Thanks to the modern web development tools and platforms, it has become easy to put together an excellent eCommerce website these days. However, protecting it from frauds, hacking and other cyber-attacks is yet another story. As companies that understand the need to maintain an excellent online reputation, most owners do realize the cost of even one major security breach. Some forms of attacks can also spell the end of your online business.
Do not take chances with the security of your online store. Here are some best practices to help you secure your eCommerce site from cyber-attacks.
- Choose Right eCommerce Platform
- Choose the Right Hosting Provider
- Encrypt Your Data
- Use SSL Certificates
- Strong Username-Password Combinations
- Activate Real-time Alerts
- Take Regular Backups
- Compliance with PCI-DSS
- Don’t Store Sensitive Data
- Secure Your Network
- Strong Firewalls
- Train Your Employees
1. Choose Right eCommerce Platform
Ecommerce Platforms are software packages that help businesses execute business functions in the back-end and front-end. Some examples of the tasks that become easier by adopting an eCommerce platform are web design, mobile commerce, warehouse fulfillment, inventory management, and CRM. The most critical aspect to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform is security.
Given that eCommerce actively engages in digital financial transactions, make sure the eCommerce platform you select includes the essential security protocols, and provides frequent updates to cover security holes. While choosing the right eCommerce platform, you should keep in mind that it should be SEO friendly too. For this, you can check out this ecommerce seo guide.
2. Choose the Right Hosting Provider
Verify the security track record of the hosting provider before signing up. Look for security features like DDoS, application firewall and end-to-end encryption. Your first priority when choosing a hosting provider should be cybersecurity. Do not get entangled with a company that is prone to frequent downtimes and cyber-attacks.
3. Encrypt Your Data
Data encryption transforms your data into the encoded form, so it can only be accessed by entities who know the secret decryption key. For everyone else, it is just a stream of non-sensible data.
Never store any sensitive business and customer information in plain text. In case you were to get attacked and your data compromised, encryption will ensure that the hackers would not be able to use the information they have stolen.
4. Use SSL Certificates
This probably is the easiest and the most effective ways of protecting the data as it is being exchanged between the web server and user browser. SSL certificate turns on HTTPS, which encrypts the communication channel, so anyone sitting in the middle cannot make sense of the information being transmitted.
An easy way of protecting multiple subdomains is to get a Cheap Wildcard SSL Certificate as it will provide unlimited protection to subdomains as well main domain. Do yourself a favor and install an SSL certificate to protect your eCommerce store – not only will it provide an additional layer of security to your website; it will also boost your SEO and customer confidence.
5. Strong Username-Password Combinations
Username/password-based authentication is a handy and simple way to protect data and systems from unauthorized access. Nevertheless, a lot of people continue using usernames and passwords in manners that expose them to security risks.
Apart from adopting other best username/password practices, make sure you enforce strong, hard to guess username-password combinations. Require that the passwords may not be even remotely similar to usernames and contain a complex mix of small case letters, upper case alphabets, numbers, and symbols and be more than a certain length.
6. Activate Real-time Alerts
Cyber-attacks can be a passing inconvenience or may result in crippling your business altogether. In essence, the difference lies in how fast you can detect the threat and respond to it.
Cyber-attacks can spread really fast on the network, and the damage increases exponentially with every passing moment they stay undetected. Adopt useful real-term alerts to know when you are under attack so you can gather the intelligence in time and your security experts have a better chance of dealing with it before it gets out of hand.
7. Take Regular Backups
There is nothing like always being ready with a backup plan. And it very much right of your eCommerce site as well. Having access to daily backups ensures you can be up and running quickly by restoring the data in case you were brought down by a cyber-attack or a software problem.
Make sure you have an automatic backup set up for your entire site and data – keep checks to ensure that the reserves are happening in time and the backed up data is stored in a different location than the main website, so you can get to it even if the primary storage site was utterly destroyed.
8. Compliance with PCI-DSS
Your eCommerce store may need to handle large volumes of data and data is the most expensive asset. PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) focuses on securing all sensitive information. It must be made an essential element of your security strategy. If you have eCommerce and are dealing with payments, then it is necessary to comply with PCI-DSS regulations.
You can achieve PCI compliance by demonstrating that you have put the right systems and processes in place to keep customer data secure at all times.
9. Don’t Store Sensitive Data
The best way of ensuring you do not end up losing confidential data is not to store it at all. Ask yourself twice before retaining any confidential information – Is it really required? Is the business benefit from storing the data more than the risk of losing it in a cyber-attack? Is it worth the security costs to store sensitive data?
10. Secure Your Network
Secure your network to prevent cyber-attacks from harming your online business. Here are some things to cover:
- Enforce appropriate access controls.
- Install a firewall.
- Implement network segmentation
- Use VPNs to access different parts of the network
- Track packet floods using IDS/IPS
- Ensure proper network maintenance.
11. Strong Firewalls
Firewalls are the first gatekeepers of your eCommerce site – they are your first line of defense. Maintaining the right set of policies and rules on your firewall is very useful in keeping your online business safe from cyber-attacks. It does filter incoming and outgoing network traffic and save the site against malicious efforts.
12. Train Your Employees
Your employees are at the core of your security. Make sure they are aware of the security policies and procedures adopted by your company. They must also be mindful of steps to be taken during remote access, or when the business is under a real cyber-attack. Trained employees are the best soldiers when it comes to cybersecurity.
At last, these were the top best practices adopted by the most secure eCommerce companies. You can prevent cyber-attack too – just make sure you follow these tips and do not skimp on any. Good luck, we wish you success with your eCommerce store.