The world of technology makes it possible for entrepreneurs to run their businesses from any location worldwide. You could travel and move to any place and continue to run operations using your laptop. However, the advancements in the sphere of cybercrime have raised the risks of hackers breaking into your company systems. Statistics indicate that in the year 2017, close to 3.72 million people in the UAE were affected by cybercrime, with estimated losses worth AED 4 billion.
You should be aware of the possibility of data breaches involving not just funds and bank account details, but also intellectual property, Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that customers share with you, and any other data that could be of value in the open market. As a company owner, you’d do your homework about the potential risks and adopt the necessary practices to stay safe. Here are some of the areas where you should focus your attention.
1. Accepting Payments from Customers
Sign up with secure platforms offering recurring credit card processing services that use encryption and other cybersecurity tools to receive payments. These services protect both vendors and buyers by providing fraud protection and verifying identities before processing transactions. As long as you work with a processor that complies with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), you won’t have to worry about sensitive customer data getting into the wrong hands.
2. Complying with Laws in Your Host Country
As a business owner, you must ensure that your company adopts all the necessary measures to protect subscriber information. Non-compliance and any leaks in data can earn you penalties, fines, and even imprisonment as applicable according to the laws of the country where you’re based. For instance, the UAE imposes a fine between AED 50,000 and AED 1,000,000 for cybercrimes. Keep your hardware and software protected and use secure remote notary services when entering into contracts and agreements with customers, vendors, and any other entities.
3. Partnering with Local Sponsors
Countries like the UAE permit foreigners to conduct business in the country as long as they enter into a 51% partnership with a local registered LLC business. However, if you choose to operate out of a Free Trade Zone, you can forego the mandatory collaboration. Working with a local partner is preferable for more reasons than one. You’ll have access to a broader customer base and better understand how local businesses can keep data secure. Mitigating the risk of running losses from data breaches is a significant advantage. Working with an offshore partner can have tax implications back home. Check with a tax consultant for information about filing taxes as a US expat in the UAE.
4. Securing Day-to-Day Operations
Smart business owners can use several security measures to prevent cybercrime. For instance, get Virtual Private Networks that encrypt your connection and web traffic and prevent hackers from viewing your location and activity. Encrypt and create backup files of all sensitive information and enforce a workplace culture where cybersecurity practices are mandatory. Since you’ll work with remote workers, install anti-malware software and firewalls. Getting cybersecurity insurance is also a smart move. You should also get white hat ethical hackers to test your systems from time to time to evaluate security measures and provide expert advice on cutting edge technology and upgrades.
Running a business from an overseas location has become challenging because of cybersecurity threats. While taking advantage of better business opportunities and incentives is tempting, you would want to adopt the necessary measures to secure your company. Stay up to date with the most advanced security threats and ensure that you run a profitable undertaking.