Ecommerce Security – The global epidemic of COVID-19 has boosted the revenue generated by eCommerce stores. In 2020, the online buyers spent 44% more in the year 2020, as compared to the year 2019. In 2020, buyers spent around $861.12 billion, whereas, in 2019, they had spent $598.02 billion.
During the pandemic crises, people preferred to stay inside their houses and order their favorite dresses, shoes, groceries, and even medicines online to avoid the risk of exposure. Online shopping can minimize the risk of exposure to the Coronavirus and keep the sellers and buyers safe in the comfort of their homes.
Unfortunately, online shopping is not safe as it seems to be. It is an open secret that criminals will be present anywhere where financial matters or money are involved. Customers do not only share their personal details such as name, number, and address but also share their credit or debit card numbers with the business. If this information of the customer lands in the wrong hands, your business’s reputation would be at stake.
A business that fails to protect the data of its customers will lose its potential and current clients. Nobody likes to be a customer of a company prone to cybercrime and doesn’t have robust ways to enhance data protection.
Failure to implement eCommerce security best practices can land your business in hot waters, financially and legally. The holiday season is the perfect time for cybercriminals to attack your website and steal your clients’ and companies’ confidential data.
But hey, you don’t have to fret about protecting your data during the holiday season. In today’s article, we have gathered seven eCommerce security best practices that will strengthen your eCommerce security and protect your company’s information from being stolen or misused.
Before moving on to the best practices, let us first understand the common eCommerce security threats and issues.
Common eCommerce Security Threats And Issues
Financial frauds are the most common security threat to businesses. It is one of the oldest crimes that companies have to deal with due to their weak security system. Hackers can attack the website, make illegal transactions, file fake refunds or returns, or even use the credit information shared by consumers.
These activities can cause a business severe financial setbacks. If the business accepts and honors the fake requests of returning the money, it can suffer a loss, and hackers can also misuse the personal and account details of the consumers.
Email is a powerful tool to boost sales and engage customers. Unfortunately, they are also the most common channel for online spammers to infect your website. Spammers often send emails or messages on social media profiles with a link. When the message is opened, or a link is clicked on, the website’s security is threatened and affects its speed.
Another common social media planner for online spammers is the comment section under your blog posts, where they can easily leave infected links. In addition, the contact form is also an open invitation for spammers to attach spammy links to harm your website.
Phishing is another common security threat that online businesses face. The hackers do not target the business’s site directly; instead, they trick the users and get them to share their personal and account details with them.
The hackers send highly professional emails to the clients and make them believe that the business has sent them. The message of the email insists the clients for sharing their data with them. If the clients follow the fake email’s instructions and provide them with their login or personal information, the hackers can use that data for their benefit.
The internet doesn’t only have good bots that crawl your pages to rank your website on search result pages. Some bots are developed exclusively to scrape web pages to extract inventory and pricing information.
The hackers then use this information to alter your good’s prices or put away your bestsellers of the stock in shopping carts. The items run out of stock, and serious customers cannot buy them as the hackers hoard them in the cart with no intention of purchasing them. This security issue results in a loss of sales and profit.
Distributed Denial Of Service
DDoS (distributed denial of service) or DOS (Denial of Service) attacks the website and affects its sales. The hackers send numerous requests to the servers, which it cannot handle altogether, and as a result, the website crashes.
Brute Force Attacks
The main objective of these attacks is to figure out your admin panel’s credential details. The hackers use programs that connect them to the website, using different combinations to crack the login details.
A company can save itself from such attacks by setting strong and complex passwords that include letters, numbers, and symbols. In addition, do not use one password for a long time. Change it frequently.
These cyber-attacks target the database of the website by attacking the query submission forms. Harmful codes are injected into the company’s database to gather the data and permanently erase it from the database.
Trojan horses are the worst network security issue for a website. If the admins or customers have Trojan horses downloaded on their computers or other devices, attackers can fetch confidential information from their devices without any trouble.
In this security issue, the hackers first infect the website with destructing code and then target the website’s visitors. A company can safeguard itself by employing Content Security Policy on its website.
The security threats and issues mentioned above aren’t the only ones that an eCommerce store can encounter due to its weak security system. Numerous other attacks can be made on the website to steal its clients’ information.
Security issues in the online world cannot be neglected. Your company and customers will face a grave situation if the data gets stolen during the holiday season. Hence, strengthening your security system and implementing the best eCommerce security practices will protect your data and provide a safe shopping experience for your customers.
Seven Ways To Enhance Data Protection During The Shopping Season
1. Switch To HTTPS
Using the old HTTP protocols makes the website vulnerable and exposed to cyber-attacks. The first way to protect your website is to switch to HTTPS which shows the green lock sign that displays that the website is secured to your visitors.
HTTPS protocols protect the user’s confidential information and data that they submit to a website.
HTTP protocols are outdated, and if the users log into an HTTP website, they are given a warning by modern browsers that the website is not secured. Some browsers even block the users from accessing the website altogether.
A company that switches to HTTPS also improves its SEO as Google favors the secured website for its users.
2. Secure Your Servers And Admin Panels
Many eCommerce platforms and CMSs have default login details that an amateur online user can easily crack. Change the default password and login details to protect your site from the risk of getting hacked.
Keep a long, strong, and complex password using the intricate combination of letters, numbers, and signs. Besides, you can also turn on the notifications in your admin panel if an unknown IP tries to access your admin panel.
3. Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software
Attackers can use credit and debit cards stolen information to order goods from any website on the internet.
An anti-fraud or antivirus software can help the entrepreneur combat this grave eCommerce issue. This software uses intelligent algorithms to sense illegal transactions and notifies the admin to take prompt remedial measures.
Besides, this software also gives a fraud risk score to the entrepreneurs, which helps them find out if certain transactions were genuine or suspicious.
4. Employ Multi-Layer Security
Another way to enhance your eCommerce security is to employ numerous layers of security to prevent your website from getting attacked by malicious traffic.
Companies can use CDN to protect their websites against spammy traffic and DDoS attacks. Deploying widespread CDN filters the suspicious traffic from the regular one by utilizing machine learning.
Businesses can also incorporate two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to their websites. Two-step authorization requires the users to put their username, password, and a unique code sent to them via email or SMS. This two-factor verification makes sure that only authentic customers can log into their accounts or website.
5. Use Firewalls
Firewall software and plugins can keep your website secured without draining your bank account. Installing this software and plugins will enable your website to block the suspicious network and govern traffic entering and exiting the website.
The firewall ensures that only regular and trusted traffic enters your website; this means your website will be protected from other serious threats such as XXS, Trojan Horses, SQL injections, etc.
6. Data Backup
Cyber-attacks can wipe clean the entire data from your website. To combat the loss of data, ensure to create frequent backups of your data to prevent the risk of losing it permanently. If you tend to forget to take a backup of your website’s database and information, hire automatic backup services to do the job for you. They will automatically take the frequent backup of your data, and you won’t have to worry about doing it manually.
Once you have the backup, make sure to create its copy to help you out in emergencies.
7. Educate Your Clients
Sometimes, your customer’s data is at stake not because of your security system’s shortcomings but due to the errors of your customers.
Many customers use short and straightforward passwords that can easily crack without thinking much. If hackers hack their passwords, they can easily access the customers’ personal information.
The simple way to prevent this risk is to educate your customers about the importance of selecting a strong password to protect their sensitive information.
Aware of the risks associate with using a weak password. When the users select the password on the website, notify them about the strength of their passwords. For instance, you can inform them if their passwords are weak or not strong enough.
In addition, you can also inform your users that you won’t ask them for their private information or credit card details over an email or SMS. It will keep them alert if they receive any fake emails from hackers pretending to be you. And they won’t share their details with the attackers.
In A Nutshell…
ECommerce websites must be well aware of the security threats and issues present in the online world. Businesses must well equip with how to protect their websites from the malicious attacks of hackers on their web pages and databases.
Any compromise on your security system can cost your business huge losses and in severe cases. It can also result in legal implications. Hence, make it your endeavor to invest in strengthening your security system just as you spend in the marketing and branding of your business.
Do you have extra tips and tricks to protect the website’s data during the holiday or shopping season? Share it in the comments below.
Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify – a free Shopify theme, helping drop shippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies, and mentoring programs.