Don't Get Punked! p.2

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THE RISK IS REAL

“The Web is an extremely risky area—especially during tough economic times,” says Brian J. Esposito, CEO of AVEYOU beauty boutique. “When desperation levels increase, you also see an increase in crimes across all spectrums. The fact that you have to update your personal virus protection daily is proof enough that hackers are always finding new ways to break into systems. Hackers find a great source of revenue by selling this information to marketing firms—or your own competitors.”

Jordan Blum, president of BeautyChoice.com, agrees. The Web is “significantly more risky for etailers that don’t own their own and manage their own ecommerce platform,” he says. “Oftentimes, website security is penetrated through known holes in third-party applications.”

“Rogue applications, click-jacking, survey scams—all unheard of just a couple of years ago, are now popping up on a daily basis on social networks such as Facebook,” says Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, a computer-security consulting firm. “Many computer users still don’t realize that they can wind up with something nasty on their machine simply by visiting a website.” Cluley’s firm recently released “Security Threat Report: 2011.” “Over the year, we saw an average of 30,000 new malicious URLs every day—that’s one every two to three seconds. More than 70% of these are legitimate websites that have been hacked. This means that businesses and website owners could inadvertently be infecting their patrons without knowledge.”

The security takeaway? Beauty store businesses of all sizes need to make peace with the fact that hackers won’t be neutralized anytime soon. They also need to accept that their current computer defenses are probably Silly Putty in the hands of the most experienced hackers.
The best way to begin hardening your digital perimeter is to realize that the person or staff responsible for your Web security is the overarching factor in keeping your business safe—not necessarily the security technology he administers and oversees.

[Photo credit: Google images]