Retail Cybersecurity: 8 Ways to Protect Your Customer’s Data

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Many retailers are launching e-commerce stores to increase their online presence. The number of online stores increased significantly during the pandemic. But then, most of these businesses have realized that having an online presence comes with an array of cybersecurity challenges.

Data breaches that target business and customer data have made it vital for companies to improve their cybersecurity. Customer data protection is no longer optional as companies depend on this data to operate. This article will look into some of the ways that a company can effectively protect customer data.

Let’s get started.

Encrypt Sensitive Data

One of the most effective ways to secure customer data is to encrypt it. Data gets lost more when it is in transit to and from a network. It is best to lock it with a security key and only decrypt it after it reaches its destination. You can encrypt your data by using residential proxies or any other available encryption tools.

Proxies create a secure channel for your data to go through. This protects it from the ever-increasing retail security threats. Thankfully, some encryption methods also allow you to work with data in its encrypted form. That means your data remains masked throughout even after transferring it.

Only Gather Vital Data

Holding a lot of sensitive data that you don’t use attracts unnecessary interest from cybercriminals. As a business, you are better only with data that you need for your marketing campaigns. This will ensure that you keep the external value of your data to the minimum, reducing damage if you get attacked by hackers.

Besides, customers will trust you more when you collect only the most vital data. Have few fields in your data forms or at least have some optional fields. This will ensure that customers only submit data that they’re comfortable sharing or deem necessary for the services they’re seeking.

Review your Cybersecurity Budget

Most retailers are beginning to realize the importance of having a cybersecurity budget. Setting aside some money to secure customer data will help you improve your business income. The cybersecurity budget needs to remain intact even if businesses decrease their IT budgets by the projected average of 15%.

The best way to allocate the proper budget is by analyzing the value of the data you hold. Think about the threats your data could face and the consequences of a potential data breach. In the end, the profits that your business can gain from protecting client data will cover the cybersecurity expenses.

Constantly Monitor Customer Data

The security threat landscape is getting complex every day. This means that the cybersecurity strategy that’s working for you today may be invalid tomorrow. The best way to ensure data safety is by monitoring it regularly to understand new threats that you hadn’t planned for initially.

Continuous monitoring will help you stay ahead of the techniques used by cybercriminals. It will be easier to update your cybersecurity strategy and develop responses to new attacks. This way, your customers will feel more confident to share their data and do more business with you.

Train Employees on Cybersecurity

Insider threats are increasing in the retail industry every day. Recent reports have indicated that the past two years have seen a 47% growth rate of insider attacks. Negligence has been the primary cause of insider threats, making it vital for businesses to train their employees on cybersecurity.

Proper training helps employees know cybersecurity best practices to prevent attacks. Besides, you should ensure that this training is continuous. This will ensure that your employees remain updated on the changes in the threat landscape. This training should start the first time you are onboarding employees.

Update your Cybersecurity Plan and Tools

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You cannot stick to the same cybersecurity strategy for years. The threat landscape keeps changing, and that means you should also update your strategy. Your cybersecurity plan should always be reflective of the threat landscape. This will ensure that the security efforts you put in place pay in the end.

In addition, you should update your security tools regularly. Attackers take advantage of outdated security software and other tools to gain access to a business’s network. By updating your security tools, you shut down any security holes that could be existing on your network.

Regularly Test your Security Systems

Mock attacks can help you establish whether your network is safe from attackers or not. Besides, they can also show you how prepared you are to respond to an attack when it happens. For instance, you get to know whether you have the proper framework to minimize damage or the impact of a data breach.

Security system testing through mock attacks should happen regularly. This is because there’s no better way to identify your cybersecurity strengths and weaknesses as a retailer. Testing will also help you make necessary changes to your security systems to ensure a smooth attack response.

Limit Access to Data

The data you collect and store on your network should only be accessible to people who need it. This means that you shouldn’t make it available to your entire marketing team. With this strategy, you get to reduce the vulnerability of your data. This is because limited access prevents internal data abuse.

Various security tools can help you control data access on your network. They can help you choose who should view or access specific data in an organization. For instance, you can limit what customers and employees can see. Only the top managers should have full access to customer data for efficient decision-making.

Conclusion

Customers trust businesses with their sensitive data. So, these businesses must commit to protecting it. If you are a retailer, good cybersecurity will build trust with your customers and increase your business’s success. Otherwise, customers will exit your business if you don’t invest in their security.

As discussed above, there are various ways a business can ensure that customer data is safe. Data encryption, employee training, regular updates, etc., are some excellent examples. These tips will improve customer experiences and help your company build a loyal client base.

By POS Highway Staff | July 19th, 2023 | Security | 0 Comments

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