Businesses today are abandoning the traditional brick-and-mortar stores in favor of the more modern digital e-commerce websites.
The advantages of this transition are vast and varied, and it’s a smart move in terms of expanding your reach and increasing your profile.
Of course, not everything related to digitizing your business is good news. While it’s relatively easy to defend traditional stores from theft using vaults and security guards, the reverse is true when it comes to e-commerce websites.
Hackers in the online world don’t have to leave the comfort of their home in order to steal money and private information from your accounts.
In fact, because of the borderless quality of the Internet, even if you manage to identify them, it’s almost impossible to jail them because they could be living in another continent.
No one is immune to online hacking, even major companies. Almost every month, you’ll hear of another famous corporation getting in hot water because of system leaks and infiltrations.
So what should an entrepreneur like you do? Give up?
Of course not, but neither should you be complacent. Beefing up your security system is of prime importance, and the best way to do this is through implementing penetration testing.
Here are 4 key reasons why pen testing should be part of your cybersecurity plan.
Reason 1: Think like a criminal to prevent a crime
A penetration testing is basically an ethical way of hacking into your online security system. Basically, a hired engineer or a specialized penetration testing company will attempt to break into your e-commerce website using various methods and sources.
The intention is not to steal data, of course, but rather expose flaws and vulnerabilities. If a breach is successful, it will not only reveal the problem but at the same time shed light on possible solutions so that your cybersecurity becomes more robust as a result.
Penetration testing is therefore a controlled testing of criminal activities on your own store for the purpose of bolstering it so that when the real criminals come, their methods are already rendered invalid.
So if you want to improve the security of your small business, penetration testing is one of the best ways to go about it.
Reason 2: Save your money and your reputation
A study in the past three years have indicated that the average cost of a business recovering from a security breach is a little less than $4 million. This means that each company has had to spend that much cash just to get themselves back on track.
Of course, it depends on how small or large your e-commerce empire is, but regardless of where you are along the totem pole, you’ll need to protect your assets if you want to have the chance of climbing up the ranks.
It’s hard enough to save money and grow your business organically – succumbing to a hacking attack is a headache that you can’t afford to risk.
What’s more, in this highly public world where everyone posts photos of what they had for breakfast, a major break-in would become news within minutes.
Your reputation will not be able to survive if your customers find out that their credit card or private details are not safe in your company’s hands, and your business will soon go belly up.
Penetration testing prevents this calamity from occurring for a fraction of the cost.
Reason 3: Exude confidence by complying with standards
In some parts of the world, governments mandate that every online business has to comply with a certain level of cybersecurity standards.
Even if you’re living in a part of the globe that doesn’t have these regulations in place, you’ll still benefit from the heightened defense that your website will demonstrate.
This is one of the reasons why understanding the concerns of online payments is crucial for your business.
Customers love feeling safe. No one ever goes to a store that is built on the bad side of town where robberies are common. On the other hand, they will become loyal clients if you can prove that they can trust you with their money and data.
When penetration testing has been successfully implemented in your website, you are often given a badge or certificate from the governing body or the penetration testing service involved to prove your fulfillment of their regulations.
This badge or certificate can be displayed on your landing page to assuage fears from your clients.
Never underestimate the effect a professionally certified website can have in inducing more business. Your visitors will skyrocket once they realize you’ve put that much effort into making their shopping experience as safe as it can get.
Reason 4: Build a durable business that will stand the test of time
You are in this for the long run, otherwise you wouldn’t even dream of starting an e-commerce website. It is therefore incumbent upon you to build your business on a strong foundation, and that includes security.
Having a basic firewall and antimalware suite installed is simply not enough.
Free or nearly-free software that comes off-the-shelf is good for private individuals, but they are disastrously incompetent in protecting a business that will soon be dealing with clients’ banking information.
Penetration testing is the number one way to make sure that you keep everyone safe.
It’s obviously a little more expensive than a generic cybersecurity software, but the extra cost is quickly offset once you reap the efficiency that naturally arises when a website is safe from attacks.
The good night’s sleep it will bring when you don’t have to worry about any potential threats is also worth mentioning.
Some of the things that you can look forward to when you employ penetration testing include:
- personalized diagnosis of problems specific to your system
- protection from malicious software
- detailed logs of known vulnerabilities
- recommended solutions
- increased speed and organization of the network
- scheduled future testing and updates.
Once you have this in place, all you need to focus on is growing your business. As far as the security is concerned, you’ll have more than enough to make sure that you can outlast your competitors.
Penetration testing is an ethical way of proving the effectiveness of your cybersecurity to make sure that your e-commerce website is up to the task of serving customers.
Not only does it identify threats early on, but it inspires confidence in your patrons that it’s safe to do business with you.
In this way, it’s absolutely crucial to get your online store tested.
Don’t plan to fail. Rather, plan to succeed. The rest will fall into place.