A recent report says that there is a cyberattack against computers and networks every 39 seconds. Of the total data breaches in 2018, 39% were by ransomware and 65% of them were delivered via malicious emails. Ransomware attacks declined marginally in 2019, but cryptojacking increased by 400%.
Cybercrime is still nowhere near the major organized crimes of the world, yet it is already generating an annual revenue of US$ 1.5 trillion. As an upcoming E-commerce entrepreneur, you surely wouldn’t want to contribute to that revenue!
There is another aspect to it. If your customers are subjected to credit or debit card frauds through your E-commerce platform, think about the after-effects of that. It’s certainly not going to be easy to regain customer confidence.
It is critical, therefore, that you walk the extra mile to secure your E-Commerce website against potential cyberthreats. This article offers you concrete tips on how best to achieve optimal security.
1. Adopt a Security-Oriented Attitude
Security for your E-commerce platform will not come free. But do believe that the expenses you make to strengthen your protection against cyber attacks would be cheaper than the cost of being hacked. This is the first element of having a security-oriented mentality.
Second, be a little extra cautious and develop a system of robust manual checks over and above the inbuilt checks of your system. It may seem boring, but it pays to have a security-related Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in place.
Suppose there is an inquiry mail with a security alert, but prima facie it seems genuine. The security SOP should direct you and your team members to call up the client on the phone number provided. If the number is nonexistent, lodge a complaint. If it goes ringing with no answer, send an email asking for a couple of identity proofs.
“Prevention is better than cure”, as the saying goes and that is 150% true about cybercrimes.
2. Make Your Website HTTPS
HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure – that’s what the all-too-familiar HTTPS stands for. This system encrypts communication protocol by transport layer security (TLS). The previous version of TLS was secure sockets layer (SSL).
The advantage of HTTPS websites is that it authenticates your website, and it protects the privacy and integrity of the data being exchanged. In simpler terms, it protects your clients’ interface with your website. The HTTPS sign instead of just HTTP adds a lot to the confidence of the parties accessing your website.
The other advantage is that Google treats HTTPS as a ranking factor and marks HTTP sites as “not secure”. You surely wouldn’t want visitors to your site to run away because of that indication.
3. Encourage Your Customers To Be Password-Smart
Greet your customers with cautionary advice about their passwords. Ask them not to use the same password for multiple sites. Keep an indication on your website about the strength of passwords. Counsel them to mix uppercase and lowercase letters, at least one special character, and some numbers. Clarify that this is for their own protection from possible hacking. They will appreciate your guidance.
Follow the same practice yourself and make sure that your team does the same.
4. Ensure PCI DSS Compliance
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard – that is what PCI DSS stands for. Launched in 2006, the aim of these standards is to improve the security environment of online monetary transactions. There are a dozen compliance requirements that can be grouped under six heads:
- Building and maintaining a secure network system
- Protecting cardholder data
- Maintaining a vulnerability assessment program
- Implementing strong access control measures
- Monitoring and testing network on a regular basis
- Maintaining an information security policy
In this connection, it is also relevant to mention that your E-commerce website should be designed not to store any sensitive information such as customers’ card details. Hackers cannot steal what is not there. No client of yours will face any data breach because of your E-commerce website if their card information is not stored there.
5. Have a Website Monitor of Your Own
Your E-commerce hosting site will offer its own monitoring system. However, it makes good business sense to add your own monitor to that. The primary task of website monitoring is to ensure that it runs as it should: it is a performance checking system to ensure that visitors to your E-commerce website and your customers face the least problem.
However, some website monitoring systems have deeper security features. These monitors check not just whether your website is functioning smoothly, but also if it is running securely. Adding your own monitor will up the security level of your E-commerce website.
6. Backup, CDN Use, and Updating
All three are critical for the security of your E-commerce website. The host problem will have a backup system in place. Even then, make regular backups a habit for you and your team to ensure minimum data loss in case of a cyber attack.
CDN stands for content delivery network. Deploying CDNs at the edge of your network makes it that much safer against malware attacks. CDNs deliver content to users from servers closest to them and CDNs. More importantly, CDNs are capable of learning to identify malware traces.
It is hardly necessary to repeat that keeping your system updated is indispensable as a security measure.
7. Be Smart in Choosing Your E-Commerce Platform
Do not ignore security features when choosing your E-commerce platform. The convenience features in storefront-building, design range, and functionality are important features of the platform you choose. You should definitely include these as your selection criteria.
However, cloud-based platforms that have security features with intelligence built into them have a definite advantage over those that don’t. Shopify, for example, is an E-commerce hosting platform that is PCI DSS compliant.
It is relevant to remember in this context that Shopify was quick to correct a flaw in its application program interface (API) system. The company also offers incentives to security researchers. That is an indication that it takes the security issue seriously.
Magento also comes with inbuilt security features and issues constant security alerts to all users of the E-commerce hosting site. This company also was quick to repair a security breach and runs its own Bug Bounty program as an incentive to security researchers.
Check out Shoppr for other relevant information on Magento and Shopify.