Cloud Security Best Practices

Once an individual or organization makes the decision to use a cloud service provider, the question of how to keep your data safe may come to mind. After all, when files containing sensitive information are being loaded to the internet, it’s important to make sure this content is only accessed by authorized users. With that in mind, below are several cloud security best practices that should be considered to keep your data protected.

Find a Provider You Can Trust

When it comes to cloud based cyber security, you really can’t be too careful when selecting your cloud service provider (CSP). Look at things like security measures offered, standards compliance capabilities, service level, and manageability. Also ask questions such as how much time will you have to spend, and if you will share responsibility for the implementation of your cloud based cyber security? Whoever you choose as your CSP, make sure to read your contracts thoroughly so you have a thorough understanding of expectations and deliverability.

Train Personnel in Security Protocols

The key reason for including this step in our cloud security best practices is that the safety of your cloud storage begins with the people who will be using it. For example, if you require your users to log out at the end of every work day, leaving the system logged in could result in unauthorized users gaining access to something they are not supposed to see.

Don’t Give Everyone Access

You likely know that not everyone needs administrative access. However, you also don’t need to give everyone access to all system files. Compartmentalizing could be a simple way of reducing risks in your cloud based cyber security. – Read more

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Cyberattacks Against Online Retail Continue to Rise

Cyberattacks Against Online Retail Continue to Rise

Cyberattacks Against Online Retail Continue to Rise

The growth of online retailers is followed closely by the acceleration of cyberattacks. Unlike a lot of traditional B&M stores that were forced to close during the Covid-19 pandemic, online retail has experienced a boom. Whilst the World Economic Forum reported that the move to stay at home resulted in a decrease in the virus number, researchers at Salesforce showed that global digital sales grew by 36%, year-on-year, to December 2020.

As expected, cybercriminals are ‘following the money’ with the result that the retail industry is seeing an uptick in cyber-attacks as online transactions soar.

The Cyber-Threat Landscape and the Online Retailer in 2021
Online retail is predicted to experience a staggering £5.9 billion ($8.1 billion) worth of losses each year because of cyber-attacks. And according to a recent Ponemon study, a cyber-attack affecting an online retailer, costs, on average, over $2 million.

Cybercriminals use several methods to target vulnerable e-commerce sites, these include:

Web Application Attacks

Online retail is the go-to target for many web-borne cyber-attacks. The 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) revealed that in 43% of all data breaches, web applications were the target. As 2020 panned out, there was an increase of around 800% in web application-based attacks. The most common attack types on web applications include remote code execution, data leakage, and cross-site scripting (XSS).

Credential stuffing and Online Retail

Credential stuffing uses previously stolen login credentials in an attempt to take over an account. Akamai, a vendor that keeps watch on credential stuffing attacks, found that the retail sector was the most targeted for this form of attack. Attack detections in the commerce category of the report hit 64 billion credential stuffing attempts between 2018 and 2020. The retail sector accounted for around 90% of all such attacks in the category.

Denial of Service (DDoS)

A DDoS attack uses (often) thousands of ‘bot’ infected devices to send out malicious traffic to target websites. These ‘bot’s, aka malware, are specifically designed to overwhelm a website/webserver and cause it to crash. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was hit with the largest DDoS attack in history during 2020. The cyber-attack affected thousands of retailers, dependent on online sales to maintain their business during the pandemic.

Events and phishing

Cybercriminals love an event. By focusing their campaigns on big calendar happenings in the retail world, hackers can use social engineering tricks to create successful phishing campaigns. In the run-up to Black Friday 2020, a surge in phishing attacks related to the event were detected. A Check Point report found a 13X increase in phishing emails in the six weeks to Black Friday. The rate of phishing in November 2020, was around one in every 826 emails delivered, compared to less than one in 11,000 at the start of October. Check Point explains the likely reason for the increase are cybercriminals capitalizing on people staying at home and shopping online.

API Attacks

The world of retail is increasingly dependent on API calls to find out information, check customer identity, and perform transactions. But APIs are a potential weak spot in terms of security. Attacks on retail APIs, during 2020, far exceeded the levels of attacks in previous years, according to research. Popular attack vectors include cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection.

Client-side Attacks

The CMS (Content Management System) frameworks, used as platforms for many online retail outlets, are a target for cyber-attacks. One of the most infamous recent attacks of this nature was the attack on UK airline, British Airways (BA). The company was fined around £20 million ($27 million) for a breach that affected 185,000 reward program customers and a further 380,000 users of the airline’s app and website. The company is now expecting a customer settlement bill of around £3 billion. The breach occurred when a malicious script comprising 22 lines of code was inserted into the BA website. A vulnerability in a web element allowed the hack to occur. Once in situ, the code facilitated a transfer of data to ‘baways.com’, a very similar looking URL to the legitimate ‘britishairways.com’.

Other client-side attacks include the misuse or incorrect implementation of secure internet communications. For example, the use of the principle of securing data in transit is vital to maintain data security. The use of encrypted communication protocols, such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) when transmitting data across Wi-Fi or other networks, prevents Man-in-the-Middle attacks, which result in the theft of login credentials.

Online shopping for food, medicines, and other essentials, has been a vital service during the pandemic. With more people choosing to shop online, the online shopping trend is expected to continue. Online retailers can offer a secure shopping experience to customers by taking precautions and closing off the routes to a cyber-attack.

WebTitan protects your business and customers against all cyberattacks. Find out how you can better protect your organization from cyberattacks in 2021 and start a 30 day free trial today!

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How CRM Helps Manufacturing Businesses Accelerate Their Marketing and Sales

As a manufacturer, it can be tempting to ignore your need for customer relationship management software (CRM). After all, your focus is mostly on your supply chain, production, and distribution. However, leaving your customers as figures on a spreadsheet can close many marketing and sales opportunities to you.

So how can CRM systems help manufacturers boost their sales and marketing? A strong CRM system primarily assists manufacturers by fostering a better understanding of who their customers are. With CRM functions, a manufacturing company can efficiently track sales pipelines, implement marketing campaigns, and perform more activities that improve their customer engagement. 

Why You Need CRM For Sales and Marketing

Customer relationship management software are tools that enable you to manage and improve your relationships with prospects and customers alike. CRM technology is built to give businesses a database about their customers and how these customers interact with the enterprise at every touchpoint. The two departments in every company that benefit the most from using CRM are sales and marketing.

CRM for Sales

As sales reps do their research and field work, they come back with plenty of data about customers and prospects. With CRM, they can spend more time building relationships and nurturing leads instead of manually typing or organizing information.

Aside from helping sales reps perform better, a centralized CRM also allows sales managers to track sales team performance and identify any bottlenecks that are clogging up company growth. Since everyone shares their information on one platform, performance hurdles become much clearer to upper management.

CRM for Marketing

Even better, the customer database on a centralized CRM won’t be limited for sales team use. They can share relevant, updated information with marketing so this team would know the customers to best prepare campaigns for. Maybe a prospect had a question and the sales rep typed this in the CRM. Instead of forgetting or misplacing a note, marketing would be able to see the query and maybe create content around that concern.

Marketing would have a better handle on what can capture potential customers and create more focused, targeted messages with CRM. Your marketing team would also see which campaigns were successful and can easily replicate what worked.

To sum it up, CRM can support your business in its marketing and sales efforts by cutting down the time you spend on manual data-entry and providing you valuable, fresh insights about your customers.

CRM vs ERP: What’s the Difference?

Businesses rely on two software solutions to automate their core business processes. CRM is one and enterprise resource planning (ERP) is another. Both are crucial data repositories that provide support for multiple departments. The best way to describe what makes them different is that CRM is for front-office management while ERP focuses on back-office tasks.

CRM mostly takes care of customers and tracks how they interact with the business. Initially, this software was conceptualized as sales force automation (SFA), with customer service and marketing thrown into the mix later on.

On the other hand, ERP combines financial and operational data onto a central database so businesses can make data-driven decisions quickly. Originally, ERP began as material requirements planning (MRP) which served as a system for manufacturers to monitor and manage all the resources they needed to operate the enterprise successfully.

At its core, ERP technology is all about managing finances, orders, inventory, and the supply chain. Some ERP software also touch a bit on production, procurement, distribution, and even HR or eCommerce.

In the manufacturing industry, ERP is an essential tool to have so it’s highly likely that you’re already using one. However, nearly all growing companies will eventually need to use both platforms to promote sustainable, scalable growth. After all, you can’t take on more customers without the right resources. You won’t be able to tap into all the rich data by relying on spreadsheets and sticky notes alone.

Whether or not you’re a small-midsize business or a thriving enterprise, it’s best to integrate CRM with your ERP rather than maintaining them separately. – Read more

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