Abstract- Cybersecurity is one of the most important yet undermined measures in today’s digital world. Hackers can attack anytime causing detrimental damage to bank accounts, identify thefts and even physical infrastructure damage.
Recent attacks on a cryptocurrency exchange stealing millions of dollars have showcased the risk posed by hackers in an ever-connected world. Unfortunately, these kind of attacks are not going to stop.
For corporations, a cyber-attack means loss of trustworthiness, loss of billions of dollars revenue, potential lawsuits from customers etc.
How can you protect your customer identity and data as a company so that their privacy is not invaded and you do not become a victim of cyber fraud?
Apart from the typical password protection, there are various ways in which you can add extra layers of protection to your online accounts and hard drives and stay a step ahead of hackers.
Local device encryption
There are times when you would want to store user data locally in the user’s device. An average user does not have the initiative to encrypt the data. This can become a simple target for hackers.
Identity theft from an unencrypted local device becomes a dire threat. DNS leak is a major privacy threat in which the Domain Name Servers are using default servers instead of anonymous servers hence leading to loss of private data such as location, name etc. even protective measures such as using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are not enough to prevent DNS leaks.
Hence it becomes necessary to encrypt the local data available in the device. This is not 100% foolproof but it is the first line of defense against cybercriminals.
Strong password requirements
Let’s admit it. People hate long passwords. Most of them use a simple password such as “1234” or “qwerty” so that they can escape from the pain of remembering it. Around 80% keep the same password for multiple accounts. This makes them highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
You can enforce strong password requirements which have a combination of alphanumerical text with symbols. By this way you can help your customers protect their data from their carelessness.
Even though it may be slightly inconvenient for them and probably prompt more passwords resets they are better off in the long run.
Leverage cloud services
Day by day, hackers are getting more proficient in cyber-attacks. The hardware and software of the local drives need to be upgraded accordingly.
Many a time, corporations cannot invest large sums of money in upgrading the physical infrastructure. Having cybersecurity experts as employees and doing the backup testing yourself is a costly proposition.
However, cybersecurity is paramount for customer retention. Third party cloud storage offers a flexible yet reliable solution to this problem. Instead of keeping your user’s data in local storage, you can avail the services of a top-class cloud service provider on a subscription basis without impacting your budget.
With this, you can get specialized cybersecurity experts and support. There is always backup data available in case of any mishaps. Cloud storage reduces the technical complexity, secures the data and more affordable than a local storage solution.
Keep User sessions short
Imagine a scenario, You talked with someone on phone and then kept it aside instead of hanging up.
Do you think you are safe? No.
Identity thieves can use this gap as an opportunity to steal vital information. The same thing happens online. When your customer’s log-in to your website and forgot to sign off, they open a window for a cybercriminal to take advantage.
This is a typical social engineering scenario in which the hackers make use of loopholes in the user behavior for their attacks. With this, they don’t need to be tech-savvy or experts in hacking. They just need to be clever enough to identify human weakness.
Well! You can prevent that from happening. You can enforce that the customers re-login after a certain period of inactivity so that you know they are the ones using the website. Keep the user sessions short and have timeouts so that the user session is not misused for malicious purposes. Ask the user to re-verify their credentials if they want to renew their sessions.
This way you can prevent huge disasters occurring due to ignorant and careless behavior.
Mandate Two-factor authentication
Most customers use the same password with different variations for their online accounts. This does not dissuade cybercriminals. Sooner or later they figure out ways to hack into passwords.
Customers do not take password protection seriously. They take convenience as a priority rather than security. If a hacker got hold of the single password, it does not take a lot of time to do permutation and combinations to find password variations used in other accounts.
Two-factor authentication is one of the ways in which you can protect your customer’s data. It ensures that your customer gets an alert when a session is started from a new and unknown device.
Various companies such as Google, Facebook have rolled out two-factor authentication. You can also do the same for your online services. You can generate a one-time password and send it to your customer mobile number so that only they can access the account.
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Two-factor authentication is highly effective and has been proved to prevent 80% of the cyber attacks
Even though the end-user does not take privacy seriously, as a corporation is a moral responsibility and a business necessity to take proactive steps to protect the user from cyber-attacks.
They may be slightly annoyed initially because of the lengthy process. But in the end, they will thank you for saving them from potential disasters.
Most customers do not know what cybersecurity is or how advanced cybercriminals are. Even if they know, it is unlikely that they will take action to secure themselves. As a company that cares for customer interests, you can implement the above-said security measures so that they feel safe and you can avoid future nightmares in your business.