Top 11 Tips for Ecommerce Website Security
Ecommerce Website Security Is an Integral Part of the Information Security Framework
Nowadays, having an online store is not a big deal. Many people have started opting for Ecommerce websites for selling big to a small thing. It’s even expected that ecommerce sales will bypass US$3,299,490M by 2024, according to Statista reports. The Ecommerce site brings many benefits such as scrolling through millions of products through a few clicks of the mouse and shopping while sitting comfortably at your house.
Furthermore, business owners get many benefits, such as reaching a broader audience at a low marketing budget, so saved expenses such as managing your store don’t require paying any electricity bills, property tax, or rent. You can also start at a small budget, and you can even avoid the cost of big inventories that are hard to maintain.
Though that’s also true that most of the things are dependent on the internet in this digital age. So, it does bring the unwanted attention of cybercriminals too. And Ecommerce websites are not spared either. One mistake can lead to a serious loss in business.
Common Ecommerce Cyber Threats
Yes, cybercrime in the eCommerce business is a serious topic, and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Some of the commonly witnessed threats and attacks are hacking, data misuse, phishing attacks, and fraud regarding credit cards. Let’s look into it that often plague Ecommerce businesses.
- Unauthorized Transactions
- XSS (Cross-Site Scripting)
- SQL Injection Attack
- Brute Force Attacks
- DDoS Attacks
- Trojan Horse
Financial frauds and unauthorized transactions are some of the major issues since the beginning of an online business. If hackers get their hands on your sensitive information, they can make use of it. Some cybercriminals even try to file requests for fake returns or refunds. Among them, refund fraud is quite commonly seen where businesses accept refunds of damaged goods or products. For example, someone purchases a product make use of it and later on refund for the order.
Email is one of the strongest medium to market your business and grow sales. However, it’s also one of the widely used methods to spam users. The comment section and email subscription are an open invitation for such spamming activity, where these cybercriminals leave malicious links for harming the users. Lastly, these spamming also affect security for ecommerce websites and reputation while damaging your website speed.
XSS (Cross-Site Scripting)
Many times hackers target websites by inserting malicious codes that infect the online ecommerce store that can lead to loss to you and your customers.
SQL Injection Attack
SQL injections are among those cyber-attacks that are done to access the website’s database by targeting query submission forms. It injects malicious code into the database that helps in collecting the data and later on deleting it.
Brute Force Attacks
In this cyberattack, attackers try to find website passwords through brute-force. Attackers make use of a program that built a connection with your site and use different types of possible combinations to crack the password. For such issues, it’s best to keep strong and complex passwords that can’t be guessed easily. Also, it’s recommended to change it regularly.
DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) and DOS (Denial of Service) are such attacks that flood your website server through numerous requests that it leads to the website’s crashing, ultimately negatively affecting site visitors, sales and revenue.
Trojan horse is one of the computing viruses or specifically legit-looking software with malicious code in it that can take control of your system. Admins or customers may download Trojan Horse onto their system that can attack programs to swipe critical information without any difficulty.
It’s one of the commonly seen cybercrimes that targets individuals and businesses through email, telephone, or text message. They impersonate themselves as a legit business entity for luring their victims to get their sensitive information, for instance, bank or credit card details, passwords, or any other personally identifiable information.
A commonly seen example is an email to customers faking as a legit ecommerce website to take a certain action like asking victims to change their account password. And, once the user clicks, they’ll be taken to a fake site.
You might have heard about google bots that help you rank in the Google Search engine results. However, malicious hackers have developed bad bots to change information on your online stores like product price of the best-selling inventory, leading to a decline in sales and revenues.
Ecommerce Security: Here’s Why You Should Prioritize It
In this digital age, threats pertaining to ecommerce websites is a serious subject that shouldn’t be taken for granted. It should be one of the top priorities for online stores, so your clients can have a smooth and safe shopping experience. Having good security protocols helps you maintain your business reputation and earn customer trust by boosting their confidence.
Here’s How to Secure Ecommerce Website
Ecommerce websites have certain features in common when it comes to security. They usually don’t compromise on robust hardware expenses, avoid relying on third-party plugins or apps like Adobe Flash.
Let’s dig into the detail and find some of the common security steps that every ecommerce site owner can take for better security of their online ecommerce store.
1. Enable HTTPS
It’s been a while that HTTPS protocol is mandatory if you want your website to run smoothly on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and other popular browsers. So, if you’re not complying with this policy, it’s likely that you’ll face a warning message like “Not Secure,” and it can even fail to load on the browser.
Also, HTTPS is more secured compared to HTTP protocol. It helps encrypt your browser’s session with the website server, which helps protect your sensitive information like credit card details that users share on the internet.
2. Complex & Hard to Guess Passwords
Usually, Ecommerce sites seek their users to create an account if they want to purchase anything from the online store. It’s good practice, as it gives insights on which products are sold often, what’s the customer behavior on site. But many times, it happens that users, employees, admins, or others have a weak password, which makes them an easy target that can further negatively impact your website reputation.
For avoiding such a scenario, it’s best to force users to make strong passwords for their profiles. To enforce such rules, you can ask your developers to set certain conditions that the website accepts only those passwords that have certain characteristics. For instance, passwords must have upper- and lower-case letters with special characters and numbers.
Furthermore, if you’re using WordPress, you can even make use of plugins such as Force Strong Passwords that enforce users at registration time to create strong passwords.
3. Safety Measures for Payment Gateway
Integration of the online payment process sounds convenient but accessing such sensitive information like your visitors’ credit card details is like a liability as one mistake can lead to an invitation for hackers that can tarnish your brand reputation.
Suppose you become victim to such a security breach, and hackers get sensitive details of your customer like credit card details. In that case, you may likely have to pay heavy fines, which can even force you into bankruptcy.
However, you can opt for a third-party payment processing system such as PayPal. And, for ecommerce, it’s recommended that you get a PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) accreditation.
4. Web App Firewall
A firewall with good configuration is helpful when it comes to website security strategy. It prevents you from attacks like DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service), Cross-site request forgery, and SQL injection. The firewall constantly monitors and blocks suspicious traffic or requests. Also, inexpensive website firewall plugins and software are available that can prove helpful for small ecommerce businesses.
5. 2FA (Two Factor Authentication)
Usually, financial institutions allow 2FA (Two-factor authentication), where users have to go through an additional security level along with their usual password. The most widely used two-factor authorization technique is to send OTP (one-time-password) or security code they receive on their mobile device. And this OTP code is required to complete the transaction further completely.
Furthermore, you can implement 2FA on your online store as well. For example, if you’ve got a WordPress website, you can opt for plugins such as Google Authenticator to enable 2FA.
6. PCI (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) Compliance Standards
If your online ecommerce business deals with sensitive payment information like credit or debit card payment information, your online business needs to maintain and stay compliant with PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).
You’ve to follow through the PCI self-assessment questionnaire guidebook that requires you to fulfill different requirements that must meet PCI accreditation, which helps identify loopholes in your company’s payment security.
7.Take Backups Regularly
It doesn’t matter how secure your website is. It’s best to have a proper backup of all the data regularly. It can prove helpful in various situations, for instance, if any security breach occurs, viruses, or human error that put your data at risk.
8. Training for Employees
Provide proper training to your employees, so they prevent themselves from becoming a victim to any attack. For instance, avoid sharing sensitive information in chat or email for avoiding phishing attacks. Provide regular security training sessions to ensure they’re following proper security practices and know how to respond to online threats, so they avoid clicking anything suspicious from the company’s devices. Also, make sure that you’ve written policies and guidelines regarding data protection that employees should follow.
9. Reputed Hosting Service
Cheap hosting plans often look luring, especially when someone is on a tight budget. Also, many business owners have false beliefs that all hosting providers host sites equally. But that’s far from the truth. For example, website security, SEO, and even the site’s traffic handling capacity heavily depends upon the hosting environment.
Whenever you go for any hosting provider, it’s best to verify whether they take proper security measures for protecting the client’s website—for example, providing updated server software, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack protection. Protection against the hack, daily malware scanning, protection against spamming, automatic backups.
Also, make sure that they offer proper security tools and customer support. Some web hosting providers even offer security features for which you’ve to pay additional fees along with main hosting plans. So, verify whether they charge any additional security costs before selecting the hosting provider.
10. Regular Updates
Most of the time, security breaches are due to the use of outdated software that hasn’t been updated. For instance, to fix such an issue, it’s best to keep an eye on updates. And, once it gets available, it’s suggested to update that software component without delaying it. For instance, WordPress software, themes, plugins updates are offered regularly. If you’re using any web server or third-party code such as Python, Java, Perl, Joomla, or WordPress, it’s recommended to update with the new version.
Lastly, there’s a definite reason behind releasing updates. If upgrades are not installed, then there’s a higher chance of security vulnerability being exploited due to the old technology.
11. Authentic Themes & Plugins
Tons of themes and plugins are available for CMS platforms, and it’s available on various sources. But, which one to trust is questionable as all are not created equally, nor all are secure. It’s not hard for cybercrooks to create fake theme or plugin with built-in spyware or virus and make it available for download on third-party websites.
For avoiding such scenarios, software should be downloaded from reputable and verified sources. Lastly, the safest place is to download such themes and plugins from actual CMS. For example, theme installation from the WordPress Repository. However, it doesn’t mean that all third-party developer site is not safe, but you’ve to be careful.
Here, we’ve mentioned some common threats pertaining to any Ecommerce sites and tips to secure from such security threats. If you’re someone who’s operating an ecommerce site or even any normal website, you should go through these security tips and make sure that you’re following it to make your site safe and secure.
Other Resources to Read
- How to Protect Your Server Against DDoS Attacks?
- Three Important Phishing Protection Measures to Keep Your Business Safe
- 15 Most Common Types of Cyber-attacks
- 3 Privacy Pitfalls of Telehealth and 4 Best Security Practices
- Why EV SSL Certificate is Important on E-commerce Websites?
- 6 Reasons for Abandoned Cart and Ways to Convert them into Leads