A simple Google search is all it takes to find a product and an online store from where it can be bought at a great price.
But, the ease of finding a product is not going to make customers buy from your store. There are other things in motion. First and foremost, online security.
6 Ways You Can Secure Your Ecommerce Business
According to the Business Intelligence Report of Business Insider, “$4.79 of every $100 spent online is at risk of a fraud attack.”
Considering the estimated market size of the eCommerce industry to be around $1.915 Trillion, even a $4.79 per $100 order is a massive amount. Even this tiny fraction is potent enough to deter customers from shopping from an online store.
So, how to fix it? Here are six suggested tips that will help secure your eCommerce business. It will protect your online store from hackers as well as make your customers feel more at peace while buying from your store.
Here is a list of the security measures you need to take:
- Upgrade to HTTPS
- Don’t miss to update
- Secure admin controls
- Maintain offline backups
- Don’t store sensitive information
- Run vulnerability assessments
1. Upgrade to HTTPS
HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. It is the upgraded version of HTTP. The Secure indicates that the website is safe from common cyber attacks that steal information or intercept data that is being exchanged between the user’s browser and the server.
The security in HTTPS is made possible by an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is a bit-sized encrypted file that scrambles the data that is exchanged between the browser and the server. It creates a safe tunnel for the data to transfer unharmed and away from the hacker’s eyes.
There are several types of SSL certificates, each one with varying levels of security.
An EV (Extended Validation) SSL certificate is the highest form of SSL certificate. The certificate authority checks for the background and the domain ownership of the website before issuance. This makes the certificate a perfect fit for eCommerce stores, banks, insurance companies, and other websites where confidential information is being exchanged.
2. Don’t miss to update
Remember the WannaCry ransomware that took hostage millions of computers all over the world? It happens just a few months ago. Do you know the root cause of the malware attack? Users had not updated an important security update that Windows had released.
Yes! Failing to update your operating system or eCommerce platform can invite such devastating after-effects.
If you are using an eCommerce platform like Magento, WordPress, Drupal, etc. these platforms issue periodical security patches that you can update. The updates can be installed automatically by tweaking the internal settings.
3. Secure admin controls
Your admin area would be the primary target for most hackers. Since, that is where the control settings, as well as most vital records of the website and its users, will be accessible from.
So locking it down must top your agenda to secure your eCommerce website. Here are some vital steps you must take to secure your admin area:
- Create a whitelist of IP addresses from which access to the admin area is allowed
- Change the default username and password to something that is not easy to guess
- Set minimal failed login attempts. If the admin fails to log in within that lock down their access
- Set an alert system to be notified when any abnormal behavior is noted in the website performance
4. Maintain offline backups
Why offline backups? So that in case your online records are infiltrated, there is always an offline backup which you can resort back to restore your business.
The offline backup can have sensitive records of customer credit card information, login credentials, physical location addresses, images, video assets, if any, etc.
Moreover, taking backups is a good way of being responsible for your own data. Your hosting provider or web designer cannot be entrusted with this work. You have to make it a practice so that valuable data remains in your safe custody at all times.
5. Don’t store sensitive information
Sensitive information relates to credit card information, user credentials, and related information. Such kind of information in the wrong hands can wreak havoc for your business and your brand image.
If you are processing payments on your online store, you should ideally use the services of a payment gateway provider like Authorize.net, PayPal, Citrus Pay, etc.
On the other hand, you can get yourself PCI DSS compliant. Payment Corporation Industry Data Security Standard accreditation puts you in the league of big eCommerce players who are trusted by millions of customers.
6. Run vulnerability assessments
Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing are excellent ways to spot security lapses in your systems, networks, and communication systems. The lapses so found can be possibly exploited by hackers to break into your systems.
There are plenty of free tools available online like Google Webmaster Tools which help run vulnerability assessments and help spot any kind of malware activity. You can also equip your website with security plugins that run vulnerability assessments automatically and send reports by email.
Wrapping it up:
Security in the virtual environment is the most underrated facet ever. Business owners tend to take web security seriously only when the website has been taken over or when there is a security breach resulting in loss of data.
Why wait for such a disastrous event to happen when you can prevent it?
We have explained some such steps to safeguard your eCommerce business from harm’s way. Is that all? No! There is plenty more. But, these are good ways to begin your security measures with. They will set up the basic perimeter fences that will keep hackers away from getting their hands on your website data.
Don’t forget to take manual backups of your data on a timely basis. Update security patches whenever they become available. Never store sensitive information online, but rather use offline mediums. Secure your admin area and ensure that only those with the right credentials are able to get in.
That should keep you safe from cyber crime for a long time to come.
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