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As a Utrecht-based online agency, Brthrs enjoys building all kinds of portals for clients. Whether it is a customer portal, an employee portal or a supplier portal, we like to merge data streams.

Because that’s what building a portal is primarily about: merging various data streams into one central portal. As a result, portals make different information available to a group of logged-in users. The benefits of portals are many, from higher customer satisfaction to increased efficiency and increased revenue.

But, where various data streams converge, portal security is key. After all, as an organization, you not only want to comply with AVG privacy laws, but you also want to keep hackers out of your personal data. In this article, we share 6 tips for securing online portals.

Someone is using the Airbnb website

The importance of security for online portals

Name an application and Brthrs can ease it by building a portal. Portals can be used in a variety of ways and therefore quickly have large amounts of (personal) data. While portals can improve customer and employee experiences, all this data also carries risks.

Ensuring online security for online portals is of enormous importance. These platforms act as the gateway to sensitive data and confidential interactions.

When an online portal is hacked, all data about employees or customers is out in the open. This makes users of the portal more susceptible to online fraud, identity theft or other forms of crime. For the users this is very annoying, for the organizations behind the portals it can cause even more misery.

Companies that are victims of a data breach on this scale lose the trust of (future) customers. Damage to the corporate image did not improve 1-2-3.

Tips for securing customer portals

The damage caused by a data breach or hack of an online portal is significant. Therefore, even when securing online portals, prevention is better than cure. In the following sections, we provide tips for securing customer portals.

Woman uses a laptop and phone on it the same contentMulti Factor Authentication (MFA).

Today, Multi Factor authentication or Two Factor authentication is a standard measure to protect online portals. With this method, users not only fill in an e-mail address and password when they want to log in, but another authentication method is also used.

In practice, portals often send a code to the user’s e-mail address or phone for verification. Only when the user enters this code into the portal does he gain access to the content of the portal.

This extra layer of security ensures that hackers will not only need a user’s login credentials, but also access to the phone or mailbox. This significantly reduces the chances of a hack.

Access rights based on user roles

Not all portals are publicly available. Many customer portals and employee portals are only available when a user logs in through his or her account. In the portals Brthrs builds, users can be assigned different roles.

For example, certain personal information can be made available only to employees of specific departments. By restricting access to sensitive information, you also reduce the chances of a data breach.

Secure data storage

The amount of data on a portal must be stored properly. As with standard websites, applying SSL/TLS certificates for secure communication is essential. As a result, data flows between the server and users are more secure.

In addition, Brthrs encrypts the data stored on a portal. This happens not only for stored data, but also when data is sent to users. Encrypting personal data makes the data unreadable to unauthorized persons unless they have the correct key to decrypt the encryption.

Finally, it is possible to exclude certain IP addresses from accessing the portal. This allows logging in only from the office, for example. In the times of post-corona work at home, this may present difficulties. Therefore, one can also choose to exclude all IP addresses outside the Netherlands. This again significantly reduces the chances of a data breach.

A woman holds in one hand her phone with a web shop open, in the other hand her credit card.Maintenance plan of the portal

Like websites and apps, online portals are constantly evolving. New updates could also potentially pose new security risks. It is therefore important to establish a proper maintenance plan for online portals. This maintenance plan includes regular security updates for all software and systems used by the portal.

In addition, a good maintenance plan includes monitoring and logging activities on the portal. By analyzing this data, suspicious activity and potential security incidents can be detected. Early detection allows the company to respond quickly and take action to mitigate the damage.

Training of employees

The quality of the security of online portals is entirely related to the awareness around this topic of the employees who manage the portal. Brthrs therefore recommends educating these employees about the risks and best practices regarding portal management.

These include knowledge about phishing attacks, the use of strong passwords and the importance of reporting suspicious activity. By making employees aware of the various threats, they can be more vigilant and recognize potential risks more quickly.

Periodic deletion of outdated personal data

The final tip for securing online portals is two-part. Old and unnecessary personal data can pose a potential risk of data breaches and user privacy breaches.

By regularly deleting outdated personal data, your organization not only complies with the AVG law. By doing so, you also limit the damage in the event of a data breach. Brthrs recommends that organizations include periodic deletion of personal data in the maintenance plan.

Having a secure online portal developed

Clearly, because of the large amounts of data contained by online portals, these platforms are favored targets for hackers. The above best practices help organizations reduce data breach risks.

Want to know more about having a secure online portal built? Brthrs would be happy to tell you more about this. Contact us without obligation to learn more about having a platform created.

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