July 13th, 2017 by Sam Del Rowe

63 percent of SMBs are operating multichannel businesses with both physical stores and e-commerce platforms, according to a study by Cogeco Peer 1 and eTail. Just 3 percent of SMBs utilize exclusively in-store business models, while 26 percent operate exclusively online. Additionally, 47 percent of all SMBs are making more than 50 percent of their overall sales through online purchases.

Yet this reliance on e-commerce is not without security risks. The report lays out three recommendations for SMBs to address security challenges. First, they need to stay up to date on the risks that they are exposed to. This is crucial for dealing with the ever evolving tactics of scammers. Second, they need to establish a risk management plan that outlines what to do in the event of a security breach. Knowing what to do when a site is down is particularly important, as every minute means lost sales opportunities, a negative impact on SEO, and a loss of trust from both suppliers and customers. Third, they need to develop an IT infrastructure that meets the latest PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance standards, which are designed to minimize the risks of handling customer credit card information and required by major credit card issuers.

“With the ease with which someone can be targeted by a DDoS attack or phishing attempt today, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. As an SMB, you need to think about risk management as planning what to do when a problem happens, regardless of the preventative measures you have in place. You can have many locks on your doors and the best alarm system money can buy, and can still get broken into. All that will do is alert you when it happens to allow you to be proactive in your defense. What you do from there is on you – no vendor can save the day. It’s up to the business owner to be as security and risk management minded as possible,” Enrique Velazquez, product manager of security and compliance at Cogeco Peer 1, said in a statement.

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