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Some small businesses are licking their proverbial chops about Cyber Monday. Others? Not so much. What's the difference? Well, your outlook could be a bit different depending on whether you're an online retailer, or you're worried about your employees doing some online shopping while on the clock.
Either way, small business owners need to be thinking of data security come Cyber Monday, so here are some legal tips.
Of course, you could give your staff Cyber Monday off, but you want to get some things done, right? What you don't want to happen is an employee taking advantage of some online shopping deals, while hackers take advantage of lapses in your data security. "Employees are opening the electronic front door to letting anyone in as they're shopping," according to Edgewise Networks CTO Harry Sverdlove, and they could be just as much at fault for a data breach as an unsecure computer network. As Tech Republic notes:
Hackers get into your system two ways: through websites and spear phishing. During the holiday season, shoppers are less discerning about the websites they visit as they look for coupons and good deals. They are also less discerning about what links they click in their inbox, as they await shipping invoices and confirmation emails.
So how can you prevent your employees from becoming your own worst enemy on Cyber Monday? It's starts with a cybersecurity audit to identify potential weakness in your company's data security, and then involves serious training of staff on password security, two-step authentication, and network security as well.
And if you're on the other side of all that online commerce on Monday? TotalRetail also recommends a complete vulnerability assessment to identify any security weaknesses and close any gaps. You'll also want to invest in data encryption for any financial information gathered from customers, and you might want to think twice before trusting that data to any cloud computing solution you've chosen.
"These holiday shopping events present a great opportunity for criminals to find opportunities to gain access to shoppers' data," according to COO of data security company WinMagic, Mark Hickman. Data breaches, no matter when they happen, "are a retailer's worst nightmare, as they not only result in great costs to the corporation financially, but they also can tarnish the retailer's brand, making consumers weary of shopping stores (in-store and online) that have been compromised."
So, whether your employees are shopping online on Cyber Monday, or servicing those shoppers, make sure you protect your data security. And an experienced commercial attorney who can help is just a click or call away.