The internet has provided great opportunities for businesses. With a marketplace that is not governed by borders, the possibilities for growth and expansion are endless; however, it has also introduced a new set of challenges for businesses. This article explores how you can protect your online business to sustain its reputation and ultimately its ability to thrive.

1.- IT Security

You will already be familiar with the importance of having adequate security for your business’ IT. Cybercriminals have advanced their skills and are able to access even the most complex of security systems, and so it is vital that you keep your systems up to date. Being lax with your online security can cost your business dear. Your reputation will be damaged as customers will feel that their bank details are not 100% safe, and you are at risk of compromising business critical data.

You need to have clear policies and guidelines in place so that your employees know what is expected of them to help you keep your systems safe. Opening attachments from unknown sources, having weak passwords and failing to install the latest updates from security providers can be a cyber-criminals dream.

  • Keep software up to date
  • Use complex and unique passwords
  • Input recovery e-mail addresses
  • Introduce two-factor authentication

2.- Know your customers

As the marketplace is now global, it is more than likely that you do not personally know who your customers are. Depending on the industry you work in, this can be fine, but for many others, you may have a legal obligation to carry out checks to confirm their identity. It is also a wise business decision to check their solvency too; you do not want to be in a position of undertaking work on behalf of a client only to find out that they cannot pay their invoice. For some people, this is how they conduct business, and they will have previous form that has been documented; you just need to make the checks to find it out!

It’s vital to KYC “know your customer” so that you can maintain your business’s reputation, comply with regulations and only make transactions with people who are able to honor the contract.

3.- Protect from exiting employees

It’s not unusual for businesses to lose employees, and sometimes it is not on the best terms. Financial documents, customer databases, business strategies, and KPIs are all valuable to your business, but they are also valuable to your competition. Disgruntled ex-employees are typically responsible for the leaking of your business sensitive data.

It’s a terrible scenario to have to deal with, but unfortunately, it can be a reality. You need to introduce a software solution that gives employees access to the information that they need to perform their role, and not the data that should be protected. If you don’t take steps to restrict access to data by who needs it, not only are you increasing the risk of data abuse from employees but a more significant potential attack by cybercriminals.

You need to take appropriate steps to protect your business across many different levels: cybercriminals, unreputable clients or customers, and even the staff that you employ. By addressing these issues, you will be able to protect your online business’s reputation and future growth.

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