With the business scape majorly shifting from the traditional brick and mortar stores to online business models, eCommerce security has become a significant force to reckon with in recent years. Criminals are always known to follow the money bag and now that most people transact their businesses online, so do these opportunistic, malicious actors.
Most eCommerce entrepreneurs have fallen victim to cyberattacks by assuming that there wouldn’t be many hackers pursuing their sites since they are just startups. However, as many have learnt, this notion is wrong. From recent cyberattack trends, it’s now more evident that security breaches do not necessarily target large businesses.
Unsuspecting small business owners seem to fall to the sword more often, and when that happens, most of them don’t live to fight another day. Therefore, it is paramount for every business owner, large, medium, or small, to embrace eCommerce security tips to avoid becoming one of the stories making headlines regarding security breaches. This article will shed light on best practices to protect your website from attackers.
Before embarking on protective measures for a secure eCommerce website, it’s important to highlight common threats that face an online business. Some of them have to do with hardware and software problems, while others are due to human error. Prevention is better than cure, and so you need to be well guarded against any possible threat.
Some threats that face eCommerce websites
This is a collection of viruses, worms, spyware, ransomware, Trojan horses, and so on that you can download unsuspectingly into your website or computer. Such threats will manipulate site processes from the background and even do things like copying and wiping all your data. Ransomware holds your site hostage such that you must pay a ransom to recover data.
- DDoS attacks
Known as distributed denial of service attacks, these threats involve malicious bots that send traffic from thousands or even tens of thousands of independent units with the sole aim of overwhelming your server. When successful, they can take your site down, and visitors will not access it, meaning you lose income.
This is a tricky trap where malicious actors purport to be your business and send your customers emails, usually containing a tempting call to action. Such emails will contain links where if clicked, a user will be led to a fake website that looks identical to yours, and they will be required to enter their login info and sensitive details like credit card data.
- Brute-force attacks
These attacks target users and administrators with weak passwords. A hacker uses a computer program to guess your password combination, and if you have used something easy-to-guess like 1234, they will crack it and access your details in no time.
Now that we have addressed several threats that may target your eCommerce store let’s look at the best preventative measures to implement and be on the safe side.
Top eCommerce security tips for your website
- Consistent eCommerce Security Software Updates
When you join an eCommerce platform from where to create your site and build your business, you effectively become part of a community supposed to offer you the necessary tools to succeed and protect you from threats. One way they do this is by updating their software regularly to fix bugs and vulnerabilities. It’s essential to set up automatic updates to install patches right after release to avoid attacks.
- CVV Verification
An eCommerce store is going to be processing a lot of credit card transactions. As such, it may not be easy to differentiate whether a transaction is legitimate or fraudulent unless you set up measures like CVV verification. CVV stands for card verification value that is a 3 or 4 digit number at the back of a credit or debit card. This way, even if a hacker were to access credit card numbers, it would be hard for them to know the CVV.
- Switch to HTTPS Protocols
HTTPS is the new normal when it comes to website security. Gone are the days of HTTP. For this switch to happen, you need to install SSL certificate from CheapSSLShop on your website. This actively encrypts all communication between a web server and a client browser, meaning that sensitive details cannot be intercepted in the middle. Failure to do so makes browsers mark your site as Not Secure.
- Address Verification System
Another way to keep malicious actors at bay is by having an address verification system in place that checks whether the address provided by the credit card owner to the issuer is the same that the shopper provides. Any discrepancies may indicate fraudulent activity.
- Secure Admin Panels and Servers
As a site administrator, you need to be very careful about the username and password you use and store them to avoid any breaches. Once your store goes live, be sure to change the default username and password to more complex ones.
- Use Firewalls
Firewalls come in handy in filtering malicious traffic and keeping it at bay. For instance, in the case of an attempted DDoS attack, an active firewall will detect the unhealthy traffic and quarantine it to ensure an eCommerce security for website.
- Payment Gateway Security
One of the most critical sections of your eCommerce store is the payment gateway because this is how you get paid and achieve your goals. Due to the risky nature of financial transactions, you should limit liability as much as possible by using third-party payment processors such as PayPal and Stripe. This way, you won’t need to store credit card data on your servers.
- Back-Up Data Frequently
It’s wise to be always prepared for any eventuality as an eCommerce entrepreneur. You might fall victim to a ransomware attack someday where all your data gets locked, and you have to pay to access it. To avoid such cases, always back-up your data. You can set automatic back-ups daily to be on the safe side.
- Train Your Staff Better
Although hackers are smart and always looking for ways to outwit you and gain a backdoor to your website, it’s important to note that most cyberattacks happen due to human error. Therefore, it would help if you equipped your staff with necessary tips like the importance of strong passwords and how to detect phishing.
- Educate your customers on safe practices
Your customer is the lifeline of your business. As such, you need to equip them with all the necessary tools to streamline their operations and ensure that they have a great user experience. Teach them how to set up strong passwords and extra layers of security like two-factor authentication. Also, enlighten them on prevalent threats like phishing.
With online operations even set to go higher in the coming years, eCommerce Security is bound to remain a sensitive topic for a long time. As technology keeps evolving, malicious actors get smarter, too, so you should not relent in your efforts to protect your website.