Securing your Customer Information
Credit card information, Social Security numbers, bank account information, and passwords are acceptable payloads from hacking, and the daily news is full of large-scale data breaches at businesses whom we thought were protected from such crimes. All of this makes users wonder if any information is safe online.
Taking steps to secure your customer’s personal information might seem as natural as locking it up under a secure password, but that is not the case! A secure password helps to slow a determined thief, but a skilled cyber thief will consider it child’s play to break into your most secure systems. Let’s take a look at several steps to keep your and your customers’ information as safe as possible.
The User Factor
Users expect a secure and private online experience when using a website. However, in many cases, nightmare scenarios unfold due to malware and phishing attacks within a corporate network that are initiated with a single click on an infected link. The best Internet security available does an excellent job of preventing the majority of the infections and security breakdowns, but it is the users who must stay alert and learn to recognize compromised email and learn the skill sets required to prevent a system-wide infection.
After malware unloads into a network, it makes the entire network and all information contained therein available to hackers. The malware could morph into widespread chaos in a matter of minutes with no way to stop it. Fortunately, developments in security technology can assist in slowing down the spread of malware, or stop it in its tracks.
Never Send Data Unsecured
The very foundation of the web was laid with the HTTP protocol. Since it allowed transmission of information in clear text format, it left gaping security holes that enabled hackers to intercept information sent between the browser and server. The addition of security protocols like Secure Socket Layer (SSL) made data trasnmissions secure by encrypting all traffic between servers and users. However, since HTTPS caused a noticeable decrease in speed at which a website loaded, HTTPS was sparingly used.
The continuing series of security breaches have however made HTTPS the default standard for everything you put on the web. As of 2018, more sites have adopted the HTTPS protocol as their default mechanism of transmission than standard HTTP (Alexa Report). While this alone is hardly enough to keep customer data secure, it is an important step in the direction.
Modern browsers display a green colored lock symbol in the address bar to signify powerful SSL encryption of transmitted data. In fact, most search engines now notify users in cases of domains not secured with SSL and prevent browsing to such sites. The point is to use HTTPS for securing ALL your web traffic. Simple.