How To Keep Your ECommerce Site Safe From Hackers
In the current dispensation, it is easy to set up an e-commerce website. However, protecting it from hacking, copycats, and fraud is difficult. For small businesses, such attacks are significant and could end the business entirely. Some methods hackers use to attack websites include SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), malware infections, denial of service and distributed denial-of-service (DoS and DDoS), and brute force tactics.
Thus, protecting your website from hackers is crucial to the success of your business. Here are expert tips to help you secure your e-commerce website from attackers.
Choose a Secure E-Commerce Platform and Web Host
Currently, there are many e-commerce solutions in the market. But, for optimal protection, you need both a secure web host and a platform. Most e-commerce site builders have some integrated security measures. However, not all hosts and platforms are equal, or even the same.
The best option is to check out and shop around for different platform providers and hosts to determine the best fit for your business and clients. Choose a platform and host combination that will give you total protection from the most prevalent threats such as SQL injections and malware.
Get SSL Certification
Besides choosing service providers that have integrated security benefits and protocols, you need to get an SSL certificate.
SSL works by encrypting the data exchanged between your website and your customers' browsers, making the data unreadable for everyone except you and your users. According to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard, all e-commerce websites must acquire SSL certification. And as an e-commerce-based business or merchant, you need to comply with the PCI security standards. These measures have been set up to help businesses protect their customers from fraud and identity theft.
Enforce Strong Password Protocols
Despite facing great competition from technologies such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and facial recognition, passwords still provide standard access to most software. You need a password for every website or service you log into. Many users use the same password to access and log into different services. The disadvantage with this approach is that once hackers get the reused usernames and passwords, they can apply them to various services, exponentially increasing fraud.
Although your e-commerce website may have perfect security, your customers could be your weakest link, particularly if they reuse their passwords. Thus, to solve this problem, web managers should enforce the use of complex passwords and multi-factor authentication by customers and users. This helps ensure the clients don't reuse potentially compromised credentials and also verifies the identities of those requesting access to resources.
To effectively manage your business authentication, check out identity management systems that help you manage these functions across multiple software platforms and services. However, if you decide to stick with passwords, ensure your customers use passwords that have a minimum of 8 to 10 characters, including symbols and numbers. Also, ensure that your users change their passwords regularly.
Avoid Storing Sensitive User Data
Your customers’ privacy and personal data are crucial, and currently, major technology companies such as Google and Apple have concentrated their efforts on keeping the users' data safe and private. In e-commerce, consumers’ privacy is even more crucial. As a business, you need customer data to enhance your product offerings and communications and to simplify return purchases. The problem is that phishing, hacking, and other cyber-attacks usually target this data.
Thus, only collect data that you need to fulfill the transaction. Avoid the temptation to collect more customer data than is necessary. This helps to protect you and your customers from many inconveniences and the possibility of losing this data in a hack or security breach. Instead, you may wish to employ managed IT services to help you store your business data. Or better yet, outsource it all with professionals such as the experts in IT services in Essex, Vermont, for better data and website security.
Keep Your Site Updated and Patched
Unpatched extensions and applications make your e-commerce website an easy target for hackers. Attackers love vulnerable websites and applications and often employ automated web crawlers to search for websites with unpatched applications. Keeping your back-end software and website updated with the latest security patches is one of the greatest and easiest steps you can take as a business to help prevent online attacks.
It is imperative that e-commerce retailers should ensure they apply all available patches to their online platforms. Also, ensure you place a firewall in front of your e-commerce website to help protect it against zero-day vulnerabilities. This is an extra measure to buy you time before security patches are applied.
Having a secure e-commerce site is vital for both your customers and your brand. Every e-commerce site is a target. But if you take these precautions, you won't be a victim of malicious hacker attacks.