Marketing has been the cornerstone of commerce for about as long as commerce has existed. Today, marketing firms are crucial business partners to various other businesses in every industry under the sun. However, the digital age brings with it a unique, new problem that likewise faces all businesses, up to and including marketing firms. Data is an increasingly important part of how commerce functions in all its forms, and data security is just as essential. With hackers lurking around every corner, you’ll need to take the appropriate steps to safeguard your business and your clients. Here’s what you need to know.
Securing Your Website
Thanks to the internet, businesses can make themselves available to clients around the clock. This benefit comes with numerous logistical problems involving automation, but it also provides an additional challenge regarding the security of your data. Simply put, an unsecure website will be extremely vulnerable to cyberattacks, necessitating encryption and decryption.
While these features are common enough that you may assume they are baked into the internet, this isn’t the case, and you’ll need to pay for SSL certification to protect your company and your clients from the prying eyes of hackers. This is true not only for the possibility of direct data theft, but also for protection from malware. Hackers often like to infiltrate unsecure websites with the intent to plant malicious software to siphon data passively over time or even create “zombies” for use in future DDoS attacks, so encryption is an absolute necessity. E-commerce functionality doesn’t stop at your website, however.
Securing Your App
E-commerce apps are an increasingly inevitable part of most business models these days. This makes sense, because they further increase the access to your services that you can offer customers, and that leads to an increase in sales. However, this creates an additional means by which hackers can potentially steal the market data of your company, for example, and it represents another potential risk for your clientele. The biggest problem with these apps is a necessary evil of how they’re developed. APIs (application programming interfaces) are frameworks for the development of e-commerce apps that allow businesses to throw their hats into the e-commerce ring without investing too much time or money into software development, something that would otherwise be quite costly in terms of both time and money.
Using this kind of shortcut has a drawback, because doing so will entail blindly accepting any flaws in the API, putting your app at risk. A common tactic among today’s hackers is to purchase APIs for themselves, scouting for weaknesses present in those APIs, and then leveraging that knowledge against companies that used those APIs for their own apps. API security has become a necessity in a world where e-commerce functionality is essentially mandatory for businesses who want to stay competitive.
Securing Your Network
While there are many places in which you and your clients both have skin in the game, you also need to consider where you alone are vulnerable: your company’s network. Your network will interface with your website and your app, meaning that its security is important no matter what. However, the network can be a point of entry in and of itself, meaning that it requires its own cybersecurity measures. First and foremost, you’ll need to cover your bases. Antimalware is essential, because while you can often avoid malware entirely by avoiding unsecure websites, client businesses may not have secured their own websites, potentially putting you at risk.
On the other hand, businesses face more unique cybersecurity needs. Intrusion detection and prevention software are important for stopping an attack in progress, while network traffic monitoring is an important means of preventing attacks well before they happen by observing and reacting to suspicious activity that may indicate an infiltration attempt or scouting. DDoS attacks aren’t exactly common, but they are so elaborate as to be virtually impossible to prevent without the appropriate software.