Understanding the Risks – The explosion of cyber-fraud and why you need to protect your business

Tag: Data Security

Understanding the Risks – The explosion of cyber-fraud and why you need to protect your business

Understanding the Risks – The explosion of cyber-fraud and why you need to protect your business

As more and more businesses are going online, the incidents of cyber-fraud are also increasing manifold. As cyber attack can have catastrophic impact on a business, it is important to ensure that your online venture is adequately protected against such frauds. Such attacks can be especially devastating for small and medium sized online businesses. Online attacks can not only shake the foundations of your business but may also expose your collaborators and customers to potential abuse. In order to keep your business safe and sound, it is imperative that you fully understand the concept of cyber fraud and take appropriate measures.

What is a Cyber Fraud?

Cyber frauds are also known as cyber crimes or internet frauds. These are the frauds which are mainly perpetrated through internet and involve misrepresentation. Cyber frauds may be perpetrated in a variety of ways including attacks against computer software and hardware. Such crimes may also take the form of financial frauds and identity theft. Either way, the businesses may be hit hard with such crimes and it is important to take anticipatory actions so as to keep the business and its clients safe.

Types of Cyber Frauds

Cyber frauds may be perpetrated in a variety of ways. Some frauds involve setting up malicious codes on computers and stealing the vital details, while others may involve sending spoof and phishing mails. Some other types of internet frauds are charity fraud, tax frauds and online gift card fraud. In many cases, the website may be attacked using fake traffic, denying services to their genuine customers. Such attacks are called DDoS and may lead to theft of customers’ data.

Steps to Protect Your Business

While cyber attacks have become commonplace, it is important that businesses take steps to minimize the damage caused by them. Following are some of the main steps which may help you in protecting your business and your clients.

  • Take a Proactive Approach: Businesses should not wait for a cyber attack to happen and instead should remain prepared to counter it. It is important that you anticipate different ways your business may be vulnerable to cyber attacks. The top management should also devise the methods to counter such risks as and when they happen. For this purpose, periodic analysis of the cyber fraud landscape should be undertaken. The businesses should also identify their most critical functions and should take extra precautionary measures to protect them.
  • Take Comprehensive View: Cyber frauds may focus on damaging your online presence through software or they may focus on harming your hardware. It is imperative that businesses take comprehensive approach towards safeguarding itself against online attacks. The software side of precautions involves the installation of antivirus and other software, while the hardware side of action includes the protection of hardware through the use of locking devices and supervised access to the machines. The physical safety of the machines is also important as their loss may lead to the loss of vital information.
  • Make it a Team Work: Protecting the business against the cybercrimes is not just the responsibility of the IT department but of all the employees. Organizations should take measures to educate all its employees against cyber threats. The employees should also be updated about security measures undertaken to protect the operations against online crimes. The use of company resources by the employees should also be closely monitored. In many cases, the frauds are committed through infected software installed by the employees on company computers. Such installation may be deliberate or accidental, however, in both the cases the results may turn out to be catastrophic for the business. Therefore, the organization should check both types of actions.
  • Built-in Security Measures: in order to ensure security of the business, it is imperative that its various policies and procedures are designed in such a manner so as to minimize the possibility of such attacks happening in the first place. The company’s IT resources should be carefully checked and monitored on a periodical basis and any loophole found should be patched in a prompt manner.

With the help of the above steps, organizations can not only protect themselves and their clients against online frauds but may also enhance their efficiency and reliability.

How Not to Get Hacked: 8 Security Steps for Your Small Business

How Not to Get Hacked: 8 Security Steps for Your Small Business

Hacking is a very real danger for small businesses that go online to connect with more customers and improve their sales. Just like a physical store, your e-store or website is not safe unless you take proper precautions against fraudsters who want to steal your sensitive information, customer data or card details. Hackers often have other malicious intents too, like tarnishing your reputation by changing the website content or putting offensive messages on your customer’s screen. And they are fast too, which means you must be on your guard always to prevent security breaches and report hacking attacks whenever they happen. It is your legal obligation these days as well. So, here are 8 ways to get started:

  • Be more careful about access control – You need to make your website’s admin level stronger to prevent the entry of hackers. So, request your customers to use usernames and passwords that are complex and hard to guess. Changing the database prefix from wp6 to something which is more difficult to guess is a good idea too. Put a limit on login attempts, as email accounts get hacked too nowadays and sending a password reset link numerous times can pose risk. Avoid sending login information via email, or a hacker who has gained control over the account can use it for malicious purposes.
  • Never ignore updates – Installing regular updates on your system is essential if you want your security software to actually prevent hacking incidents. If you delay an update, your website will get exposed to the possibility of phishing attempts or identity thefts. Do note that hackers are constantly looking for websites that have security vulnerabilities, and once any one hacker knows how to get into your system, even others will.
  • Consider installing security applications – By installing paid security applications, you can prevent hacking attacks better. They offer an extra layer of security and conceal the identity of your website’s CMS as well. These applications work very well against automated hacking tools, which go through numerous websites in an hour to look for security vulnerabilities.
  • A WAF or Web Application Firewall is a must – This software or hardware based firewall is like a filter between your data connection and website server. It reads all the data that passes through it and can hence prevent hacks, malicious bots and spamming. A WAF is usually cloud-based and has complete control on the incoming traffic for your website.
  • Enhance network security – There are some simple measures you can take to avoid getting hacked on a daily basis. For instance, make sure your customers as well as employees change their passwords regularly. Also, passwords should be complex, hard to guess and should never be noted down anywhere. Logins should expire if the session is inactive for a while. And every time a device is connected to a network, it should be checked for malware.
  • Use a payment gateway with SSL – Every small business needs to use a secure payment gateway like PayTabs where an encrypted SSL protocol is used to transfer sensitive information between your database and website. This way, no one can read or access data like customer details or card information while they are being transferred, without proper authorization.
  • Avoid free Wi-Fi – If you are connecting to the internet outside office, try using a private hotspot through your smartphone or a VPN. Stay away from free Wi-Fi connections. A VPN will first log you into a private network before you can gain access to an open network, and hence is an added layer of safety.
  • Backup always – A website can sometimes become a prey to hacking attacks, despite the many security measures you take. Hence, it is wise to backup data and files every day, multiple times. Try to backup both onsite and offsite and in several locations. This way, you will still have your data if your hard drive fails.

As a small business in the online world, you need to be extra careful to keep hackers and fraudsters at bay. So, keep the above tips in mind and stay updated with steps to prevent hacking in future as well.

PCI-DSS: Does it sound Greek to you?

PCI-DSS: Does it sound Greek to you?

Ever seen the green logo at the bottom of the checkout page for an e-commerce site? The PCI-DSS logo. You must have wondered what does the logo signify? Well, it is a mark of authentic security verification for the site and all the payment gateways associated with the particular site.

PCI-DSS stands for Payment Cards Industry- Data Security Standard. It is a worldwide industry body which verifies the security measures in place with regards to a payment gateway, an e-commerce site and banks as well. The certification and compliance measures are executed through globally approved scanning vendors of PCI-DSS.

One such vendor goes by the name of SISA, which recently audited PayTabs’ India office and ensured that operations in the particular office meets their security standards. SISA is a vendor which operates across the globe for PCI-DSS.

The PCI-DSS certification & compliance helps instill confidence among the uconsumer to provide their card details to the site or the payment gateway, because the card data is SSL encrypted or TLS 1.2 encrypted, thereby ensuring maximum security for the consumer’s card data.

The basic parameter of a PCI-DSS audit is to check for devices within the organization which has the potential to store, process and transact card data. No card data should be stored openly in any of the devices in an organization. All data should be in encrypted format. The CVV of a particular card should not be stored under any circumstances.

Last but not the least, the PCI council which consists of leading payments solutions providers such as MasterCard, Visa, Amex, JCB, RuPay and Dicover.

As a customer, whenever you are using your card details or bank details on any site or payment gateway, it is imperative for you to check for PCI-DSS certification/data encryption denotion.

To gain more insight on the security imperative for payment gateways, click here.

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