In todays world, cyber security is as important as ever. With ever growing threats to closeout businesses, having a robust security solution is absolutely essential. Liquidation buyers and buyers for closeouts are vulnerable to attacks because these companies often buy from people they don't know. By definition, the liquidation process is often a “one and out” transaction and buying excess inventory is a one time deal. We’ve all heard of enterprises paying huge fines or even going out of business because of a simple hack to their systems. There are simply far too many threats out there to ignore the risks – from ransomware to phishing, it could cost you your livelihood. Prevention is key and in this article we’ll show you ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks and how to safeguard your closeout business effectively.
A cyber attack is a deliberate exploitation of your systems and/or network. Cyber attacks use malicious code to compromise your computer, logic or data and steal, leak or hold your data hostage. Cyber attack prevention is essential for every business and organization whether you have a law firm or a group of liquidation buyers selling excess inventory. Closeout companies have a liquidation process that can be easy to identify and hack into if you are not careful. When buying excess inventory from companies that are going out of business or shutting down warehouse operations, it is crucial to have security measures in place that will protect your bank account and passwords.
Here are some examples of common cyber attacks and types of data breaches:
One of the most common ways cyber criminals get access to your data is through your employees. They’ll send fraudulent emails impersonating someone in your organization and will either ask for personal details or for access to certain files. Links often seem legitimate to an untrained eye and it’s easy to fall into the trap. This is why employee awareness is vital. If your company has a liquidation process and payment policies in place, it is a good idea to setup 2 factor authentication forcing another user or employee to grant permission or verify transactions. For example, if your company is a buyer for closeouts and excess inventory and you make wire payments to vendors, you can go directly to the website in your browser instead of clicking on a link that gets mailed to you. The closeout process remains the same, the money gets there just as quickly, but it is a much safer way for liquidation buyers and overstock inventory buyers to make payments. Sure, we all want to get the best deals and pay for them right away, but if you wire money to the wrong account and your closeout seller doesn't get the money, you are out of luck.
One of the most efficient ways to protect against cyber attacks and all types of data breaches is to train your employees on cyber attack prevention and inform them of current cyber attacks. Buying excess inventory is tricky because we are always dealing with new people we don't know. Inventory liquidators buy from 3PL warehouses shutting down, businesses shutting down operations, and companies in liquidation. We cannot always deal with people we know, so it is important to be very careful..A company going out of business with product liquidations for sale may be just that. But it can also be a guy trying to scam you from his kitchen in another country. Try to be sure when you buy overstock merchandise you are dealing with a legitimate source. Ask the right questions: Are you the owner of this liquidation inventory? Are you downsizing your warehouse and where is the 3PL warehouse located? Why do you have this wholesale surplus inventory available? How many inventory liquidation buyers have you contacted? How many different liquidation products do you have? Have you contacted other liquidation buyers? How long has this overstock inventory been for sale?
Often cyber attacks happen because your systems or software aren’t fully up to date, leaving weaknesses. So cybercriminals exploit these weaknesses to gain access to your network. Once they are in – it’s often too late to take preventative action. Putting your network behind a firewall is one of the most effective ways to defend yourself from any cyber attack. A firewall system will block any brute force attacks made on your network and/or systems before it can do any damage. Now, if you have a closeout website that is wide open to the public this can be a little more challenging. Let's say your promote your website to sellers of closeouts and overstock inventory and you advertise that you will buy excess inventory in any size lot and you are willing to take any dead stock or surplus inventory for cash. You will likely get a ton of hits to your website from a lot of strangers. It may be challenging to effectively protect yourself.
Believe it or not, none of the attacks that you can receive on your systems can be physical, having control over who can access your network is really really important. Somebody can simply walk into your office or enterprise and plug in a USB key containing infected files into one of your computers allowing them access to your entire network or infect it. It’s essential to control who has access to your computers. Having a perimeter security system installed is a very good way to stop cybercrime as much as break ins! Those of us in the liquidation business don't think about this kind of security. Sure, we have cameras in the warehouse so our excess inventory and overstock merchandise doesn't get stolen. We spend a lot of time and money researching closeout websites and online liquidation companies, and we don't want that merchandise stolen or compromised. But when it comes to cyber security we let our guard down, and the liquidation process and closeout process we use everyday makes us vulnerable to attacks.
Cybersecurity is a top concern for today’s business owners and technology executives, and with good reason. In the first half of 2020 alone, 36 billion records were exposed due to data breaches, according to a report generated by the firm Risk Based Security. Hackers are aware of common vulnerabilities that plague businesses and organizations, keeping cybersecurity professionals constantly on their toes. As the ability to access cyberspace expands due to tech innovations, the number of cybersecurity issues organizations also grows. Liquidation buyers and overstock inventory buyers don't want to spend all their time trying to ward off a cyber attack. These companies make money when they liquidate inventory or shut down warehouses and buy closeout merchandise for pennies on the dollar. They specialize in matching the right closeout buyer with the best closeout buyer or closeout websites. They don't want to spend their time protecting computer access to their records.
Cybersecurity attacks can happen to any organization at any time. In 2020, established organizations such as Marriott, MGM Resorts, Twitter, and Magellan Health all fell victim to cyber attacks. Yet hackers don’t just go after heavyweights. More than one in four data breaches involved small businesses, according to Verizon Business’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report. One year we returned from a Las Vegas trade show only to find all our computers had been hacked and we could not access anything. We were instructed to pay ransomware if we wanted the “key” to encrypt our files. We had a warehouse filled with closeout toys, overstock home goods, discontinued inventory of housewares, lawn and garden merchandise and other surplus inventory and obsolete inventory. But we couldn't get into the computer to work on the closeout inventory and we couldn't access our customer or vendor base.
These attacks can be expensive. A 2019 report from Hiscox revealed the average cost of a cyber attack to be around $200,000. This economic impact has created great concern, especially among small business owners. A survey conducted by the U.S. Small Business Association revealed 88% of small businesses felt their operation was vulnerable to a cyber attack. Closeout buyers may be especially vulnerable because they have excellent security for the closeout merchandise in the warehouse, but terrible security on the computer system, because it doesn't occur to them that liquidating merchandise and buying overstock inventory is a business that can be easily hacked into.
Preventing these attacks is financially critical. There are several different cybersecurity issues to be aware of in today’s business landscape — issues that only a seasoned cybersecurity professional may be able to help prevent. Social engineering represents a catch-all term for various tactics that are used by hackers. These tactics are designed to trick individuals into giving out sensitive or confidential information. More often than not, these types of attacks appear as phishing. According to security software company Digital Guardian, phishing represents 91% of social engineering attacks. Liquidation companies specialize in buying overstock inventory from companies wanting to shut down operations or close Amazon businesses that are not profitable. If you want to sell surplus inventory from your warehouse, you can do a simple online search for terms including closeouts, overstock inventory buyers, inventory liquidators, surplus inventory buyers, shutting down warehouse, closeout websites, etc.
Ransomware is another tactic used by hackers. The objective is to hold a closeout overstock company’s data hostage until the affected user pays a specific dollar amount, which can often be hefty. These attacks can use email to penetrate a system, but can also be initiated by visiting an infected website, clicking on an online ad with malicious code, or hackers exploiting network vulnerabilities. Prevention requires a combination of training employees to exercise judicious caution regarding the overstock liquidators closeout websites they visit, and remaining diligent in identifying and fixing system vulnerabilities.
Merchandise USA is a closeout merchandise buyer in business 38 years. We buy excess inventory and liquidations from importers, wholesalers and distributors. We will liquidate Amazon inventory if you are shutting down a 3PL warehouse or downsizing warehouses. Our closeout process is simple and stress free and we can help you to sell overstock inventory and clear warehouse stock. We are inventory liquidators if you are closing down all operations and looking to liquidate inventory.