Retailers offer every kind of product or service imaginable. In the world of selling and purchasing, nothing is off limits – people can buy goods to suit every proclivity and taste. For cybercriminals, however, it would appear that the retail sphere is also a place to exploit private data. Not only is this harmful for patrons who have their identities or personal information stolen, but it reduces the value and dependability of the brand in question.
It’s not only in the best financial interests of senior management to have data protection policies in place, but for the reputation of the enterprise and its consideration shown to customer privacy.
Business is inherently risky for those who enter into capitalist ventures, but it shouldn’t be a leap of faith for customers to make purchases at either brick-and-mortar stores or online marketplaces. ITProPortal reported that there are 13 data breaches every month, a statistic that instills very little confidence in established and potential clients. And while an average of 156 data breaches per year doesn’t sound so bad, there are countless individuals attached to each breach, which increases the casualty count drastically.
The source also indicated that there is a strong disparity between quality security protection and what higher-level management believe to be the best choice for the company. In reality, the businessmen and women should stick to their expertise and the IT professionals should make the choices for what security practices are best.
Making simple changes
When it comes to online security, there are simple practices that CIOs can advocate in the office or headquarters, but these databases full of sensitive customer data are much more vulnerable than typical corporate servers. According to Communities Digital News, retail stores servers are now easier to access than they’ve ever been, which not only puts everyone’s information at risk, but it doesn’t bode well for burgeoning retailers who don’t have a long-standing credibility with the public.
Even agencies that are private in nature such as the Internal Revenue Service have been breached by cybercriminals as far away as Russia. Best practices include changing passwords often and making them as complicated as possible and some more sophisicated ones include having a monitoring service that can alert management to remote access and unauthorized users.
To mitigate any potential risk, companies should invest in a backup program that allows a total wipe of the system at the first sign of trouble without compromising any data in the process. Customer information should not be for sale in the retail world, just goods and services.