Falling victim of a cyber-attack, be it malware or financial fraud is not only limited to online buyers but also to retailers selling their goods online. With the excitement of the upcoming Black Friday and the urge to attract buyers, cyber criminals see this as an opportunity to launch their malicious strategies to either obtain goods maliciously or to penetrate a retailer’s computer system and escalate even further their malicious activity.
With the ever-increasing cyber threats online, retailers can suffer some serious and devastating effects if they are attacked through their online presence. Cyber-attacks that involve credit card fraud and customer data compromise may lead to legal proceedings and damages claims against the business while attacks resulting in loss of intellectual property and financial theft may lead to heavy financial losses to the business with the possibility of business closure.
Thus, selling online securely is equally important as being safe online. Selling through established marketplaces is one of the most secure methods for online selling. These marketplaces have already built secure infrastructures usually tried and tested, and therefore can offer a secure selling environment. Some practical tips when using these platforms for online selling are:
- Using the marketplace’s methods of payment.
- When a customer makes contact, confirmation of customer legitimacy should be considered to avoid phishing scams.
- Using the marketplace’s messaging systems. Request from customers to use alternative communications should set off alarm bells.
- Buyers’ profiles should be checked to capture an idea of their reputation.
- Wait for payment confirmation before any shipping is executed.
- Use of a delivery service with proof of postage including the destination address.
When selling through your own established website, it is important that the site is securely developed, and professional advice is sought to ensure that the necessary security controls are implemented. Some secure practical tips on hosting your own eCommerce website include:
- Make use of trusted tools to develop your site by conducting research on the available website development products and their reviews.
- Use secure communications such as HTTPS, which means that any customer communication with your website will be encrypted and unreadable to anyone else.
- Credit Card payments should be outsourced to trusted service providers who already have their infrastructures built according to established standards (such as PCI DSS).
- Customer data should be safely and securely stored by using secure authentication and storage services.
- The website should be regularly tested for security weaknesses and updated constantly to avoid possible breaches through existing vulnerabilities.
Being constantly vigilant on cybersecurity matters when participating in online trade is very important. This will ensure that the business is protected without the risk of losing the company, and have a successful, profitable Black Friday.