With online spending set to hit record levels this January, learning provider, Litmos Heroes, is warning retailers to make sure their technology is up to date and their staff are properly trained to help them stay cyber-safe during the sales.
An average of one billion pounds was spent online every week in January 2017 and with such huge figures changing hands electronically comes an increased risk of retail businesses falling victim to cyber-attack and online fraud.
But by following some simple guidelines, businesses can make sure their transactions remain secure – and their customers stay safe.
Tom Moore, Managing Director of Litmos Heroes said, “large businesses, small businesses, sole traders - no organisation is immune to having its data or systems compromised.
“The potential for an attack has become even more real and immediate due to the sheer number of mobile phones in the world, which is expected to exceed six billion by 2020. And that risk is heightened even further in January when online spending records are likely to be broken once again.
“Most cyber-attacks exploit basic vulnerabilities in IT systems and software but by following our guidelines you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim yourself.”
1. Update outdated operating systems
Make sure your business is up to date, because updated versions are created to protect users’ data and to restrict cyber criminals from taking advantage of technology. Microsoft ended support for both Vista and Office 2007 this year, meaning that they are potentially more open to hacking and exploitation.
2. Restrict access to vital information
Making the access to sensitive information restricted to as few people as necessary is an important step in defence against cyber-attacks. Do an audit of your present access, and amend accordingly in 2018.
3. Protect and back up your data
Apart from the fact that you are required by law to protect data you hold about your customers, partners etc, upholding and maintaining this data is important from a security perspective too.
Protection of your business increases if you regularly back up your data, which includes files, pertinent information and other resources, because they are likely the lynchpin of your business.
4. Ensure systems have appropriate firewall and antivirus technology
This applies to both new and existing technology. Take some time to evaluate the security settings on the software you utilise in your business, which will include web browser and email programmes.
5. Train your staff
Make sure staff are aware of cyber security risks, as well as how to help protect your business including how to recognise email phishing scams, using intelligent passwords and general information security. Educate them on the importance of the information they handle to help reduce exposure to the business.