Cybersecurity is a big issue for eCommerce businesses, as they are the targets of online criminals. According to a report from Statista, 15% of consumers abandoned their carts due to security concerns.
Why? Because customers know that eCommerce websites are vulnerable, they worry that their personal information or payment details might be stolen.
As a result, not only will you lose business, but your brand reputation will also take a hit.
There are many things you can do to protect your eCommerce site against online threats. This guide will address some of the most common and cost-effective ways to enhance eCommerce security.
- 1 Common eCommerce Security Threats
- 2 How To Secure Your eCommerce Website — 10 Most Effective Ways To Improve Your Store Security
- 2.1 1. Use Secure HTTP
- 2.2 2. Keep Your Plugins And Applications Up-To-Date
- 2.3 3. Use Two-Factor Authentication For Extra Security
- 2.4 4. Use Strong Passwords
- 2.5 5. Utilize Content Delivery Network
- 2.6 6. Keep Your Data Backed Up
- 2.7 7. Use Web Firewalls
- 2.8 8. Set Role-Based Access Control
- 2.9 9. Choose Secure Payment Gateways
- 2.10 10. Opt For a Solid Hosting Software
- 3 Make Your Online Store The Safest Place To Shop By Offering Security Features
Common eCommerce Security Threats
First, let’s understand the different types of eCommerce security threats you will come across as a website owner:
1) Loss of sensitive data which includes private information like passwords, credit card numbers, etc.
2) Failure to protect against ransomware phishing, unpatched system vulnerabilities, etc.
3) DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks that take down your website or transaction servers rendering them non-functional
4) Defacement attack where your site is hacked and replaced with another page or message
5) Bots that can scrape information off your website, take down your site temporarily or steal the credit card details of customers.
6) When web applications take user input and include that input in database queries without validating or “sanitizing” the data first. These database-related attacks are called SQL injection attacks.
7) Brute force attack where a malicious actor attempts to gain unauthorized access to a target by systematically trying numerous possible passwords or passphrases.
How To Secure Your eCommerce Website — 10 Most Effective Ways To Improve Your Store Security
Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that global cybercrime costs could reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. By taking in the right information and acting on it quickly, you can avoid being caught in the landslide of cybercrime.
Here are 10 of the most effective ways you can enhance eCommerce security.
1. Use Secure HTTP
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a secure form of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website to that you’re connected. S stands for ‘Secure’ at the end of HTTPS. This means when you browse a website in your browser the connection is encrypted.
The HTTPS protocol is often used to secure highly confidential online transactions such as online banking and online shopping.
If you’re only using HTTPs for your payment pages, it’s time to reconsider and move your entire site to HTTPS. There are a couple of important reasons for doing this:
- HTTPs is now a Google ranking factor. An HTTPS website will rank over HTTP stores. A higher ranking means more visitors and better sales.
- Secondly, HTTPs is the basic level of protection you can offer to your visitors. It creates an impenetrable link building between their browser and your web servers so that hackers can’t intercept any traffic between them.
To make the switch to HTTPS, you will need to install an SSL certificate on your server. It will encrypt all transactions between the browser and web server and hence, keep away any kind of malware from infecting your website.
2. Keep Your Plugins And Applications Up-To-Date
One of the most terrible things that can happen to your store is the loss or theft of a hard drive containing your site’s content, files, and digital information.
It’s incredibly important to keep your plugins, extensions, and applications up-to-date. An outdated version of your eCommerce software, for example, can allow hackers access to your server and download all of your website’s content. Keeping plugins and extensions up to date not only helps keep hackers at bay but also helps you build a more secure site.
In many cases, keeping an application updated means that you can simply update it from the vendor’s website. In the case of a plugin, however, you’ll need to uninstall the current version and install the new version from within your store dashboard.
3. Use Two-Factor Authentication For Extra Security
Stop for a moment and think about this. In the last month, how many times have you been asked to use two-factor authentication? Probably more than once. But of course, since this is an extra step that requires you to enter an OTP or answer a security question, you probably chose to ignore it and went ahead with your business.
But think again – do you really want to risk all your vital data just because it takes an extra five minutes to add another layer of security to your account?
Using two-factor authentication for your online store is one of the best ways to ensure that only authorized people can make changes to its settings and configuration.
There are multiple types of 2 Factor Authentication, including:
- Push notifications: With 68% of use, mobile push notifications are the most common authentication method. Push notifications don’t require you to manually enter codes. Instead, they send a message to your phone that allows you to verify logins with one tap on the screen.
- Text message (SMS) codes: You’ll receive an SMS text message with a code when you log in.
- Security keys: A physical USB key that is inserted into the computer when logging in.
- Biometric verification: An imprint of your fingerprint or scan of your iris is used to verify your identity when logging in.
- One-Time-Password: A third-party authenticator app generates a one-time passcode that’s used to log in.
4. Use Strong Passwords
Your password is the first line of defense in securing your eCommerce website. Approximately 37% of credential theft breaches used stolen or weak credentials, according to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report.
In order to enhance eCommerce security, you should implement strong, unique passwords for your accounts and keep changing them at regular intervals. Here are some tips for creating strong passwords:
- Use more than eight characters when possible. The longer the password, the better.
- Avoid using any personal information such as birth dates, user name, or company name
- Use uppercase and lowercase letters with special characters like $,%,^, etc. If a hacker gets a hold of it, there is less likely to be a guessable pattern.
- Never use the same password for multiple accounts
5. Utilize Content Delivery Network
6. Keep Your Data Backed Up
You need to have a clear idea about how your website data will be managed in case of emergencies and you need to be sure that everything is handled correctly. To keep yourself safe, you should make a habit of backing up your data every day and keeping a copy on a different server so that it’s not in contact with your site at all times. This way, if something happens to your primary server, you’ll still have access to all of your data at all times.
You also need to make sure that you’re managing your backups correctly at all times. The best way to do this is to have one single source (such as an app or plugin) that manages all of your back-ups automatically.
7. Use Web Firewalls
Web Firewalls are essential tools that can be used to protect your eCommerce store from hackers. These firewalls monitor incoming traffic and filter them for harmful threats. WAFs look for common hacking patterns such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS) and help prevent DDOS attacks and keep undesirable bots away from your store.
The implementation of web firewalls will depend on your specific business needs and requirements. However, one thing that should be kept in mind is that this practice will not only help you enhance the security of your eCommerce store but also provide an excellent customer experience to those visiting your site.
You can install the firewall software on your server or use a cloud-based solution. Cloud-based WAFs use a pay-as-you-go model and require little to no upfront costs for installation, with users paying a monthly or annual fee for security as a service. This provides a more consistent, up-to-date solution that only requires minimal upkeep on the user’s end.
8. Set Role-Based Access Control
To make sure that access to your website is restricted, set up access roles and permissions for your employees. You can determine what tasks each employee should be allowed to perform and what information they have access to.
For example, your customer service staff may need access to a customer’s order history but not their credit card details. This allows you to create a stronger security layer and limit the number of people who handle sensitive data.
9. Choose Secure Payment Gateways
The payment gateway is a vital portion of your ecommerce store that you must secure. You have to put in place security measures to protect your shoppers’ bank details and transactions.
Your store needs to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards or PCI DSS. The PCI DSS was created by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB to improve the security of credit card transactions. This standard is a set of requirements for all merchants that accept credit card payments and their service providers.
As a result, you can only process payments through third-party payment gateways such as PayPal or authorize.net. You can also check out the available advanced security measures proposed by each payment gateway before making your choice.
10. Opt For a Solid Hosting Software
You need to keep in mind to use the right eCommerce software for your store. You must make sure that the software you are using is regularly updated with security patches and has a good reputation in terms of performance.
A good hosting provider will provide a secure environment for your store which would include all the necessary SSL certificates, DDoS protection, etc. You can also invest in some third-party security apps that can be integrated into your store. These apps will help you secure your data and protect it from cyber threats.
If you are using an open-source eCommerce platform, then you must make sure that the plugins you are using are secure and up-to-date. A plugin may contain malicious code, which will eventually corrupt your site’s security and data.
Make Your Online Store The Safest Place To Shop By Offering Security Features
The eCommerce market is entering an interesting, and potentially tumultuous, time period. Online retailers will always have to be on their toes when it comes to security.
Every day, online criminals are looking to get a leg up on their competition and steal your information, such as credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, emails and more. Take the time at the end of each week to do a security audit to make sure that you are doing everything possible to protect against these threats.