From tablets to smartphones, everyone is connected to the internet, making the whole issue of cybersecurity a hot topic.  A recent report from the global information security advisory firm Herjavec Group shows that the worldwide cost of cyber crime is likely to reach $6 trillion per year by 2021. And the fear of cyber crime is changing the way that consumers behave online, causing a ripple effect that is being felt by B2B companies. Let’s look at three ways in which cyber crime is impacting on B2B companies and some strategies for dealing with the threat.

  1. Fear of identity theft

The fear of identity theft along with concerns around spam emails and how companies are using personal data have made consumers increasingly reluctant to hand over their contact details. And for most B2B companies this has seriously affected the traditional means of generating new leads as lead capture forms are not performing as well as they used to.

Traffic intelligence software such as Leaderfeeder provide solutions to this issue. The software works by scanning your anonymous website traffic for usable leads including companies that have visited your website. The information can then be inputted into your CRM for non-invasive follow-up.

  1. Concerns about credit card hacks

Credit card hacks are common, making consumers reluctant to post credit card information online. In some surveys shopping cart abandonment rates are as high as 75 percent and this is largely down to consumers concerns around payment security.

You can improve customer security by adopting the latest SSL certification and HTTPS encryption to make it more difficult for the hackers. And you can also use trust badges such as those offered by McAfee and PayPal which demonstrate that your site meets security guidelines. Prominently displaying these badges on your website will help to ease user concerns and will improve conversion rates.

  1. Be vigilant against ransomware

Ransomware is a malicious software that blocks access to a computer system until a ransom is paid. And sadly, attacks of this kind are not isolated incidents. As numerous reports in the media have confirmed, ransomware is now a very real threat facing all businesses.

You can help protect your business through staff training and vigilance. Make sure your employees can recognise suspicious emails and instruct them not to click on any links that just aren’t right. In addition, make sure that you back up all data using a tool like Code42. And if you think you have been infected, then disconnect all networked devices straightaway to stop the virus spreading.

The constantly changing face of cyber crime presents businesses with a number of problems. Not only must B2B companies take steps to sustain customer relationships based on trust, they must also ensure that customer data is protected, and remain vigilant to new cyber crime threats. Cyber crime certainly is a challenge, but the future success of your business is likely to depend on how you respond to the challenge.