Ecommerce security is much like securing your home; you invest in keeping yourself and your family safe and hope that an intruder never puts your security systems, locks, and cameras to the test. Unfortunately, those security tools come at a cost.

That’s why many digital vendors leave security on the sidelines when building and investing in their businesses. Purchasing costly tools that won’t bring in profits is a hard pill to swallow, and many vendors keep de-prioritizing security as a result.

While everyone understands a data breach is detrimental, most don’t realize the enormous potential impact. It’s challenging to forecast the cost of a data breach because the generic moniker covers a range of different attacks.

The latest report by IBM Security found that the global average cost of a data breach in 2021 was $4.24 million, with the U.S. leading the charge with an average of $9.05 million. The same report shows that the average number of days to discover a data breach in 2021 was 212 days, with 75 days spent containing the breach after the discovery. At that point, the damage will likely have been done.

Data breaches by the numbers

Data breaches occur daily, with bad actors constantly upping the ante by creating new ways to target and steal private data. As a result, the volume of attacks and the severity of impact keeps increasing. Already this year, we’ve seen Samsung, Meyer Corp., and multi-billion automotive supplier DENSO fall victim to data breaches.

In 2021, bad actors exposed 22.7 billion records, making 2021 second only to 2020 in terms of compromised data. The three most significant breaches of 2021 made up 82% of the exposed data, with the top breach accounting for 16 billion total records. Experts found that the U.S. houses the most data breaches, with a whopping 71% of worldwide cases.

The aftermath of a data breach

In the current world of digital retail, the success of your business and the safety of your customers depends on the quick detection of cyberattacks. Without proper security and monitoring measures, the adverse effects of a data breach on your business could culminate in an irreversible blow to your company.

Consider the following potential aftereffects of a data breach:

  • The financial impact of fighting the data breach can be monumental. IBM Security found that the average cost of a data breach within a lifecycle of 200 days is $4.87 million.
  • While you fight the data breach, you may have to halt business operations altogether, resulting in lost profits.
  • The damage to your reputation and the loss of customers’ trust results in further lost profits and a blow to your business.
  • The legal penalties and ramifications that follow a data breach can be massive, depending on the severity of the fine imposed. The most considerable levied fines to date include Amazon ($877 million), WhatsApp ($255 million), and Google Ireland ($102 million).

Understanding data breaches

While data breach itself is a vague blanket term thrown around in the digital commerce industry, it refers to the movement of private or secure information into an untrusted environment. This can occur intentionally or unintentionally by a cybercriminal or an employee. The data in question could consist of any private data, such as credit card details, health records, or private company records.

Because data breaches take on many forms and occur in a slew of different ways, it’s vital to be on your guard and implement a variety of best practices to protect your business and prevent a data breach from ever occurring in the first place.

Best practices to prevent data breaches

The best solution to a data breach is active prevention. We’ve compiled a list of practical guidelines for your key accounts. Consider key accounts as any accounts used daily or ones that hold sensitive information, such as email accounts, bank accounts, and social media accounts.

  1. With help from a password manager, you will only need to remember one password to access your vault where all your passwords are safely stored. A password manager provides secure password generation for existing and new accounts. Their browser extensions can automatically capture and update account details. Some include features such as dark web monitoring to alert you about any breaches to sites you use and whether your passwords were leaked.
  2. Use strong passwords with 14+ characters, consisting of lowercase and uppercase letters, and numbers and special characters (such as ($, %, &, etc.). These protect against some of the most basic hacking methods. With a password manager, they’re easy to generate and you don’t need to remember them.
  3. Do not reuse your passwords. When email addresses, user names, and passwords are leaked from any site, hackers will try to use those credentials on other sites as well. For example, they may use a work email address and password to log in to the site admin panel. Establishing a different password for all of your accounts will greatly reduce the risk of multiple accounts being compromised when one account is hacked.
  4. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Some sites enforce it, some have it as an option, others don’t have it at all. We recommend using two-factor authentication wherever possible. 2FA greatly increases the security of your account.
  5. Do not share your passwords. There’s never a good reason to share your passwords with anyone.
  6. Install antivirus software on your computer. Even a free antivirus can catch a great deal of malware on your computer. They can also flag suspicious links in your browser. Perform regular scans and keep both the software and the virus definition files updated.
  7. Raise the security awareness of your people. Train your employees to raise awareness about security within your organization. Ensure staff members know how to recognize a phishing attack, and how to keep an eye out for social engineering methods.
  8. Do not click on links in emails, especially if the email comes from an unknown person or looks out of place for any reason. These could be phishing links that try to mimic real emails. These malicious links lead the victim to a fake website that’s very similar to a real one and ask for personal information. The best way to defend against this type of attack is to manually enter the link in the browser instead.
  9. Review the privacy settings on your accounts. Limit the information that is publicly available about you. Attackers can combine this information from different sources and may be able to impersonate you as the sender of a phishing email.
  10. Use a virtual private network (VPN) when using public wireless networks. The security of a public wi-fi network can’t be trusted. The best way to protect yourself is not to use it for transmitting sensitive data or if you can’t avoid using it then connect via a VPN which encrypts your communication. As an added benefit, a VPN also hides your location.

Meet our mighty Data Breach Monitoring

Even after following best practices to prevent a data breach, there’s no guarantee your site is safe. The best proactive offense to help prevent data breaches and combat the threat that recognizes no boundaries is with our data loss prevention product, Data Breach Monitoring (DBM). DBM spots potential data breaches, such as Magecart attacks, skimming, supply-chain attacks, form jacking, and more, as they are occurring.

DBM monitors real user journeys on your digital commerce solution and identifies unauthorized or suspicious activity. The immediate alarm allows you to take appropriate action before a potential data breach can negatively impact your business. DBM reduces the time it takes to spot suspicious activity and the effect on your business from days, weeks, or months to minutes. DBM provides you with peace of mind, knowing your sensitive data is safe and sound.

With help from our robust DBM, we want to curb the growing influence of online attacks on digital businesses, reduce the risks to your business, and provide you with the ability to focus on your operational affairs.

Data Breach Monitoring: Easy to use

With the current state of the world, we appreciate that you may have more on your plate than usual. That’s precisely why we’ve crafted a tool that’s easy to use and provides peace of mind. There’s no need to provide us with web server access rights or your site code. To activate DBM, all we need from you is a website URL and a few simple steps to follow. We set everything up for you from our end, and DBM begins safeguarding your business immediately. The best part? Anyone can use our product, regardless of your platform or tools.

Discover how Data Breach Monitoring can protect your digital business today. Book a call with our dedicated Data Breach Monitoring team if you’d like to discuss your security standing and find a solution that best suits the needs of your digital commerce business. Make sure to check out what else our Ecommerce Security department offers, along with our specialized Penetration Testing service and Security Audit.

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