ECommerce provides both risk and opportunity for businesses. It allows you to reach beyond your geographic location and find new customers, but it also creates more opportunities for fraud and data theft. The good news is that you can protect yourself while still expanding online. Start with these tips to protect yourself when taking online payments.
1. PCI Compliance
The first step you should take is to get an assessment for PCI compliance. This is the minimum set of security standards that the major card issuers demand for you to take credit and debit card payments. If you are certified for compliance, that means you meet the current security expectations of the industry.
2. Secure Passwords
You know the jokes about people who use easy to guess passwords like "password" and "1234." Unfortunately, many people use these, and it puts data at risk. When your customers create accounts, require a complex password to help protect them from themselves.
3. Multi-Factor Authentication
No matter how complex a password, when you rely on a username and password by themselves, stolen login information gives a data thief all the access they need. Multi-factor authentication protects you by requiring access to a separate device before a person can complete the login. This protects both your customers and you by making it more difficult for a bad actor to access a customer account.
4. Secure Cloud Storage
Keeping customer data on-site increases your liability risks. Working with a secure cloud storage option helps in two ways. First, it puts data security in the hands of a partner focused on protecting information. Second, it allows you to shift your liability risks in the case of a breach.
5. Data Encryption
Your eCommerce platform should encrypt data as you receive and before you transmit it. Most data theft occurs at the points where data is moving from one server to another. Encrypting that data before it starts to move adds a layer of protection you need in place.
6. Updated Operating System
Many security patches and updates come through your operating system. If you don't stay up to date, you will miss out on the steps that protect you against the most current risks you face. Stay updated with your system to protect against threats as they emerge.
7. Suspicious Activity Monitoring
No system is perfect in stopping online fraud. This is why you need to monitor transactions for unusual activity. Watch for transactions that do not meet usual patterns for your customers, such as higher volume or unusual shipping destinations.
8. Strong eCommerce Partners
Most businesses are not equipped to fully protect themselves. Going it alone is asking for trouble. An eCommerce partner with experience in processing online transactions safely is one of your best security measures to have in place.
Online security needs present a moving target for businesses. Work with the experts to protect yourself when you accept online payments.