Security of valuable things physically is a lot much easier which can be achieved by having secure doors with locks, CCTV cameras, alarm systems etc. These are visible security ways that usually anyone running a local store in a shopping mall can make use of. But what if all your business activities occur online? E-commerce is a growing industry that needs protection from the sophisticated hackers that are always looking for the weakness of online stores that they can exploit. For sure, online hacking and stealing are a lot more different from the usual theft of few items and their sell on the local black market.
The cyber criminals are after the data which is far more valuable. All your credit card details, customer ID, an Ecommerce store or your business all are at risk of online theft. Thus, securing all of these becomes vitally important. We have designed for you some of the most effective tips that would help you in developing security of an Ecommerce Website.
Select Ecommerce Hosting
A lot of investment is required for building a website. Money is needed for planning, building, optimizing and promoting a website. But think before you choose a low-cost hosting option for your website. The cheap hosting services offer features that are tempting yet not practical. Also, if you are on a shared hosting service with a number of users, at the end you might be interfered by noisy neighborhood. It is good to be sure about how much your host invests in security.
The best option for the E-commerce retailers is a Virtual Private Server. It is good, has the scalable performance with reasonable costs and also security customization options are brilliant.
Setting up your server for security is also a good option and there is a chance that if you are not able to manage your server then you can choose a reputable host to do it for you.
Switch to HTTPS
Using secure HTTPS hosting with an SSL certificate, until recently was only limited to the payment area of the site. This is still the case; however, website owners are now shifting to secure their entire websites.
Google stated in 2014 that they were including HTTPS as a ranking factor. Recently they said that they have plans to mark all sites with HTTP as non-secure. The similar thing was said by Mozilla in 2015. If a site wants to switch from HTTP to HTTPs then it will require an SSL certificate. The SSL certificate can be purchased from a hosting company or a reputable SSL vendor.
Installing of SSL certificate requires several steps such as updating internal links on your website, 301 redirect set up and transactional emails link update etc. SSL certificate is the most important step for online security nowadays and its importance will grow as the browsers start taking action against HTTP sites.
Select a Secure Platform & Keep It Secure
Nowadays a lot of E-commerce platforms are available to choose from. An Ecommerce platform performs how you want it to and has a good reputation for updating and security regularly. Some popular Ecommerce platforms include Magento, WooCommerce, and PrestaShop but they are paid ones. Hackers continuously look for vulnerabilities in these tools which are why constant security updates are made available.
Do not leave your website on the developer’s, designer’s or web hosting company’s responsibility. Instead, the security of your website lies on your shoulders. No matter if you are a technical person or not, you will have to make sure that somebody from your team is covering you back. Keep an eye on the software provider’s site in order to install the latest updates and ask your security expert if they are being applied to your site.
The use of E-commerce security application will protect your website from the most common vulnerabilities and also keep a check on the vendor’s site to make sure that you are running the most up to date version.
Admin Area Security
Protecting your admin area is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to improve your site’s security. If you use platforms such as Magento or WooCommerce (based on WordPress) that are common Ecommerce platforms then they will have a default admin area. Most lazy hacks looking for easy targets can be easily prevented by changing this.
Changing the default administrator username is also very important. Hackers are in search of easy targets that is if you employ the default username such as ‘admin’ then you are just a sitting duck. Make your login credentials original and hard to crack. You can also restrict the admin area by setting up a ‘white list’ of IP addresses that your server administrator controls and allows only known IP addresses to access the admin area.
Lastly, set up your admin area to inform the administrator whenever a specific threshold is passed, for instance, attempts to fail login or the unknown IP addresses log in attempts. These ways are cheap, effective yet simple to employ.
Finally, make your admin area to warn the administrator when a particular threshold has been passed, such as failed login attempts or login attempts from unknown IP addresses.
These are surprisingly simple and cheap, but effective steps.
Regularly Backup Your Data
Backup is very important if your website gets hacked in any case. Hardware failure or human error can also be a reason for data loss. Thus, backing up your data is the most important step and that is the responsibility of the website owner. A manual backup is a good option but there is a risk of forgetting to backup regularly. Hence, the best way to keep backup is automatic backup service. Such service will backup your data regularly and also keep it safe.
Never Hold Client Card Data
Few Ecommerce platforms have the ability to accept the credit card details of the client and save them. However, this thing should be avoided. This is not only a wrong practice but it can land you a heavy fine if in any case your systems get compromised. The ideal way for keeping such sensitive data is to use payment gateway provider’s services who keep the payments off your site in order to maintain a high level of security of the sensitive data.
If the business is on initial stages then services like PayPal allow hitting the deck running and are preferred by many customers. Also, it is a good practice to intend for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) accreditation. The guarantee of the integrity of your customer’s financial data is required to become PCI-DSS compliant. Also, implementation of strong access control is needed throughout your website.
Use a Geo-Location Anti-Fraud Software
These days hacking has become a global issue and is no more a local issue. The use of stolen cards details involves cards being stolen in a distant part of the world, which is electronically sent to some other part of the earth and then use to commit online fraud.
You may lose revenue when you send out items for fake order and start picking up chargebacks. This issue can be tackled by using a Geo-Location Anti-Fraud Tool. Such tools give a real-time fraud score, by which the merchant determines the risk level for any specific transaction.
In order to create a unified Fraud Risk Score, the algorithm looks at some criteria around the IP address of the order and popular cloaking methods like the use of proxies and compare it to the billions of transactions database. It also grants you a chance to either refund the order or run few manual checks.
Create Manual Security Policies & Procedures
The solid manual procedures are very effective. For instance, if you receive an order with a high-risk score, however, it looks fine to you. A further investigation is needed in this case and this is where Security Policies and Procedures of a business come into play.
The procedures and processes are too boring to look at; however, they are as simple as calling the client by using the number provided. If in case they are not available, an email can be sent to ask for some pieces of identification. This can also be extended to password policies and physical security like stolen or lost items such as laptops that can be used to access your system.
It is clear that a single layer of security is not enough for the protection of your site, therefore having multiple layers of security is highly recommended.
A firewall is a good option whether a physical firewall or a web application Firewall. They can protect you from famous hacks, for instance, SQL injection or cross-site scripting.
The site can also be enhanced by using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This network is a geographically dispersed set of servers which performs the function of storing copies of your website’s pages.
An advantage of a CDN is they can recognize malicious traffic to prevent it from damaging your site. Also, it can prevent Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS). DDoS attacks can also be prevented by using a free and open source Software.
Hacking can be a lot more costly than having no security just because it’s paid. Yet, there is no perfect solution that can make an E-commerce site secure and sound. The best solution for protecting an E-commerce site is making the right choice of the software and hosting platform and keeping everything updated and secure. Also, in a case of any accidental loss of data, you must keep site automatic backup. The best approach for keeping an E-commerce website secure is having a layered security that comprises of many different tools. Also, never forget that good old written procedures have a very important role in keeping your site safe and secure.