Below are several initiatives that deserve a closer look. They will benefit your business and make for happier customers, as well as a security net to protect your livelihood.
Integrate Blockchain Technology
One of the newest and most exciting ways to protect your customer data and monetary transactions is through blockchain technology. This technology is a chain of blocks that contain information. As opposed to standard records that can be overwritten, data can only be added to the chain by authorized users. It may sound advanced, but blockchain technology is already being used in banking and healthcare to protect customer and patient records, and even at voting locations, where the digital ledger does not put voter information in a specific place, so it cannot be manipulated or removed.
A blockchain is also the holding place for cryptocurrency transactions, like bitcoin, which can be used instead of cash or credit cards. Because cryptocurrency is part of the blockchain, and cannot be altered, hackers cannot delete or manipulate the customer’s money. Although there are some concerns with the rapid advancement of cryptocurrency, in general, bitcoin and other forms of digital currency have many benefits for businesses. Some of the most noteworthy advantages are the minimal transaction fees and the ease of use during international business transactions due to the ability to instantly convert funds and bypass third-parties.
In addition to adding more safety to your business, cryptocurrency could also avoid headaches for you and your customers. In many cases, businesses have to pay merchant transaction fees for credit card payments that are usually as high as 3%, but bitcoin payments often come with zero fees. Plus, because you can only pay with the amount of cryptocurrency you have in your wallet, there is virtually no risk of credit card declines that embarrass the customer and slow down business transactions. Because of the security offered, major companies including Microsoft and Overstock currently accept bitcoin on their online stores.
Companies that do most of their business online need to be extra careful when it comes to threats of data loss, whether it is due to cybercrime or the failure of a company’s own network systems. When business owners fall victim to a data breach, they lose not only important information but also the trust of their customers, resulting in a lack of revenue and a tarnished reputation. To avoid any major catastrophe, every business should have a data recovery plan in place.
This process involves forming a team and looking at all potential negative scenarios that could damage your company. This could include everything from hackers and terrorism to natural disasters. Then, all of these scenarios must be ranked as far as potential to occur, and plans must be put in place to alleviate the damage if any of the situations come true.
While your company is up and running, employees should be aware of the security precautions they must take to ensure the safety of your business. For IT professionals, it comes down to ensuring that all servers and backup systems are active, maintained, and updated on a regular basis. Employees on the floor must be aware of current hacker threats and be proactive by having knowledge of phishing emails, locking their computers, and using complicated passwords that cannot be guessed by others.
Securing Your Physical Storefront
Even though e-commerce is booming, many businesses still have a storefront or warehouse that they need to secure. You can keep your business, employees, and the customers safe by installing well-lit and secure doors on the exterior of the premises. The lighting is key for everyone involved, both for ease of access and to ward off any unsavory characters. Doors with required passcode access will certify that only authorized personnel may enter, while also guarding against theft.
It is also crucial that you have a good surveillance system that is recording 24 hours a day. Cameras are necessary both for monitoring the inside and outside of your business during business hours, as well as providing recordings if an incident were to occur. It is critical that the cameras are well maintained and constantly recording as they can help deter crime, alleviate insurance costs, and create a safer workplace overall.
You have worked too hard to have your business fall victim to these safety concerns. To ensure the longevity of your business, invest in blockchain technology, protect your physical products, and keep your data secure.
Frankie Wallace is a recent graduate from the University of Montana. Wallace currently resides in Boise, Idaho.