A recent study by Forbes concluded that roughly 30,000 websites get hacked on a daily basis, with eCommerce websites being a hot favorite – thanks to the easy availability of sensitive customer info like customer contact details, financial data, and more. Hackers don’t target only large corporations; they attack eCommerce sites of small businesses and startups too. It goes without saying that cyber- attacks damage your online reputation and dents public trust in your site. It’s therefore imperative that you take the necessary steps to protect your customer information and your reputation. Here are some of the ways you can do this:
Ensure your E-Commerce platform is secure:
There are several open source platforms on which you can develop your ecommerce website. Make sure the platform you select has a complex Object Oriented programming language. The password that logs you into the admin panel needs to be very strong and complex – it will help keep hackers away. Unfortunatley, most site owners have simple, easily guessable passwords because they want to remember it without effort; if you use such a password, do not be surprised in the event of a security breach! Don’t invite cyber-attacks – keep them at bay with complicated passwords. Make sure you also change the admin path from the default one to deter hackers.
Authentication should be two-step process:
This goes a long way in ensuring that only trusted devices are able to access the admin backend. Usually, in addition to the user id and password, you will be required to enter a security code that’s been randomly generated (something like the OTP used by banks when you want to login). This makes it very difficult indeed for hackers to access the backend.
While this is absolutely necessary for the checkout and payment pages, having HTTPS certificate throughout your site will make it almost 100% hacker proof. An SSL certification establishes a strong, secure connection between the customer browser and your site’s server, encrypting all the sensitive info like financial credentials and so on. Interception becomes next to impossible. Knowing that your site is HTTPS will enable the customer to trust your site immediately.
Ensure robust security:
Firewalls are a must to ensure that hackers cannot gain access to your network and intercept important information stored in your system. They control the flow of information to and from the network. Think of it as a perimeter defense that stops hackers from infiltrating your network, and also thwarts malware like ransomware and spyware. You also need to embellish security for apps like login tables, search queries, and contact forms to prevent application level attacks like cross site scripting and SQL injection. Adding layers is the best way to beef up security.
Avoid storing critical info:
Storing loads of sensitive info of customers is neither necessary nor safe. Especially when it comes to things like credit card numbers, expiry date, the CVV number and so on. Store the least amount of data required to process refunds, so that even if someone hacks in, there isn’t anything worth stealing.
Force customers to create strong passwords:
Most customers are not aware of the damaging consequences of weak passwords and the security hazards that can occur. Force them to use complex, difficult passwords – for example you can make it mandatory for them to use a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters, and set a minimum length, like 6 or 8 characters. Such passwords are extremely hard to break.
Update your software regularly:
Always ensure that you’re using the latest version of the Ecommerce software, because newer versions include bug fixes and strengthens security. Usually, the software companies notify their customers that new versions are available so that you can update your software and install the latest security patch.
Use extensions from trusted sources only:
Extensions from third parties are available for almost all Ecommerce solutions – most of them are free too. Hackers can easily access your site through extensions if they are not from genuine and trusted sources. It is imperative that you conduct a thorough check of the extension before you incorporate it into your Ecommerce site.
Ensuring better security for your ecommerce website will help create trust in the minds of visitors and increase conversions, leading to improved sales and revenues. It is well worth the extra effort.