The Importance and Scope of Cyber Security

As the internet continues to penetrate ever more areas of our lives, more and more people across the globe are now connected to the internet in one manner or the other. With the advent of social media, people are also sharing more of their personal lives online. Ecommerce has brought in another layer of complexity with all the highly sensitive financial data, bank details, credit card and other details are now a part of the internet. That means we are sharing sensitive information about their lives which-if it falls into the wrong hands-untold can cause loss and damage. Cyber criminals and hackers are looking to make the most of this by constantly trying to hack into systems to steal all this sensitive data. Online security or cyber security thus has become a crucial aspect of all our online transactions- whether personal, professional or commercial. Let us look at some areas which are especially targeted by hackers to understand why the importance of cyber security will only grow in the coming times:

Technology

As we have seen in recent times, some of the largest technology companies have fallen victim to cyber attacks in recent times. In September 2016, Yahoo was hit by a cyber attack resulting in a data theft that affected 500 million users. Stolen information included user names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, security questions and answers, and hashed passwords. At a time when more and more people are going online to get most of their business done, attacks like this show just how vulnerable even the most secure of systems can be. This type of attack can prove fatal for the credibility, the market position and business of companies.

Education

College students remain some of the most active users of the internet both to interact on social media, share vital information including personal photos and also exchange study notes and more. That is why college campuses are a prime area for hackers to target. Hackers devise a number of ways by which to attack the vulnerable college network because there is loose monitoring of these networks. Colleges and educational institutions have to include solid cyber security into their plans to protect the data of their institution and its students.

The areas we talked about represent just two of the innumerable areas which are susceptible to cyber attacks by cyber criminals. Once hackers get hold of sensitive and critical personal data of the users or the companies, there is no way to asses or mitigate the damage. The data can be used to blackmail, directly steal money or can be sold to interested parties for large sums of money. As technology advances, hackers are able to devise smarter ways of sneaking into secure systems. Everyone who uses the internet is potentially at risk. We can never relax because even our best efforts are sometimes not good enough against unexpected cyber attacks. And to successfully foil any risk or attack, it is first important to understand it fully. Once we understand how exactly it can negatively impact the lives of billions of global users of the internet, we can set about creating a safer and more secure cyber world for everyone.

How to Secure Your Website Against Online Threats in This Holiday Season

The holiday season is just round the corner and considering the trends, it is expected that online shopping will create new records this season. Shipping giants like FedEx are gearing up for another year of massive shipments as ecommerce will prove to be a major driving factor in the global market. As customers begin to check out the innumerable options for doing their shopping online, one crucial aspect they will check for in every website is the level of security offered to them.

The growing menace of cyber crimes has made customers wary of any website that seems to be even slightly lacking in terms of offering a 100% secure shopping experience. It’s crucial to ensure that your customers and eventually your business are fully secure from every risk. Here is the checklist of security measures suggested by experts here at Priva-Tech:

Update Everything

Thoroughly scan all your systems including your server technologies to ensure everything is up to date with the latest updates and security patches. Get rid of anything that might prove as soft targets for malware or ransomware attacks. Any custom made software also needs to be updated with the latest security patches.

Clean up

Check your storage systems for any data that is not needed by you yet might prove valuable for hackers. For instance, Hackers cannot steal what you don’t have. Delete any private and critical personal data of your customers which is no longer required. Similarly delete or replace any obsolete software on your systems.

Inform Your Customers

 Let it be clearly known upfront how well your website is protected so that shoppers feel instantly reassured. Shoppers are really keen to know that you’re their data and credit card/bank details will be safe with you. Don’t hesitate to mention clearly the measures and technologies you use to ensure absolute protection and security from online threats. Encourage your customers to use the latest operating systems and browsers to prevent back door entry of hackers.

Two Way Validation

Two way validation is key to prevent attacks. Browsers are equipped to address validation issues of empty form fields and other irregularities. However, the server can perform validation at a deeper level and prevent hackers from inserting malicious code or scripting code being into the database.

Passwords

With the number online shoppers steadily growing, you are likely to see a lot of sign ups on your websites. Please make sure that your users create solid passwords to login to your website. A weak password is the easiest target of hackers to gain access to sensitive customer data. Enforce a strong password policy for all users of your websites- whether customers or your own staff. Additionally, make sure all stored passwords are encrypted using one way hashing algorithms.

Be Prepared for Unexpected Problems

The holiday season is a very busy time for online retailers and eCommerce companies. Even after taking care of everything meticulously, things may suddenly go wrong. Make sure your staff is trained to handle unexpected glitches. You can consider giving them basic technical training so that they can monitor the systems and troubleshoot minor problems themselves. You should also provision extra bandwidth from your hosting provider to meet the traffic spikes during the peak season.