5 Tips to Keep Your Customers Safe this Holiday Season


After a record-breaking Cyber Monday (with online sales soaring to $6.59 billion - a 16.8% increase over last year), Adobe is predicting that this will be the first-ever holiday season to surpass $100 billion in online sales. This is clearly fantastic news if you're in e-commerce, but it also begs the question: Is your website prepared against the real-life Grinches who steal customer data and wreak financial (and reputational) havoc?

Here are 5 tips to stay on your customers' Nice List this year:

  1. Keep out unwanted guests! Identity theft and fraud is rampant. Keeping your customers' safe means analyzing your retail platform for signs of account takeovers, and fraudulent transactions. The proof isn't in the pudding. The proof is in your data. Pro Tip: Using Big Data platform solutions (like Splunk or Elastic) will uncover the risks in real-time, allowing you to respond quickly, and give your customer the secure shopping experience they expect. 
  2. Customers look for the lock. But is that enough? Always check your cryptosystem. Symmetry may be easy to implement, but asymmetric encryption aka "Public Key" keeps your customers safe. All too often, we run into symmetrical cryptosystems, particularly in small business. In a symmetrical cryptosystem, the same key used to encrypt data is also used to decrypt it. In the hands of a cyber scam artist, this could be the difference between a Happy New Year and a miserable one. Pro Tip: Always use asymmetric encryption and update your certs routinely. 
  3. Everyone is jumping on the Internet of Things, whether they know it or not. If the device isn't connected, it isn't there. The threat isn't always coming from outside, look inside, too. With BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) becoming increasingly popular, a compromised device can wreak havoc on your network. Cybercriminals focus on compromised device attacks to gain access to sensitive e-commerce data. Pro Tip: Now is the time to revise that MDM (Mobile Device Management) strategy!
  4. Keeping your customers safe has never been more critical. Maintain a secure site by rotating your passwords regularly. Your admin accounts, network services account, console logins, and alike, should all be routinely changed, and for extra points, you can use MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication). Pro Tip: Consider using Dual Key and a password management system!
  5. Matchmaker, Matchmaker. make me match. Federal authorities have received thousands of romance scam complaints. Why? Online dating scams. Keep your customers safe by monitoring your matchmaking platform. Leverage tools that monitor and protect. Analyze the lexicon, look for trends in user behavior, trigger alerts and notifications based on trend and trap the threat. Pro Tip: Big Data platforms like Splunk and Elastic, provide an excellent starting point for monitoring your environment from tip to toe. 

A recent study by Symantec reveals that a data breach can be as costly as $172 per compromised record (!) for online retailers. That type of financial hit paired with the subsequent negative press and loss of customer trust would be devastating to any business. If you have any lingering questions about your enterprise security plan, post in the comments below, or reach out to me directly at caroline@function1.com


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