Put cybersecurity on the agenda this purchasing season

With millions of eager Australians trying to leave the effects of the lockdown behind and collecting gifts to celebrate their loved ones this festive season, online retailers are preparing for a bumper shopping season.

From GoDaddy Australia Managing Director Tamara Oppen.

GoDaddy Australia Managing Director Tamara Oppen.

With retail peak season approaching, new research from GoDaddy suggests that many Australian online small businesses could be vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Although online retailers are already seeing significantly higher website traffic due to the early Christmas rush, GoDaddy's research shows that two-thirds of small businesses haven't put security in place on their website, with only 15% of respondents knowing how to get on with one Bypasses cyberattack. Almost one in four (22%) of respondents had experienced a breach on their website, with implications such as website downtime, financial loss and reputational damage. Fortunately, there are several ways you can get the festive mood up this retail season, knowing that you have safeguards in place for you and your customers in the background.

What are the cybersecurity risks Australian retailers face?

With pandemic lockdowns forcing many brick-and-mortar retailers to temporarily close their doors, more consumers than ever have turned to online channels to discover businesses, research products and reviews, and shop by storm. However, with the boom in e-commerce, the risk of a cyber attack also increases. Between June 2020 and July 2021, the Australian Cyber ​​Security Center (ACSC) received more than 67,500 reports of cybercrime – an increase of 13% compared to the previous year.

While many think that cyberattacks are only targeting large retail companies, it is not. Cyber ​​attacks are indiscriminate and can attack all companies – small or large – equally. Attacks become automated and search for vulnerable websites, making ecommerce businesses without protection more vulnerable than those with protection.

Of the 22% of companies surveyed that said they have suffered a cyber attack, 75% experienced website downtime, 35% reputational damage, and 32% financial loss. These effects are damaging anytime, but given the crucial importance of this year's online shopping spree, they are potentially even greater today. Fortunately, however, there are some important steps online merchants and everyday business owners can take to protect their online businesses and their customers.

How online retailers can prepare for the festive rush

Installing an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate helps encrypt the transmission of sensitive business and customer data between the website and the servers. This is an important step for retailers selling products online to protect their customers' privacy – and their own reputations. When a website is protected with SSL, a padlock will appear in the corner of the URL browser to let visitors know that security measures are in place by that company

In addition, installing a firewall can help prevent Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and malware attacks. Scanning and fixing malware can help get a website back up and running quickly after a cyberattack. Companies can also protect their online presence with website security services that continuously monitor and detect virus attacks and recommend immediate solutions.

But don't worry, you don't have to be an expert: GoDaddy Website Security's products and services provide straightforward cybersecurity protection, offering SSL Certificates, malware scanning, firewalls and continuous security monitoring services to keep a website safe and ensure peace of mind for Businesses and customers who know the company took extra steps to keep them safe on their website.

Don't forget about basic security precautions like using strong passwords, updating them regularly and storing them in a password management tool. System updates for your computer, mobile devices, apps, and websites often include the latest security updates, so be sure to install them. These simple, everyday steps will help develop a security minded mindset for online merchants and can help reduce the risk of a cyberattack.

After the last 18 months it is understandable that both small businesses and online shoppers are looking a little more than usual towards the upcoming festive shopping spree. And while cybersecurity may seem intimidating, adhering to these safeguards will allow you and your customers to enjoy the festive shopping season more safely.

About Tamara Oppen and GoDaddy Australia

Tamara Oppen is the managing director of GoDaddy Australia. GoDaddy is the company that helps Australian entrepreneurs thrive online. For simple tech solutions to make life easier as a business owner, visit godaddy.com.au. Tamara is charged with leading the company's Australian operations and growth as it continues to deepen its presence in the region to help small businesses get online and thrive.

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