With a 50 percent increase in e-commerce cybercrime in 2020, the need for online businesses to reinforce their cybersecurity has never been more urgent.
A virtual private network (VPN) is probably the single most useful product you can use to guarantee the security of your business and its customers.
But how does it work and how will it prevent your website from being attacked?
Let’s find out.
How a VPN can protect your e-commerce business
As the owner of an e-commerce site, you expose yourself to risks that you would never experience as a private internet user.
- Your customers entrust their private financial information to you when making payments, and you must protect them from fraud and identity theft.
- You have a legal obligation to protect not just financial data, but all information given by visitors to your site.
- You have confidential company information which you need to protect for commercial reasons.
So what does a VPN help you with for your e-commerce business?
Here are the 6 ways a VPN can help to keep your e-commerce business safe.
#1. It protects the data
Safeguarding your data is both a commercial and a legal requirement. Customers need to know they can safely enter their financial details when making a purchase. Without proper security, they can have their data hacked and their money stolen.
Many countries make data protection a legal requirement for doing business within their jurisdictions. For example, the EU has its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law, which mandates minimum safeguards for the data of all site users.
#2. It provides secure connections for remote workers
With 61 percent of all employees preferring to work entirely from home, e-commerce needs to adapt to the security implications of this development.
Remote workers for your company may be using a variety of devices and public access systems. Nowadays, with even small companies hiring people from multiple locations, this is unavoidable.
A VPN guarantees that the connection is always secure. Your private, confidential company data is never at risk of exposure or theft, no matter how many remote employees or contractors you hire.
#3. It allows you to bypass geo-restrictions
Running an e-commerce site means dealing with individuals and companies in different parts of the world. You may need to source products or hire staff in multiple countries.
You could be up against a bewildering number of sites that block access from certain locations. Being tied down by these restrictions would make business impossible.
With a good VPN, these problems will disappear. By using servers in multiple locations, it will bypass any ban on access to sites by using a server in a country where access is unrestricted.
#4. It allows you to test your site’s performance in other countries
If you’re trading internationally, it’s often a problem to know just how your site looks and performs in other parts of the world.
Instead of having to visit another country or hire someone to test your site at that location, you can have your VPN use a server within that country to mimic exactly its performance there.
This can be done to test your site in any country you choose and help solve any problems of poor performance or compatibility.
#5. It enables evaluating your competitors anonymously
To run an efficient and profitable business, you need to conduct research on your competitors. Without a VPN, you leave a digital footprint of your online activity. This data can be collected and sold to your competitors, which will greatly compromise any research you do on their businesses.
As long as you have a VPN, there is no danger of anyone tracking your online activity. Everything is anonymous and untraceable, even to the most sophisticated methods of cyber-surveillance.
#6. It reduces the expense of running your business
A VPN subscription will decrease the running costs of your business.
- It allows you to hire remote staff from anywhere in the world, without the cost of providing an office, with no risk of shared files being hacked or stolen.
- It gives you the benefit of reaching markets in remote places. You can check and improve the performance of your site anywhere in the world, without the expense of having to leave your own country.
- It removes the danger of falling foul of the law, with the attendant fines and legal fees. It eliminates the risk that you will break data protection legislation by encrypting and securing all your customers’ information.
With these reductions in expenses, a VPN will easily pay for itself.
As hackers and thieves become more skillful at breaking into carelessly guarded systems, the need for e-commerce security has never been greater.
Having your customers’ data stolen can result in a decrease in sales, fines and lawsuits against your company, and possibly irreparable damage to its reputation.
A VPN is a valuable tool to protect your e-commerce business:
- It hides your IP address, making your browsing history untraceable.
- It encrypts all data, making it secure from hackers and thieves.
- It bypasses geo-blocking, allowing you to access sites that are restricted to users in your country.
Even the total cost of a VPN over the lifetime of your business is a small price to pay compared to the expense of a security breach. There is simply no reason not to have one.