Even though the day was officially conceived less than a decade ago, the annual event known as Cyber Monday quickly became a banner day in the world of holiday shopping. As more people decide not to brave the crowds of bargain-hunting shoppers Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, Cyber Monday has become known for its relative convenience, ease, and often deeply discounted pricing.
As we approach Cyber Monday 2014 – happening this year on Monday, December 1 – the numbers don’t lie. Online sales on Cyber Monday 2013 grew by 20.6 percent over the previous year, according to IBM. IBISWorld projects that Cyber Monday sales this year will rise 15 percent, versus only a 1.8 percent increase for Black Friday.
Bearing that in mind, online retailers and consumers alike are no doubt gearing up for a major day of shopping and online sales. In light of the massive amount of sensitive information being exchanged on the web on the big day and recent data breaches hitting online shopping sites like eBay, the approach of Cyber Monday is a great reason to consider the important topics of data privacy, information security, site quality, and accessibility – whether you’re a retailer or a consumer.
From the retailer perspective, you need to not only ensure that the sensitive data your customers are entrusting you with as they make their online purchase is secure, but you also need to ensure your site meets quality standards and is accessible to all – including those with disabilities. You must be transparent with your data collection practices and accountable for how you collect, protect, and use sensitive data. As a customer, you want a smooth and seamless online shopping experience as well as the confidence that your privacy and personal information are protected by the retailer with whom you’re entrusting your hard-earned dollars. When the retailer disregards compliance and the customer is not cautious about the online vendors he or she patronizes, the fallout from these mistakes can mean trust is broken between the two parties, and the retailer often faces serious fines and reputational damage.
Based on our experience helping organizations around the world safeguard sensitive information, here are three ways to make sure your website is up to the challenge.
Trust the Sites You Visit and Instill Confidence in Your Own Online Store
Built for consumers and web designers alike, Compliance Detector is a free educational solution that can be utilized to report on the following violations for any URL:
- Site quality
As a consumer, we encourage you to try out the tool on the sites where you shop the most. With Compliance Detector’s browser-based interface, simply type in the URL and understand if it’s trustworthy by testing it from anywhere – even on the go from your mobile device.
From the web designer perspective, Compliance Detector gives a better understanding on areas of risk your website may be introducing to the organization in order to help you plan better by identifying compliance and quality errors in your content, page by page. As an online retailer, you’ve no doubt worked hard on your website – make sure you’re inviting your customers into a place that is easily accessible to all and where any personal data exchanged is safe.
Implement a Privacy Impact Assessment Program that Works for Your Business
Already used by nearly 2,000 practitioners across 60 industries throughout 73 countries, the AvePoint Privacy Impact Assessment (APIA) system is another free solution that helps business analyze their privacy risk. Exclusively distributed by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), APIA automates the process of evaluating, assessing, and reporting on the privacy implications of enterprise IT systems – including web properties – to help:
- Comply with privacy regulations
- Automate Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs)
- Report on PIAs for stakeholder review
- Extend to security and vulnerability assessments
While they may not see it with their own eyes, having a streamlined process for risk mitigation across your information systems is extremely important for maintaining your customers’ trust. APIA’s technology mitigates the risk inherent with manual PIAs to help you better understand how your systems are handling personal information to ensure you’re complying with all internal and external regulations. You can download APIA for free today by visiting the IAPP website.
Ensure Compliance across Your Information Gateways
Our Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) platform AvePoint Compliance Guardian utilizes a comprehensive “say it, do it, and prove it” risk management process to help safeguard data across your information systems:
- Say it: Scan enterprise content wherever it is, whatever it is, against pre-defined regulatory policies based on Compliance Guardian’s out-of-the-box and/or customizable checks.
- Do it: Implement data protection and compliance policies with scheduled or real-time scanning, tagging, and action.
- Prove it: Prove policy compliance with ongoing monitoring, detailed reporting, and granular incident tracking.
For your website and web systems to your social collaboration platforms, structured databases, and more, AvePoint Compliance Guardian builds a bridge to safeguard your sensitive data – ensuring your information is accessible to those who should have it and protected from those who should not. For a free demo of AvePoint Compliance Guardian, please visit our website today.
No matter what side of the virtual counter you’re on, the importance of privacy, security, and accessibility throughout an online transaction and beyond cannot be understated. Once data is breached and trust is broken, that relationship can be extremely difficult to repair. Technology, when used properly and effectively, is here to help ensure that trust can remain strong. To learn more about how our Compliance Solutions create a culture of transparency, action, and trust for your enterprise, please visit our website.
From all of us at AvePoint, we wish you a safe and happy Cyber Monday!