An e-commerce site should always be concerned about maintaining website security. E-commerce sites are essential for a business to continue and deliver a much better experience.
Many e-commerce site owners aren’t too concerned about the website’s security and when they are attacked, lots of damage is done. 32% of e-commerce sites get attacked in any form each year.
Experiencing an attack isn’t something pleasant, so in this article, we will go deeper into learning more about the top security practices you can implement to improve your online presence.
Common e-commerce security threats
With the growth of e-commerce, many threats come along with it. Businesses need to be aware of these threats and the increased risk level of data security. Here are the most common e-commerce security threats you should pay close attention to:
- Transaction fraud: While popular payment methods like PayPal, Stripe, and others have made it easier to accept online payments, the level of attacks you face is insane. Whenever a fraudster purchases with a stolen credit card, this is usually done online and is considered transaction fraud. E-commerce fraud protection is essential to consider when coming against these types of online attacks. Other common transactional fraud attacks include contacting a bank and initiating a chargeback for stealing money.
- Malware: Malware is software that seeks to disable your desktop systems. It can either be a virus, spyware, or even ransomware. Businesses will usually use anti-malware software for scanning systems and protecting them from malware.
- Unauthorized network access: Unauthorized access is actually a common security threat on e-commerce sites. Always check up on your systems and ensure they have powerful authentication methods to prevent unauthorized access.
- Poor password breach: To overcome this, you can include suggestions for creating a strong password. Many sites have this strategy and it is effective. Poor passwords can easily be breached and you don’t want this to happen.
- Phishing: A common tactic used by online attackers for accessing sensitive data. Phishing can be done through emails with links or attachments with malware. After the user clicks on it, their sensitive information will get hacked.
- Spam: Similar to phishing, spam is most common when involved in emails. Spam will usually cost businesses up to $20 billion annually. Let’s not forget that spam can occur on your site and through comment sections. Not only does it significantly harm your site’s level of security, it can make Google take action and penalize your website. This affects your website’s credibility and discourages users from engaging with your content.
These are only a few common security threats for your e-commerce store. There are always new attacks each year that we might not know of, so it’s important to stay vigilant.
The basics of eCommerce security
eCommerce security protects a site’s online transactions from unauthorized access. In order to ensure full security, you need solid security practices to ensure that your online store is reliable and secure.
There are about six important factors you need to follow when ensuring the best eCommerce security practices:
- Integrity: Avoid giving unauthorized access to information.
- Authenticity: Confirm that both buyers and sellers are receiving the information sent from each other. In short, buyers won’t deny the recorded transaction legitimacy. Also, both sides are presenting ID verification to ensure transactional safety.
- Privacy: Protecting consumers’ information from unauthorized access.
- Availability: The eCommerce site is available 24/7 for customers
- Confidentiality: Only those with proper authorization can access sensitive information.
Before you implement any protective measures against online attacks, consider all of these important factors for ensuring the best eCommerce practices.
Top 6 security tips you should follow this year
Every e-commerce site owner should be concerned about e-commerce security. Here are some top tips to follow for improving your online security.
1. Create security policies
Establish clear security policies for your e-commerce business to protect you and your customers. This ensures that your staff complies with the company’s security policies and that all consumer data is kept safe.
Security policies also ensure that consumer transactions are encrypted and protected from online attackers. Additionally, stay updated with regulatory requirements that might apply to your e-commerce store and always comply with them.
2. Consider switching to HTTPS
Switching to HTTPS is never a bad idea because these websites tend to be more secure. An HTTPS site has a security certificate that protects the site’s sensitive information against online attackers using SSL/TLS protocols for authentication and encryption.
If you see an HTTPS website, know that it has taken security seriously and you should do too.
3. Choose a good eCommerce host
Many eCommerce platforms offer hosting for customers with off-site solutions such as Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services. Moreover, there are many specialized web hosts that bundle eCommerce functionalities into their services, such as shopping cart software, automated backups, email services, data support, and more.
When choosing a hosting provider, it’s important to look if they possess the following:
- SSL certificates
- DDoS protection
- Domain name privacy
- Data encryption
- Automated backup
- Network monitoring
- Physical security protection (cameras, authorized access, etc.)
These are important factors to look at, so ensure they have checked before you work with any e-commerce host.
4. Incorporate proactive security measures
There are plenty of proactive security measures you can undertake for your e-commerce site. Here are some of them:
- Use an SSL certificate: Possessing an SSL certificate is becoming mandatory for organizations since Google is flagging all websites as unsecured that don’t have one. This rule came into play in 2018, so having an SSL certificate is vital. Overall, SSL encryptions will help stop attacks such as cross-site scripting.
- Collect information selectively: Online attackers can’t get a hold of your information if they don’t have access to it, or when you don’t. During the checkout phase, you can use an encrypted checkout tunnel to eliminate the need for your own servers to collect credit card data from your customers. Overall, avoid collecting and storing sensitive consumer data; you’ll have less chance of facing online attacks. Only gather customer information and avoid collecting information you don’t need.
- Train your employees: When we say train your employees, we mean to make them aware of potential online attacks. If employees are aware of online attacks, they’ll pay more attention to details, be able to avoid risks of SQL injections, malware, and more.
- Update your system: Updates are there for a reason and when you don’t update your system, you’re more likely to face attacks much easier. Over time, software can develop bugs and this significantly reduces the chances of facing an online attack. To make things easier, try to turn on automatic updates so you don’t need to think about them continuously. This reduces delays and the potential for human error.
If you don’t implement proactive security measures against online attackers, they’ll get the best of you and not only destroy your business reputation but see you as an easy target at all times.
5. Use data backups
Having a reliable cybersecurity solution in place is one of many ways to battle online attackers, but to have data backup as well. Data backup makes everything easier for you because even if you undergo an online attack, you still have all the data available.
You want to ensure that your cybersecurity solution offers reliable backup, automatically storing your information for long-term storage and using backups as an alternative option.
6. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA)
Using an MFA allows users to authenticate login attempts by entering one-time passcodes (OTP). Experts claim that OTPs are much more secure than static passwords. Overall, MFAs can block almost all possible online threats. Therefore, it’s a reliable strategy, allowing you to activate it by installing a security plugin and a third-party app on your mobile devices.
Take action before online attackers do
Online attackers might be planning an attack against you right now, you can never really know what is going to happen. That’s why you need to be prepared for everything. Incorporate protective measures and avoid granting unauthorized access to sensitive information. After all, it’s not just external factors that can do damage to your e-commerce store, but internal ones too.
There might be someone from your own team that can be responsible for a breach. Use data backups, multi-factor authentications, implement the right software, and all the important precautions you need.
Being prepared for an online attack will give you the upper hand in making your online store secure for your team and all visiting customers. It’s easy to lose your business reputation compared to the amount of effort you need to build one.
Dushyant is an enthusiastic and quick learner in all fields who likes to gain experience, loves to write, and works on his creativity. He loves to explore new things and information and has the potential to spread knowledge across the world. He believes in teamwork and helping others and has a strong belief in learning from our own life experiences and exploring more through our mistakes as everyone has a story to create. His hobbies include sports, drawing, learning new things, and a deep interest in geopolitics.