Data security is one of the most important aspects of any business operation. As online businesses grow, determining which data needs to be stored and how to do it becomes a valuable risk-mitigation factor. The sharing of information using online channels means that online businesses are at a greater risk of security breaches. Regulations concerning the security and storage of data vary in different jurisdictions. The subject is ever-evolving and is one of the core concerns of any online business.

The Importance of Security

While collaborative software offers B2B’s many advantages, concerns about data storage and transfer persist. Data loss, hacking and insufficient capacity are concerns for many companies when deciding on an application suite that will enhance other elements of the business.

The loss or theft of your clients’ data, such as personal information, banking and payments information or sensitive communications, can disable a company overnight.

Making a Choice

Choosing the right system of security requires an analysis of your business needs. Prior to the installation of enterprise software, businesses need to factor the following points into their security considerations:

  • Security of Internet connection/s
  • Nature of the stored data
  • Security policy promises
  • Testing
  • Auditing
  • Access

If the connection between the web server and the collaborative application software is established via the Internet, implementing firewalls, SSL/TLS, VPN security, IP restrictions, etc. should be considered to ensure reliability. If unprotected protocols, such as FTP or HTTP are used, the connection should be migrated to a secure protocol which encrypts data.

Participating organizations should coordinate, create, and document a web security policy that covers user access, privileges, rules, and responsibilities, as well as the information about security features. This policy should determine how security is applied and managed in the first place. Make sure that it applies not only to tactical issues but also to strategic matters.

Periodic audits by your auditors and an independent third-party security team help to ensure the integrity of the system. Penetration testing, used to detect any breaches, should be conducted on a regular and random basis.

Encryption of sensitive information, such as customer data, working relations, marketing strategy, and some communications should be made mandatory for online businesses, especially those working outside national borders. This step can give your business partners greater confidence in your ability to address contemporary security concerns.

In some regions, laws will dictate what data can be stored and how it must be handled. Learning which laws apply to your business (and applying the strictest protocols) is vital to your business fulfilling its legal responsibilities. Seeking professional legal advice and working in collaboration with a legal advisor is the safest way to adhere to the protections of the country you are based in.

Security solutions such as spyware detection, encryption, or firewall tools are readily available. However, assessing the needs of your online business will help you to determine what you require to secure your stored data and communications. High-risk businesses are in a greater need for customised solutions, while other B2Bs can access existing solutions.

As new security measures are introduced, another breach type happens that can rock the online community and see business scrambling to secure data storage and accounts. Having a security plan in place and maintaining vigilance in the matter is of great benefit to the longevity of your online business.