Tuesday, 25 July 2017 15:35

Should the Hardwood Lumber Industry Be Focused on Cybersecurity Challenges?

How much time and thought do you devote to maintaining cybersecurity for your business? Just like any other business, the customer and proprietary data we collect from our customers in the hardwood lumber industry can be extremely sensitive, and there may be dire consequences if that data was compromised.

But, as is the case with human nature, we don’t always take the necessary precautions until an actual cyberattack has taken place—and then it may be too late.

cybersecurity challengesWe do not claim to be experts in this area but any means, but recent events locally and abroad have certainly put the issue front and center for us. We recognize the threats presented by hackers, malicious viruses and other “bad guys” in the digital realm. Based on our research, we think these are some good tips and best practices to consider.

Data security consultant Ralph Tkatchuk, writing in Entrepreneur, highlights several ways in which cybersecurity is impacting businesses today:

  • With the constant threat of identity theft looming over their transactions, many prospects hesitate to provide the basic contact information sales departments need for lead capture forms.
  • Clients worried about credit card hacks may hold back on payment on transactions (or not going through transactions at all).
  • Ransomware—in which cyber thieves hack, encrypt and hold a company’s network files “hostage,” demanding sizable payments before restoring access—is increasingly common.
  • The expanding world of the internet of things (IoT) makes it even easier for hackers to commandeer smart devices and wreak havoc with a business’s data system.

“Cyber crime is changing the way consumers behave online,” Tkatchuk notes, causing “enterprise-wide security issues and concerns for all B2B operations.”

Certain basic precautions can make a world of difference in enhancing the security of your systems and networks. At the IT level, experts say, make sure your internet connections are protected with firewalls and encrypted information. Every computer within your organization must be armed with antivirus software and antispyware—and then updated with new patches and security configurations on a regular basis.

For your customers’ peace of mind, Tkatchuk recommends that your website display updated SSL certificates, robust HTTPS encryption and trust badges (such as those offered by PayPal and McAfee) if you are conducting online transactions. These visible symbols of enhanced cybersecurity help people “feel like their data is safer with you.”

What other best practices can you offer?  Let us know!

Tony Cimorelli
Baillie Lumber

 

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