ecommerce website security tips

8 tips to secure your Ecommerce website

Looking to Start an online business?

You must have probably figured out by now what is the first and foremost thing that you’ll need to run a successful online business. 

That’s right. An Ecommerce website!

E-commerce business is booming, thanks to the internet which is easily accessible on our smartphones, and also the rise of online shopping trends in the past few years,  not to mention the coronavirus pandemic that has contributed to a rapid surge in online sales.  So, small and medium business owners have realized that having an E-commerce website is indispensable for any online business to prosper. E-commerce websites act as a portal for promoting a company’s brand and its products and services. Ecommerce platforms offer a huge earning potential for SMBs allowing them to compete directly with larger organizations by using current e-commerce tools and technologies.

Setting up an eCommerce website is quite easy these days as website design and development companies/agencies are springing up everywhere. Small and medium businesses rely on these companies/agencies to build websites that cater to their online customers. They make sure their website provides all the necessary information about their products and services while offering the best user experience. 

But one thing that many small and medium business owners overlook is the security of their eCommerce website. Ecommerce websites will always be a hot target for hackers, fraudsters, and even for your own competitors. One major breach or someone stealing your business name or copying your products could mean the end of your business. 

 

 

Sure, your website serves as an “all-in-one platform” to your customers letting them know about your business, your products, and services and allowing them to make online purchases and payments, but one can’t deny the fact that these websites are also data gathering engines. A typical ecommerce Website stores thousands of user IDs, personal information, product catalog and prices, financial information including credit card details, transaction data, and customer interactions which the cybercriminals can easily exploit and your competitors can easily leverage on. So securing your website to protect these data is of grave importance.

 Large businesses enjoy the luxury of having their own in-house IT security providers or consultants. But this may not be the case for small and medium businesses or startups who are looking to start from scratch with limited budgets. Protecting your customer’s data means maintaining your trust with the customer.  And the best way to do this is to be aware of eCommerce security best practices that will help secure your websites from a data breach. 

Let us take a pause and try to understand what E-Commerce security is.

Ecommerce security refers to the measures taken to protect the privacy and sensitive data of customers on a website, safeguard the finances and transactions of an online business, prevent fraud and financial scams, to make E-commerce stores a safe place to conduct business online. Without proper security measures, online business owners put themselves, their brand, and their customers at risk of suffering fraud or identity theft. ECommerce security offers a framework that provides security for all the parties involved while allowing them to buy and sell products and services on the Internet. Ecommerce security is all about ensuring both your business and your customers feel safe.

Let’s look at a few terminologies that revolve around E-Commerce security.

1.Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of policies and procedures designed to ensure that all companies that process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.

2.International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

This standard-setting body develops standards to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of products, services, and systems. If a business or organization has this certificate, it means it has high-quality management systems, data security, and standardized business practices.

3. Personal data

It refers to any data that includes personal information such as name, email address, a phone number that can be linked back to a specific individual. Any piece of information that can lead to the identification of an individual is also called Personal data. Protecting customer’s personal data is of utmost importance as per the General Data Privacy Regulations.

4.Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Transport Layer Security (TLS), and HTTPS authentication

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a security technology used to keep an internet connection secure and safeguard any sensitive data sent between two systems, making it impossible to read or modify. Having this SSL certificate on your eCommerce website lets you move from HTTP to HTTPS which gives out a trust signal to your customers saying that your site is secure. 

5.Multi-factor authentication (MFA), 2-factor authentication (2FA), or 2-step verification (2SV).

It is a method of confirming your identity before allowing access to your website. Whenever a user tries to log into your ecommerce site, one further method of identity verification is required of the user in addition to the username and password. These authentication steps provide an extra layer of security and can be used interchangeably. 

2SV requires the user to enter a one-time code that is received through email, text message, or phone call.

MFA or 2FA requires the user to acknowledge their login through another device like a 

mobile phone while logging in from a laptop.

Here are the ways your eCommerce website can be attacked.

1. Phishing

Phishing refers to methods used by attackers to trick victims by sending links (typically via email or text) to a fake Web site that is disguised to look legitimate, to lure visitors into providing private information like passwords, account numbers, social security numbers, and more.

2.Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

DDOS is a form of attack in which multiple systems attack a website and cause a disruption of service for its users by overwhelming it with a flood of traffic. It is designed to shut down a network making it inaccessible to its intended users. 

3.Malware and ransomware

Malware comes in the form of a computer virus or a worm that tricks you into installing software that allows scammers to access your files. Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents users from accessing their own system files until an amount is paid to the attacker.

4.SQL (Structured Query Language)  injections. 

SQL is a standard coding language used to access databases.  Attackers use SQL commands to control databases and gain unauthorized access to sensitive data stored in the database. 

5.Cross-site scripting 

Also known as XSS, a client-side code injection attack allows attackers to inject malicious scripts into a trusted website. This type of attack is most effective when used with forums, message boards, or any web page that allows user comments.

6. E skimming

E skimming refers to stealing credit card information and personal details from payment card processing pages on an ecommerce website.  Attackers infect your site with a type of malware to steal the payment information your shoppers enter into the checkout page.  E-skimming is getting popular with the rise of online shopping.

Here are a few ways you can protect your website from these attacks.

1.Trademark your company name and logo. 

To ensure that no one uses your company name and logo, you need to trademark them. This is the best way for businesses to protect their site and brand. Registering the name and logo also protects against future copiers, infringers who can try to steal or capitalize on your brand.  

2.Use a trusted ecommerce platform.

Using a trusted ecommerce platform like Magento, Shopify will allow customers to conduct business with you securely and get more customers to trust your brand. These platforms. constantly monitor your ecommerce store for security issues and also provide solutions in case any security issues occur.  Cloud-based security platforms have made security more accessible to small and medium businesses. You can  leverage  the benefits of better automation from these tools

3.Use an SSL certificate

SSL certificate encrypts the data between your website and the user’s web browser – making it unreadable for everybody, except you and the user. SSL certificate is of vital importance to any eCommerce website as it ensures sensitive financial and personal information is protected throughout the purchase process while building trust for your eCommerce store and giving your customers peace of mind. 

4.PCI compliance

Ensuring your eCommerce website is PCI compliance helps reduce fraud and increase eCommerce website security. It makes the customers feel that your website is secure enough to grant credit card data. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is mandatory for all companies who process, transmit and store payment card data online. 

5.Use real-time bot detection technology

It is widely accepted that more traffic to your website means more conversions. But this is not always the case. Study shows that 50% of website traffic are bots, and 30% of it contributes to eCommerce website frauds. A sliver of traffic that you think is genuine could actually be malicious bots sent by fraudsters or your competitors to steal your product prices, product catalog, or customer’s sensitive details. Having real-time bot technology in place is really a step towards preventing website fraud and enhancing the overall security of your eCommerce website.   

6.Web application firewall 

A web application firewall is a hardware or software system that filters, monitors, and blocks HTTP traffic to and from a web service. It essentially works as a gateway between two or more networks, allowing only authorized traffic into the website and blocking unauthorized or potentially malicious traffic from accessing a network.

Web application firewall protects web applications from a variety of attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injections, and DDoS attacks. As eCommerce websites have a lot of inbound traffic and these firewalls do a better job in protecting the websites against malicious attacks. The two most popular and effective firewalls for eCommerce websites are application gateways and proxy firewalls.

7.Third-party payment platforms 

Whenever we make a payment, we are redirected to a payment gateway to complete the online transaction. It is the third party that handles successful online transactions which are done on behalf of a merchant. For example, Amazon uses a secure payment gateway like Razorpay. It is recommended that eCommerce websites use a third-party encrypted checkout tunnel to process payments.  The benefits of third-party payment platforms are that they take care of secure online payment processes like encrypting sensitive information like credit card details and help you meet certain online security standards ensuring safe transactions between you and your customer.

In addition to this payment gateways save your time and work, eliminating the need for you to manually input info received on your end. They also offer flexibility in the types of payments customers can use. Flexibility can help provide customers with a variety of different payment options resulting in an increase in sales.

8.Keep your site updated

Hackers always look for vulnerabilities in a website. Unpatched apps and extensions will make your site an easy target.  App developers roll out new updates for website software often which include security patches. It is better to pay close attention to these updates. Keeping your website and backend software updated with the latest security patches is the best way to stop a malicious attack on your website. If your updates aren’t automatic, you need to manually update them. To be on the safer side, It is a good idea to turn on automatic updates, not only for your website but for your entire computer.

 

Final thoughts.

Ecommerce security is crucial for your online business to succeed. With online shopping on the rise, people are looking for a shopping platform that makes them feel safe and secure while conducting online transactions. If a user finds an eCommerce website to be less safe, he or she will look for a platform that looks more secure. Having proper E-Commerce security in place will offer your customers a safe shopping environment, Customers will not have to worry about their personal data being misused by some fraudsters. With the right security in place, you can build a sense of trust with your customers, leading to more traffic and sales.