How to Prevent a Live Chat Security Breach

You need to protect your organization against both external and internal threats to live chat security.
Neglecting live chat security could put you at risk for a multi-million dollar data breach- learn how to protect yourself!

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were more than 1,000 distinct data breaches in 2016, a 40% increase from the 780 reported in 2015. According to an IBM study conducted by Ponemon Institute, on average each breach cost $4 million (approximately $158/each lost or stolen record). In the healthcare realm specifically, over 1.6 million individuals have already been victim to data breaches since Jan 1, 2017.

What can you do to prevent this disastrous event from hurting your customers and your brand? You need to consider both external threats and internal threats to the security and integrity of your data.

Protecting Against External Threats to Live Chat Security

256-bit SSL encryption is your core defense. Though there are other ways to compromise your data, it would take a hacker a million million years (actually add 7 more millions, so 10 followed by 56 zeroes) to brute-force their way through this encryption, even if they were using the fastest supercomputer available.

Server storage represents the other major defense against external threats to data security. There are two components to server security. First, the servers themselves – are they yours, your live chat provider’s, or a third party’s? What security measures are in place to protect the physical servers in addition to remote attempts to access them?

Even apart from your own concerns about security, this series of questions may be relevant for important data privacy regulations, e.g. electronic personal health information (ePHI) covered by HIPAA. You can read more about what security measures Velaro offers here.

The second component to server security entails what data is stored and for how long the data is stored. Hackers cannot steal data that isn’t there. By default, Velaro saves chat transcripts in our own system for two years, then archives them for the life of your account with us. You can opt to save your transcripts to a different server or to turn off data storage entirely, as suits your storage and security needs.

Protecting Against Internal Threats to Live Chat Security

Unfortunately, threats to data security do not only come from outside your organization. There are four counter-measures live chat can offer to safeguard the security of your customers’ data against wrongful access.

Tiered permissions for chat, configuration, reports, etc. allow you to determine who can even access what data within the live chat platform.

An audit trail allows you to see the full extent of activity within your instance of live chat, meaning should something happen, you will have no problem identifying precisely when, using what account, and to what extent an issue occurred.

Data masking is an algorithm that scans what your customers type into chat and automatically obscures it from your chat agents if it is a credit card number, social security number, or whatever other sensitive information you designate. Not only will your chat agents be unable to see what was entered in the chat window, but it will be redacted in the saved chat transcript as well.

The sophistication of your password rules and the frequency with which you require live chat users to change them can also impact your risk level against internal threats to data security.

Further Reading

Velaro takes a clear stance when it comes to data security and privacy. You can read more about it here.