When you’re running an online furniture store, it’s all too easy to get swept up in the hectic nature of the holidays. After all, you have marketing, seasonable promotions, order fulfillment, inventory levels and much more to worry about on a daily basis. Sometimes you have to delegate non-urgent tasks or agree to pick them back up after the last wave of holiday business.
But sellers, be warned: Cybersecurity is the last thing you should sweep under the rug until you’re “less busy.” Let these four cybersecurity risks ecommerce furniture stores face be a lesson to you in staying vigilant and taking precautions against different types of cyberattacks.
Rising Ransomware Risk
In 2015, there were an estimated 3.8 million ransomware attacks. In 2016, there were a whopping 638 million. If the trend continues, well, you can see why it’s so important to consider your defenses against these detrimental attacks. As the name suggests, ransomware attacks involve a hacker holding your computer hostage and attempting to extort a fee from you to win back control. The source is often an infected pop-up advertisement.
It’s easy to panic when you receive a ransomware warning demanding money. Hackers often claim they’ll destroy your information if you fail to cough up the cash within a certain time period. But cybersecurity experts caution retailers against paying off hackers—there’s little likelihood they’ll return your information intact, and then they’ll have the upper hand. It’s a much better plan to take precautions beforehand by maintaining up-to-date antivirus software, enabling a pop-up blocker and avoiding clicking on anything suspicious.
Data Breaches Targeting Customers’ Info
In order to sell your furniture online, your store must have a method for securely processing customers’ personal and payment information. The last thing shoppers want when they purchase a new coffee table is for hackers to gain access to their confidential information. If your store is the weak cybersecurity link, your reputation and bottom line will suffer as a result.
Ensuring your ecommerce platform and online checkout system are PCI compliant with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) authentication is one of the top ways to protect customer information this holiday season and beyond.
Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks
Did you know hackers can actually cause huge artificial “traffic jams” rendering websites inaccessible to real visitors? Imagine if your huge holiday sale went live but shoppers simply couldn’t access it because of slow load times or crashed pages. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDos) attacks involve flooding servers with a botnet to prevent legitimate web traffic from accessing a certain site. The result is lost traffic, diminished customer confidence and reduced revenue. While there’s no one true way to prevent a DDoS attack outright, having scalable bandwidth can help retailers accommodate traffic peaks and valleys without system failure.
Employee-Targeted Phishing Schemes
It’s easy to picture hackers as shady figures in a basement somewhere expertly targeting loopholes in websites. But most data breaches actually happen due to internal human error. Part of preparing your furniture store for the holiday seasons is training your team (whether it’s two people or 200) to avoid suspicious links and emails, work from secure Wi-Fi networks and set strong passwords. That way, you can avoid creating a convenient opening for hackers and focus instead on bolstering sales and delivering a great customer service experience.
These 4 cybersecurity risks faced by ecommerce furniture stores prove defense against such incursions is much more than an issue to “put on the backburner” until after the holidays. A successful cyberattack, or data breach, can be enough to cause a retailer to close its doors for good.
Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.