How to Improve Your Ecommerce Website’s Security
Some cyber-attacks will aim at redirecting traffic and retargeting potential clients, or worse, infecting your web users with malware. These are only but a couple of the reasons why you cannot afford to leave your website’s security to chance.
Malware infection, SQL injection, brute force, distributed denial of service(DDoS), and cross-site scripting are among the most common forms of cyberattacks on websites.
When thinking about ecommerce website’s security, you will want to focus your efforts towards ensuring that your site or online shop is not easy to hack and also that you can recover as quickly as possible in the event of a cyber attack, should the worst happen.
Why Security Matters for Your Ecommerce Website
Security is a major issue when it comes to ecommerce. Not only could an attack lead to a huge loss in trust from your target audience but you may even find your website blacklisted by Google. It’s important to make sure you have the right safeguards in place to keep trust levels high and prevent malicious attacks jeopardizing your brand reputation.
The security needs of an ecommerce site are slightly different to a standard website. Ecommerce websites will hold a lot of highly sensitive data. They will have customers’ private information and payment details which can be very valuable to hackers looking to sell that information or to misuse it in fraudulent ways.
There is also your own inventory and your business data to think about. From supplier details to stock to product catalogs and costing, this is data that could also be hacked and sold on to competitors if it fell into the wrong hands. For ecommerce websites there is a lot to lose.
How to Evaluate Your Ecommerce Site
Yes. These cyber attackers are indiscriminate, and anyone can be a target. Regardless of industry and scale of operation, your ecommerce website could be in their crosshairs at any time.
To develop a strategy for improving your website’s security, you will need to identify and analyze the risks involved. There is a systematic process or approach to performing a cybersecurity risk assessment, which, in the end, promises excellent results.
For starters, you will need to put together the right people for the job; that is, people with the expertise and experience for risk assessment and management. These experts will have the task of identifying and analyzing your risks and vulnerabilities. Recognizing these risks will help in determining the appropriate security controls to set up.
It doesn’t end there as the team will need to review how effective the strategies are and change the approach accordingly as and when it may become necessary to keep up with the cyber attackers.
How to Improve Security for your Ecommerce Website
As highlighted, a comprehensive risk assessment will help in determining the best plan of action in securing your ecommerce website. That said, there are common vulnerabilities, and you can keep your site protected from such with, among others, the following strategies:
1. Choose a secure ecommerce web host
There are significant differences between web hosting companies, coming down to not only the features but also the level of ecommerce website security you can expect. Vet potential web hosts and the specifics of the website security packages they offer.
What is their commitment to reviewing vulnerabilities, and dealing with such to keep your website and online store secure? How rapid a response can you expect? You should also enquire about the technical support offered if an attack happens. Some web hosting companies also provide remote back up, which makes a recovery after an attack easier. Having a secure host with a good response who you can trust is a vital first step in keeping your brand and your customers protected.
2. Review your passwords
How strong are the passwords used for the admin account? A strong password is, without a doubt, the first line of defense against cyber-attacks on your ecommerce website. Go for longer passwords and passphrases that are a combination of both upper and lower case characters, numbers as well as special characters.
Ensure that you change the passwords regularly. You should also limit the number of people that know the admin password. If you’re not great about regularly changing or keeping track of passwords, try a password manager.
3. Update your software
Ensure that every web software you use is up-to-date by installing and running software updates as and when they are released. This software comes with critical security patches that you cannot afford not to install. Hackers aggressively target security holes in older versions of the software.
4. Encrypt. Encrypt. Encrypt.
Encryption ensures that data passing between the browser and your web server remains private. As the admin, together with your online shoppers, you can be confident that your login credentials and all personal or sensitive data you enter will be secure. SSL and TLS are among the top encryption protocols.
5. Clean up your house
If there is anything on your ecommerce website that you do not use, then it has to go. Stay organized at all times.
Delete old files, plugins, and databases that you no longer require. Hackers exploit such points of entry, and many an attack has been initiated from an infected file or plugin.
6. Scan your ecommerce website and perform regular audits
Set a schedule to scan and audit your ecommerce website for possible vulnerabilities regularly. You should also do the same whenever you add or change up your site’s components.
While there is no shortage of free resources to do these security scans yourself, it’s always best to hire professionals. These experts have more powerful tools at their disposal and combined with their skills and experience, you will get an in-depth analysis of where you stand with your ecommerce website security and what you can do to make things better.
Some things, such as reviewing your password policy and deleting old files and apps, you can do on your own. Others, such as carrying out comprehensive security audits, are best left to the experts.
The common denominator is consistency. Keeping your ecommerce website secure is not something you can achieve in one go, but is an ongoing process that needs to be constantly updated and reviewed. When it comes to your brand reputation and consumer trust, this isn’t something to take lightly. You want to stay up to date so you are confident that you are continually implementing the best strategies for the best results.