With the changing tides occurring online, more and more businesses are preparing for the 21st century by adding an online presence to their marketing campaign. The growth of the internet has made it easier for business owners to expand their presence in their nearby communities as well as around the globe. For many, this transition into tech has been the beginning to a success story that they can pass down through the generations. However, for some, online presence has meant quite the opposite: the end to their lifelong dream.
The internet is like the universe — it is absolutely huge and continuing to grow larger. There is so much information, both privileged and otherwise, floating around the internet at all times. Businesses that use websites to make their customers lives easier, like Amazon and Intuit are exposing themselves to the risks of running an online franchise by allowing people to store private records on their websites.
With this in mind, it is important for businesses to understand exactly what running a protected website means, not only for the growth of their business, but for the lives and privacy of the people who use their services.
Protecting Privileged Customer Information
If you happen to run a business that processes credit cards or personal checking/saving account information online, it becomes even more imperative that the site you are using is operating efficiently and within the parameters of internet safety. Companies like Zoho and Braintree have been designed to help businesses process payment information securely by using third-party processors. Third-party payment processors allow you to collect payments on your website without needing to establish your own merchant account. Merchant accounts can be expensive and need a trained tech to operate, so third-party vendors are an excellent option for those who wish to be more frugal.
Online hackers work especially hard to learn your SSN and your banking information. This information leads them to further knowledge about your identity, until they have the necessary information to steal it. Cyber security breaches are a fairly common experience for individuals, as private information becomes more and more frequently stored on the internet. Protecting those who use your website is a great way to ensure you have recurring visitors. Once a website’s reputation for security has been lost, it can be difficult to gain back, and can ultimately result in closure of your business.
Protecting Your Business
Cyber liability insurance has been somewhat recently created to help companies avoid liabilities following the ownership or operation of a website domain. If you are a business with heavy online traffic, this insurance will help you feel better protected. Cyber liability insurance covers four basic elements of running an online website: errors and omissions, media liability, network security, and privacy. These four elements combine to protect businesses from events such as technological/software failures and consumer data breaches.
A single data breach on your website can be catastrophic for your business. Making sure you are staying on top of your business’s IT will potentially save your company millions of dollars in liability charges. And who couldn’t use an extra million dollars?