How Businesses Protect Their Consumers Themselves From Online Threats

Cyber security breaches can cost businesses millions in lost revenue and can cause damage to their reputation that can take years to repair.

Every business, big or small, needs to take steps to protect their data and the data of their customers. But what steps do they need to take? Here is a look at the different methods that businesses use to prevent online thieves from stealing their sensitive data or holding it to ransom.

Software Security Testing

The backbone of many businesses today is built on custom applications and software tailored to their company so that it can operate efficiently and securely. Suppose a business has an online operation or consumer app. In that case, it has a responsibility to protect sensitive customer data such as financial information or their physical address, as well as its own IT infrastructure.

Many companies have come under attack from criminals seeking to extort money from them or their customers, or to use data to commit fraud. Some online vandals cause companies chaos just for their own entertainment. The software that powers modern businesses has to be tested for security vulnerabilities continuously in order to protect companies and consumers from the latest online threats. 

ForAllSecure is one of the leaders in the application testing industry, and governments, militaries, and businesses use its Mayhem security suite to find vulnerabilities in their software. Mayhem security tests for vulnerabilities and proves them, before providing developers with insights that will help them solve the problem.


Data Encryption

Using complex codes and numbers to secure data has been around for centuries. Long before the dawn of electronics people throughout history wrote codes to correspond in secret or to communicate long strings of text in a shorter form. There are some old codes still waiting to be unencrypted.

The same principles that underpin these ancient codes also are the foundation of computer coding; using single characters to represent larger strings of text, and obscuring data through character replacement. Data encryption is used for all kinds of security reasons, the most common is to protect crucial consumer information such as financial details and private communications over messaging apps.

There are many different levels of encryption that businesses used, with the highest level using the same standards and methods used by the Department of Defense to protect national security. Data encryption provides an extra layer of security behind firewalls and multi-step authentication processes, so even if hackers manage to get through online shields, the data they find cannot be read by their software.


Data Backups

Even if an online criminal cannot read the encrypted data, there are still opportunities for them to extort money from a company or its consumers. They can hold the data to ransom, removing it from the source and offering its safe return in exchange for a huge sum of money. By backing up data, sometimes this is thousands of terabytes of data, known as petabytes.

Backing up data can be time-consuming and can require large amounts of physical equipment like backup servers and data storage centers. All this backup data needs to be protected and encrypted, and often businesses will use a different set of security protocols to ensure the backup is not compromised when the original data comes under attack.

If a company loses its data, it can switch to backup and continue operating without having to negotiate with the criminals that stole their information. This backup can also be used to test for vulnerabilities and errors in a secure environment. Taking this step can sometimes be costly, but data breaches can cost companies millions in damages to their reputation.


Cyber Security Insurance

Believe it or not, one of the ways businesses protect themselves from online threats is with insurance. Though this will not prevent an attack from happening, it will help companies to mitigate the negative financial impacts of a security breach. 

How much they may pay for this added layer of protection can vary wildly between the size of the company and the level of risk it is exposed to. The other forms of protection a business uses will also come into play, as advanced application testing and encryption techniques can greatly reduce exposure to online threats.

No matter how many layers of high-level security a business has, it is always at risk. The hacking community is constantly looking for vulnerabilities and exploits they can use to hold businesses to ransom, or to gain access to sensitive consumer data for fraud. 

Having cyber security insurance against these attacks is the last layer of security for a business, helping them to recover if the worst happens and the hackers get through.

All of these security measures combined can give any business a lot of protection from hackers and online fraudsters who are looking for vulnerable systems to exploit. These security protocols protect both businesses and consumers online and make secure online shopping and communication possible.

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