Ecommerce has made shopping a cakewalk for all the shopaholics out there. It has become immensely popular since the last few years as technological advancements have offered a conducive scaffold for the proliferation of eCommerce stores. Even brick and mortar stores have started establishing an online presence to stand the competition.
Despite the convenience offered by such eCommerce stores, there is a caveat that these websites have a huge pool of confidential information of the users, which puts them at a risk to cyber-crimes. Any breach of security may lead to a great loss of information and hampering of brand reputation. Ecommerce businesses face several security threats like cross-site scripting, phishing, SQL injection, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and Bot attacks like price scraping, fraudulent login, fraudulent purchases, incorrect analytics and duplicating content to hamper SEO ranking of the website.
To make sure that your eCommerce website is free from any security issues, here are some expert tips to help you out.
#1 Make the right choice of service providers
Ecommerce businesses often depend on third-party vendors for hosting, storage of data, maintenance of POS and payment processing. Your eCommerce security strategy becomes more complicated because of these outsiders that may add to the risks. Even a little downtime may lead to mitigation of security in your eCommerce website or application.
Service providers should follow all the best practices like 256-bit encryption, regular backups, two-factor authentication, anti-virus software programs, etc.
#2 Abide by PCI Compliance
There are certain rules according to Data Security Standards (DSS) for the Payment Card Industry (PCI) that every eCommerce website owner should follow. These standards maintain the security of the payment information offered by the customer. PCI compliance includes having a website application firewall, changing the default settings provided by the vendor and limiting access to users managing the payment details.
#3 Encrypt the information with SSL Certificate
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) are the security protocols that enable encrypted transmission over public networks between the browser and server. Encrypting the information is of paramount importance so that no personal information can be accessed by the hackers. These certificates prove to be a trust indicator by displaying a green padlock accompanied with the tag ‘Secure’ in the address bar of the website.
You can buy various types of SSL Certificates according to your business needs.
There are 3 types of SSL Certificates, namely Extended Validation (EV SSL), Domain Validation (DV SSL) and Organization Validated (OV SSL).
- EV SSL Certificates offer the best kind of security as the concerned Certificate Authority carries out strict background checks on the company as per the Certificate Authority/Browser (CA/B) Forum’s guidelines.
- OV SSL Certificates include all the details about the company name and address as validated by an authentic Certificate Authority.
- DV SSL Certificates follow an online validation process that is executed after the domain control gets established. If you are a small or medium sized business, you can go for this certificate.
#4 Install an Intrusion Prevention System
In order to filter the traffic that you get on your eCommerce site, you should install a firewall that helps you to avoid the intrusions. If you do not have a filter, your website is accessible by every request made from the various IP addresses. Firewall gives you the advantage of blocking suspicious traffic and malicious activity so that there is no untoward security breach in the connection.
Several levels of firewall exist for the different layers of traffic on the website. It is possible that your host works with a firewall to connect with the server. However, not every hosting plan comes with a firewall that will keep your website secure from suspicious traffic on Ports 80 and 443 respectively for HTTP and HTTPS traffic. Make sure you are making the best use of both types of firewall for sufficient protection.
#5 Keep a Check on Your Website
Security is a dynamic entity, which implies that cyber-criminals are constantly evolving their techniques. As a result, you have to be vigilant of the activities that are taking place on your eCommerce website. The irony is that despite following the best practices, your website may be vulnerable to malware. If you do not keep a check on activity logs and files, you may increase the chance of a security breach.
#6 Educate your employees
Quite often, it is noticed that insiders and employees at the eCommerce store are responsible for cyber-attacks. In many instances, they are not aware of the implications of malicious software and cyber-crimes. An employee who cannot identify a phishing or spoofing attempt would not be able to take any steps to stop the attack or report it. To avoid such incidences, you should include cybersecurity as a part of employee induction process and organize continuous training programs at regular intervals. You can train them about how to create strong passwords, identify the indication of a threat, and tactics for prevention. By doing so, you can enhance the eCommerce security and secure the information of your customers.
#7 Carry out vulnerability and penetration testing
Evaluate the assess systems and check for endpoint vulnerabilities, weak networks, and inadequate eCommerce security solutions. Take help of continuous evaluation so that the hosting, networking, and data storage arrangements can be maintained safely. Collaborate with a security expert to create a mock-up of cyber-attacks so that you can figure out the weak points in the network and take the corrective measures.
Wrapping Up :
Just like there are two sides to every coin, the eCommerce sector is no different. Though it has made shopping a pleasant and convenient experience for the shoppers, the cyber risks cannot be overlooked. Consider security as a permanent priority for your eCommerce business and you will surely be able to protect your store from the perpetrators of cyber-crimes.