Retail companies have a huge target on their back when it comes to cybercrime. Hackers know that these businesses process a lot of sensitive information, such as customer credit card data. That's why it's so important for retail companies to take steps to protect themselves from cyberattacks. In this blog post, we will discuss some cybersecurity tips for retail companies.
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Elevate your compliance profile
Data protection regulations in retail typically involve standard privacy and security rules regarding card and digital transactions. In New Jersey, the consumer protection laws most relevant to retailers are those that protect in-state consumers and residents from fraud and uphold their online privacy. To this end, retailers should ensure that their payments systems and customer databases are securely managed at all times.
A good way to elevate your compliance profile is by aiming to meet higher information security standards such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). CCPA is several steps ahead of New Jersey mandates in that it requires businesses to disclose to the customer, when requested, what customer information the business stores. CCPA-compliant companies are also required to delete said personal information if the customer so requests. Giving the customers control over their data will not only help you raise your compliance profile, but it will also put your retail business in a positive light with the people it serves.
Train your employees thoroughly
Employees who are ill-equipped, untrained, and unprepared may be liabilities to your business’s cybersecurity strategy. Aside from being vulnerable to social engineering, employees may also be prone to having equipment stolen or damaged, which can also result in breaches or data theft. Cyberattackers widely recognize that even moderately trained employees can be exploited for access to your system, so make sure that your staff’s cybersecurity education is always up to date.
Retail enterprises can enhance information security efforts by adopting a culture of diligence in meeting cybersecurity policies. Even if a company's technical infrastructure is secure or uses advanced tools, the human factor is an important component in defending against cyber assaults.
Implement multifactor authentication for transactions
Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a form of secondary authentication that your business can use to verify that the customer is who they say they are. It’s a great way to prevent fraudulent transactions, which is also a step toward keeping your system secure. By ensuring that all customer transactions are threat-free, you’ll be assured that your payment system isn’t the potential source of a breach.
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MFA for payments is already a common feature these days, so implementing it shouldn’t be too complex. This is often done via SMS or app-based digital payment confirmations.
Audit your system
If you're a brick-and-mortar retail business, it's critical that you regularly audit payment terminals, especially self-checkout counters. It's also a good idea to examine your in-store Wi-Fi access points and network for malware implants by hackers. This prevents criminals from installing skimmers that collect sensitive consumer information like PINs or bank account details.
Encrypt your data and network
Bad actors are always innovating and improving their approach in order to steal your customer data. Encrypting files and networks wherever feasible is a simple way to keep your data safe. If you encrypt customer data, it will be secure no matter where it is, even if cybercriminals somehow get ahold of the device where it is stored. This is because access to the actual data can only be obtained with the correct decryption key. This key can be completely unique to your organization, which means attackers won’t be able to look it up on shady internet databases.
Aside from taking the steps listed above, you can beef up your retail business’s cybersecurity profile by partnering with a trusted managed cybersecurity provider like Online Computers. We’ll make sure that your payments, inventories, and customer information systems are always protected from the latest known cyberthreats. Contact us today to learn more.