Category: Security

Web Hosting Security Concerns You’ve Overlooked

Your website is one of the most vulnerable parts of your IT setup, and the consequences of it being hacked can be very severe. The fact that your website is exposed to the world means that it is an easy target for hackers, and if it is compromised, it quickly becomes clear to all of your customers that you’ve been hacked.

Websites are compromised very frequently, even those belonging to huge companies that should really have security measures in place to stop this happening. Earlier this year, for instance, the website of the Dublin tram system was hacked. Visitors to the Luas website were greeted by the hackers’ message threatening to publish the stolen information unless they were paid one Bitcoin (approximately 3,300 Euros or $3,800 U.S.). Though the motivation for this attack appears to have been monetary gain, the hackers could have easily used their control of the site to spread malware or collect user information via a phishing attack.

For small businesses and individuals, it is often not feasible to spend hours setting up advanced security protocols for your website. Some companies can afford to outsource security, and there are certainly some benefits to that approach. Most of us, however, rely on the security tools and systems put in place by our web host. 

That means that security should be one of your primary concerns when choosing a web host, and you should be aware that platforms take different approaches to ensuring the security of your site. Two of the most popular e-commerce platforms, Shopify and WooCommerce, have significant differences: Shopify handles security for you, whereas WooCommerce relies on your web host being secure.

Check out the security features that the best web hosting providers offer you, so you can choose a provider who takes


Data Integrity: Why Is It Important, How to Achieve It

  • Data is any information used to inform your business decisions.
  • Data must be accurate to ensure appropriate decision making.
  • Companies can use the four ideas below to help ensure data integrity.
  • Numerous resources and programs are available to assist with the appropriate management of data.

Everyone is bombarded by data daily. But data is also crucial to the effective operation of any business.

What is data?

Data can refer to the following:

  • Information gathered for referrals or analysis.
  • Information that informs thinking and decision-making processes.

For instance, business data could include the number of products a company sold in its northern region in the first business quarter. These numbers can help leaders in your organization make future business decisions.

Why is data (and its integrity) so important?

Data integrity refers to the quality and reliability of data, including the preservation, precision and consistency of data. When the information at hand is reliable, business owners and executives can make suitable choices, which contributes to the overall success of the business.

In fact, the best everyday decisions are made using real-time data. This lets you have a pulse on your business’s efficiency in the marketplace and on the performance of your competition.

But many business managers are concerned about the quality of their organizations’ data. According to a study from KPMG, only about 35% of executives reported a high level of trust in their business data. When asked why they don’t trust the data, more than 60% of C-suite executives blamed technology or automated processes. And more than 90% of the executives surveyed said bad data could negatively impact branding and reputation.

How to ensure data integrity

Now that you understand why data integrity is so valuable for companies, it’s time to learn how to achieve it. When stakeholders and


Data Loss Protection for Small Businesses

Many small businesses (SMBs) assume that because they’re relatively small, they’re unlikely to be targets of cybersecurity attacks. While this may be the impression created by the extensive media coverage of attacks on large corporations, small businesses are, in fact, not only susceptible but a favorite target of bad actors. In fact, according to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigation Report, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses.

As a small business owner, it is not only your responsibility, but it’s in your best interest, to protect your private data. Ignoring this growing risk can be detrimental to your company. Rather, you should take every precaution you can to prevent such attacks. Here’s what you need to know about data loss and why you should invest in protecting your small business from it.

Risks have never been greater

While it’s important to take preventative measures to ensure your business’ data isn’t compromised in the first place, bad actors are always inventing new ways of infiltrating and compromising business networks and data stores. Due to this, business owners and IT teams will constantly be chasing the evolution of cyber attack technologies. It is inevitable the bad guys will get access to your data, encrypting it and holding it for ransom, corrupting it, or even wiping it out completely.

In the past, many SMBs chose not to invest in data loss protection software simply because the threat against smaller businesses was much less severe. Today, malware and data theft monetization strategies have made it easier to attack smaller companies. Additionally, because of limited resources and budgets, many SMBs simply don’t have the defenses in place to protect them from the threat of cyber attacks. In other words, hackers no longer discriminate between large and small businesses.

Recognizing these threats is the first


How Much Should Your SMB Budget for Cybersecurity?

With the end of the year approaching, businesses are busy crunching the numbers for 2020. There are a lot of factors that go into building an annual budget, and small businesses are often left to juggle competing priorities for where to invest.

Cybersecurity is one priority, in particular, that is on just about everyone’s radar in some way, shape or form for 2020. With national news and anecdotes regularly featuring stories of cyberattacks to businesses of all sizes, small businesses are starting to wonder about the risks they face and whether they’re doing enough to protect themselves.

As with many core business functions, cybersecurity often requires a monetary investment and therefore needs space on your budget. The need for cybersecurity isn’t going away any time soon, it’s actually becoming more and more relevant for small businesses. That’s why it’s important to consider cybersecurity as a business, financial and practical priority in 2020. This article will discuss what you need to know about budgeting for cybersecurity, including:

  • Why cybersecurity should be a part of your business – and your budget
  • The potential cost of a data breach and the resulting ROI of a cybersecurity program
  • How to decide how much to spend on cybersecurity
  • How to maximize your investment to best protect your company

Put the calculator down and the thinking cap on. Here are a few thoughts worth considering as you plan and budget for the year ahead.

Why budget for cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is an area that affects businesses of all sizes, including small businesses. In fact, about half of all cyberattacks target small businesses and 68% of small businesses have experienced a cyberattack in the last 12 months. In addition to simply protecting your company from the cost and disruption of a cyberattack, companies roll out cybersecurity programs


Credit Card Processing Scams to Avoid

Credit card processing is essential to modern small businesses. Working with a credit card processor allows you to accept debit cards and credit cards as payment, both at the point of sale and online. As more customers go cashless, credit card processing is increasingly important; it’s no longer a matter of choice, but a necessity for most businesses.

However, when choosing a credit card processing company to work with, there is more to keep in mind than rates, terms and conditions. You should also stay on the lookout for one of the many scams and shady practices that plague the industry.

Here are some of the most common scams in the credit card processing industry and how your small business can avoid falling victim to them.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right credit card processor for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.



Common credit card processing scams

When you are researching credit card processors, there is a lot to keep in mind. Choosing a viable processing partner is a complicated and labor-intensive process that requires you to study multiple pricing models and clearly understand your potential processor’s terms and conditions.

The process is made more burdensome by the risks of encountering fraudulent practices or scams designed to rip you and your customers off. But as G.I. Joe said, knowing is half the battle. Awareness of the most common types of these scams can protect you from stumbling into a bad situation.

Low-risk wholesale processing

One of the most common scams you might encounter involves an unsolicited offer of “wholesale processing,” typically accompanied by a message that you’ve been designated a “low-risk” business.

You might receive a message from a credit card processing sales representative that says something like, “Your