with the smallest amount of funds and with it, easy Wi-Fi access, has deteriorated the situation to the point where data penetration opportunities have escalated.

This can be observed by the growing number of mobile applications that make use of our data stored upon online drives with mobile data being the easiest to hack into and manipulate.

The advent of machine learning that is allowing our computing systems to act on their own by a process of learning via artificial intelligence and the development of IOT (Internet of Things) has made communication between machines to become possible. It is most difficult to keep a track on data transfer and use, increasing the vulnerability of our data to security breach.

When a hacker does manage to break into your simply coded ecommerce website, you will not only lose your own, but your clients’ data as well, which will be open to manipulation by the criminals.

Monitor Defense Protocols

When your business is broken into by a cybercriminal, you are liable to legal action by the government because of the cybersecurity laws that grant your customers certain rights over the data they (customers) trusted into your safekeeping.

In fact, the EU is developing a proposal for a General Data Protection Regulation which would require any organization to report a breach promptly. Therefore, putting a security plan in place is particularly essential when such unfortunate criminal incidents are liable to result in fines, legal action or measures by government agencies.

A cybersecurity expert will have the relevant technological and privacy expertise, along with the knowledge to consult with lawyers and IT experts where deemed necessary.

Configure Security Tools and Programs

If you are a small business that has recently started its services and is struggling to make its mark upon the market, then a hacking incident will not only leave you defenseless, but it may also spell closing down your venture because of the massive costs incurred as damages!

According to the U.S National Cyber Security Alliance, approximately 60% of small businesses  do not have the resources to mitigate a cyberattack and have to close down their operations within six months.

Even if you may be able to continue after cutting down costs (perhaps by delivering subpar services, and letting several of your employees go), the blow to your reputation will be devastating, which may or may not result in a loss of clients, along with a bad business name in the industry.

What Can a Security Expert do

We begin by taking this matter seriously. Cybersecurity is important and learning about its basics is important for every security specialist who has a brush with technology. The first step is, however annoying it may be, to maintain strong security credentials. Therefore, it is good practice to have a strong antivirus in place as well.

The second step is educating every employee contributing to an online venture about the correct/safe use of data, and how to prevent inadvertent breach caused involuntarily, like leaving a company portal open, etc.

If you have an online presence (like a website or even a blog) that generates income by providing certain products or services, then you must move beyond the antivirus – get insured. Despite what it may sound like, cyber security insurance is a thing. It will ensure safety and damage control in case of data breach. A company is hit by ransomware every 40 seconds, but should you pay ransom if you are adequately insured against it by having your backup and disaster recovery systems in place? That’s where the expertise of a security expert is required.

Cyber-attacks rely on human error and weaknesses but if cybersecurity expert keeps our systems in place and takes adequate measures against data hacking and insecurities, we will be in a better position to survive such an incident.

It is important to note that education is key. “Educating yourself about security doesn’t just mean getting a certification or diploma,” says Andrew Jones, senior sales engineer at Shape Security. “It’s adjusting your way of thinking about the world so that you can put yourself in the bad guy’s shoes and really consider how they could exploit a weakness.”