According to recent reports, consumer credit reporting agency Equifax is still reeling from a massive cybersecurity breach earlier this year. In the breach, which is believed to have occurred between mid-May and July 2017, cyber criminals accessed the personal data of approximately 143 million U.S. Equifax consumers.
In May, Target was still dealing with the ramifications from its own security breach in 2013. The retailer was forced to pay $18.5 million for a data breach that impacted 41 million customers.
And they’re not the only ones. In the wake of these breaches, many companies are working to regain consumer trust and experts have been developing technology to improve cybersecurity. Among them is Datum, a data security company that wants to create a high level of security for data with theoretically unbreakable encryption. Their mission is to secure businesses and prevent security breaches such as the recent situations involving Equifax and Target.
To that end, companies have been turning to blockchain technology where information is stored in blocks that are linked and secured using cryptography. This technology keeps transactions extremely secure without the need for a central authority.
“E-commerce today is the engine of global economy and as such, it should rely on the most advanced and secure backbone, rather than the security-risk prone technologies of yesterday,” says Roger Haenni, Co-founder and CEO of Datum. “The new decentralized platform known as blockchain enables a new class of services, with smart contract technology enabling businesses to focus on commerce and protect themselves.”
Here are three tips from Datum on ways businesses can protect their data online.
Customers need to feel confident that the companies they are doing business with can protect their data and that there is a necessary level of encryption in place to prevent hacking. Employing a high level of encryption is the only way for businesses to protect their customer’s data. As technology improves, hackers are developing new ways to break in and businesses must be able to keep up. That’s why it’s important to protect your business and your customers’ data as dearly as you would protect your personal wallet. You wouldn’t give your wallet to someone you don’t know, take the same precautions to ensure your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. The best way for e-commerce companies to win or regain the trust of their customers is to make sure they maintain the integrity of the data they hold.
It’s important to educate employees at all levels of a company about the security measures in place and the necessary protocol for protecting the data your company holds. Each and every employee that comes into contact with important data should have a firm understanding of how to keep that data safe. Train employees on the company’s security measures and make sure that only employees who have been screened have access to data. Only employing the most trustworthy people will ensure that customers trust you.
It doesn’t matter if your data is centralized, stored on a cloud or a hybrid of both, the data is still vulnerable if the underlying technology features weak encryption. In even the most secure operations there can be a single point of failure that brings the whole system crashing down. And that’s especially true for security systems that are intertwined.
That’s why many companies are moving to more decentralized systems and blockchain technology. The main advantage of a decentralized platform is that there is no single point of entry where malicious code can be executed. So while blockchains can be controlled by any single entity, there are a variety of security measures in place at every level of the operation and they interact independently of each other. The strength of a blockchain platform is that an e-commerce company can set the rules for their cybersecurity and make sure critical data stays safe.
As mentioned earlier, it’s important for companies to vet each and every member of their team in order to ensure they can be trusted to handle precious data. If you have even one weak link on your team and they have access to your entire security system then you might be doomed for a security breach.
By using blockchain-based smart contract technology, e-commerce businesses can be confident that data on a global network is visible only to those who are authorized to receive that data in a timely manner, enhancing the security of transactions. Smart contracts are computer protocols that facilitate transactions. They help you exchange money, property, goods, services, or anything of value in a transparent way. But they also put a premium on security since only permitted parties have access to the data. That’s because blockchain-based smart contracts are visible only to those users permitted access to the blockchain. This ensures that only certain people have access to certain data and bars outsiders from gaining entry.