Online shopping is becoming more popular by the day and the revenue generated by it is increasing every year. Security is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to online shopping, both for customers and business owners alike. Some of the biggest websites in the world have had their security breached, so smaller ones have all the more reason to be concerned.
To gain the trust of your customer and to safeguard their information, you have to ensure cyber security.
An ecommerce website generally faces the following security threats:
- Cross-site scripting
- SQL Injection
- Distributed Denial of Service
- Bot Attacks
Every ecommerce business should assess their vulnerabilities and take preventive measures to stop the threats from exposing those vulnerabilities. After all, an ecommerce business works very hard to bring a visitor to their website and then makes them pass through their sales funnel. Contrary to popular belief, website security isn’t very expensive and there are numerous basic measures that one can take to prevent potential harm or damage that can be caused to the ecommerce website.
Let’s talk about 6 precautionary measures you can take for a secure ecommerce website:
CHOOSE A SECURE WEBSITE HOSTING
Choosing the right hosting for your website is important. Not only in terms of the services and the speed it provides, but also when it comes to the ecommerce website security. There are numerous hosting providers who are out there competing in the market but when it comes to your ecommerce website you should look for the provider that provides speed and security.
If the website is down for a larger period of time, it would result in the loss of customers but if the website is not secure, it could result in potential data breach. That would include sensitive and valuable customer information. Choose a hosting provider that has a great technical support available around the clock so your issues and risks can be immediately addressed and resolved.
HTTPS is a secure form of the HTTP which is the protocol that is used to access your website. Most of the ecommerce website owners use HTTPS protocols for their payment or check-out pages but it is advised to move all of your website pages to HTTPS. This has also become a Google ranking factor.
HTTPS is the basic level of protection that you must provide your visitors with. It ensures that no breach is occurred when the user visits your website through a browser and the connection the browser makes with your server. To make the switch from HTTP to HTTPs, you would need the SSL Certificate installed and that would be all. Sophie and Trey’s website, for example, has the SSL certificate installed as shown below. This creates the basic preventive measure to prevent security breach as well as provides a boost in the Google ranking factors.
PCI compliance governs the minimum security requirements for wireless network and wireless security. It may take one vulnerability for a hacker to breach into your website and steal sensitive customer information. There are ecommerce websites out there running software versions that were released 3 years ago and haven’t updated their platform software to the latest versions. This creates a HUGE vulnerability in terms of security.
As an ecommerce business owner, if you don’t understand the technicalities or responsibilities of PCI compliance, you should hire a consultant that can provide these services to you. Keeping your software up to date along with employee and staff training compliment the PCI compliance measures. Majority of the ecommerce security problems have one root cause: attackers gaining access to the credit card information. Tokenization helps eliminate this problem as you do not have to store the customer information directly and never have to transmit the information through your servers.
The major benefit of having a PCI compliant website is that the customers would feel at ease putting their payment information on your website. Failing to protect the customer data comes at a huge cost to the image of your business. For example, take a look at Tee-signs. They’ve displayed a compliance assured badge on their website homepage.
REGULAR SOFTWARE UPDATES
It is of utmost importance to keep your software up to date. Not only the software developers provide decent upgrades to the UI/UX of the websites but they also add the latest security features available to protect your website from breaches. The developers would be plugging in the security issues faced in the previous versions of the software.
There are numerous secure and well-built software available for ecommerce websites including WooCommerce, Shopify and OpenCart. If you are not sure if your website needs an upgrade or not, consult with an experienced ecommerce developer.
Data backups are a fundamental part of your ecommerce security. It is important that you should take regular backups of your website and store them on another server. In case, if someone manages to hack into your website, you can instantly restore the previously backed up version of your website without further delay.
A great way to back up your website is through cpanel provided by your hosting company. Login to your website’s cpanel and navigate to the files tab. On the backups section, create a full back up of your website. A back up can also be restored through cpanel of your website. Another way of generating automatic backups is through a managed ecommerce hosting provider.
USE A WEB APPLICATION FIREWALL
A web application firewall aka WAF is hardware or a software system that provides a gateway between two or more networks. WAF detects unauthorized or malicious traffic and automatically blocks it from gaining access to your network. WAF protects websites from common security threats such as SQL injections and cross site scripting. Ecommerce websites have a huge amount of incoming traffic and they need to be protected against malicious traffic.
There are a few essential things to keep in mind while deploying a WAF across your ecommerce website. It has to be properly configured to operate seamlessly. You would have to ‘teach’ the WAF solution about the type of traffic to block and the packets of IP addresses to be blocked. WAF solutions can be successfully deployed to prevent DDos attacks.
WRAPPING IT UP
By implementing the above mentioned 6 precautionary measures for a secure ecommerce website, your ecommerce business can stay on top of gaining customer trust and providing a safe digital shopping experience to them. Not only will it secure you and them, it will also make them feel that you care about security.
Jenny Harrison is a passionate marketing and business blogger. She loves to engage with readers who are seeking B2B and B2C marketing related information on the internet. She is a featured blogger at various high authority blogs and magazines in which she shared her research and experience with the vast online community. Currently, she is associated with PNC Digital, an Orlando based E-Commerce Development Company specializes in OpenCart, Magento, Shopify Web Development.
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