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E-commerce Website Security - How to secure an eCommerce Website?

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In today’s digital age, eCommerce is becoming increasingly popular. With more and more people shopping online, it’s important to ensure that eCommerce websites are secure.

Security is essential for any online business, so it’s important to understand the necessary steps for protecting your website.

E-commerce website security is one of the most important aspects of running a successful online business. With all the information available about hackers and data breaches, it is very important to understand eCommerce website security. How to prevent online threats like phishing and brute force attacks? 

The following guide provides you with actionable steps that can be used to secure your eCommerce website from hackers and online threats. Read on!

What is e-commerce security?

As an online business owner, it’s important to be aware of the risks that come with e-commerce websites. E-commerce security is a term used to describe the methods used to protect an online store from data breaches and cyber-attacks. 

E-commerce security is a general term for all your measures that prevent fraudulent activity, such as stolen credit card information and fraudulent orders. A secure eCommerce website does not mean a site is immune from attacks; there are active steps in place to protect your customers' financial information on your e-commerce site. 

To properly secure an eCommerce website, you need SSL certificates like Comodo SSL, RapidSSL, Thawte SSL Certificate etc. Then ensure that only HTTPS requests come into your web server. A secure eCommerce website ensures customer data, payment information, and other sensitive information is protected from malicious actors.

Gaining the trust of your customers will require security measures that include the basics, such as:

  • Privacy
  • Non-repudiation 
  • Integrity
  • Authentication

Privacy

As an eCommerce website owner, ensuring the privacy of your customers’ data is essential for building trust and providing a secure online shopping experience. Data privacy is a major concern for online shoppers, so it’s important to make sure your website is compliant with the latest regulations and best practices. 

Privacy safeguards every action that might lead to sharing customers' data with untrusted third parties. Other than the online vendor the customer has decided to use, no other party has access to their data and account information. Consider using the best cookie consent software to ensure that your website complies with data privacy regulations.

Non-repudiation

The non-repudiation feature adds another security layer of security. It proves that the intended recipients received the communication between the two parties. 

Therefore, the party involved in the transaction cannot refuse to sign a document, an email, or a purchase. 

Integrity

Integrity is yet another important aspect of eCommerce Security. It is the process of ensuring that all data that customers share online is not altered. The basic principle is that an online business uses the customer's details as they are in the absence of altering any aspect. 

Modifying any aspect of the information causes the customer to doubt the security and reliability of the business online.

Authentication

When it comes to e-commerce website security, authentication is a critical aspect. Authenticating user accounts ensures that only those who are authorized to access the website are able to do so. There are many methods of authentication that can be used to secure an eCommerce website, including two-factor authentication, password strength requirements, and captcha codes. Additionally, it's essential to fortify your e-commerce website against external threats by minimizing the external attack surface and implementing robust security.

The principle of authenticating in the field of eCommerce security demands ensuring that the sellers and the buyer are authentic. The business must demonstrate as a genuine business that offers authentic goods and services and fulfils the promises it makes. 

Customers must also present their identity proof so that the seller feels at ease about online transactions. If you cannot provide this information hiring an expert can aid in a significant way. Some of the most popular solutions include customer logins along with credit card PINs.

The importance of security in e-commerce

Suppose you have invested your time and money into starting a new business. In that case, you must know that security is an essential factor to be considered while running an online business. The need for online security is significantly more significant if your website deals with the financial information of its customers.

In these circumstances, it becomes very important that you purchase website security like an SSL certificate to secure your connection between your browser and server. 

As a business owner with an online presence, you must ensure that customer information is protected and handled securely. Cybersecurity for online stores is a complex topic, but it is your responsibility to safeguard your site from hacking and your sensitive customer information to prevent it from theft.

When your site's visitors input their personal information, like their credit card number or banking details, they want to know it is well protected. If your business is revealed to be suffering from compromise and information is exposed, then consumers are less likely to do business with you in the future.

On the other hand, this is not just about your customers. You will have to fix the security breach if your site is hacked. Some expenses may include paying for an investigation of your financial records, data recovery services and credit monitoring for your customers.

Your company must also ensure an appropriate degree of security compliance to meet the legal requirements for online businesses. Suppose your business does not follow these rules, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which is the norm you must adhere to when accepting credit card transactions. In that case, you could be penalized or subject to penalties.

Potential e-commerce security threats

Safeguards will provide protection for your business and your customers from online threats. Below are a few common threats.

Phishing

One of your most significant security threats is phishing. E-commerce websites get phished because users often receive emails that look like they are from a trusted source asking for personal information, which they willingly provide. They impersonate government-backed agencies and pretend to be checking or updating data.

It is not a good idea to share personal information when you were not the one initiating the conversation. Instead of responding to the text or email or providing any details over the phone, call the company's customer service line directly. Moreover, to ensure the legitimacy of communication channels, consider using an SPF checker before responding to unsolicited messages.

The threat of phishing to an eCommerce website is not be underestimated. Phishing is when criminals attempt to gain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers or other financial information by impersonating a legitimate business.

There are many different types of phishing attempts that can be used to target your website. It could come in the form of an email with a malicious link, a pop-up window, or even a text message. Each of these attacks can be used to try to acquire confidential information from customers or even from your own business.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from the threat of phishing. Ensure that all staff members have been trained on how to recognize potential phishing attempts and also ensure that all customer data is securely stored and encrypted. 

Utilize anti-virus software to scan all incoming emails and block suspicious links or attachments. Finally, you can use a secure web application firewall to scan all incoming web requests and block any malicious traffic.

By taking the necessary steps to protect your website from the threat of phishing, you can help ensure that your customers and your business remain safe and secure.

SQL injection

Sometimes, hackers can find your website's source code and inject their SQL queries into it. Because some of your website's pages may have open doors for them to perform unauthorized actions, such as changing or retrieving data, they can use those vulnerabilities to hack into your site.

A hacker does not need expensive equipment to gain access—they only need a personal computer and an internet connection. In most cases, they are not even required to enter login credentials because many people do not protect their sites adequately. 

The result is that some websites make themselves vulnerable through poorly written code or security holes that are easy for hackers to take advantage of.

To block this attack, update your system and put in a web application firewall to ensure data remains malicious. 

E-skimming

With electronic skimming, criminals can place their card reader over an existing point-of-sale device, such as a store register. They can then remotely collect credit card information and details—including your PIN—through nearby computers with Internet access.

When hackers e-skim, they will be able to access all your information from the pages of your credit card processing.

The FBI suggests updating your software and passwords and using multifactor authentication to keep your website's payment page protected.

Cross-site scripting (XSS)

In its most basic form, XSS happens when a hacker or malicious user embeds malicious code in your website. These attacks can happen in two ways: DOM-based and input-based. The former affects an entire page, whereas the latter affects individual elements within a web page. 

In DOM-based XSS, a hacker will find an existing script (such as JavaScript) and replace it with another version of that script that contains harmful code. With input-based XSS, a hacker can change HTML elements on a page by injecting code into an element's attribute value.

You might want to consider using the HTTP Content Security Policy to increase your data security and secure your eCommerce website.

Ecommerce website security tips

For any website owner, security should be of paramount importance. However, you should protect customers and your business. To help keep your data and identity safe, here are some tips for keeping your site secure: 

Encrypt all sensitive information

When customers log in to their account on your website, make sure they use HTTPS (or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) encryption. This ensures that their login information is private and prevents potential hackers from reading it in transit. 

Encryption technology protects sensitive data such as customer information and payment details. Encryption will make it more difficult for unauthorized individuals to access your customers’ data. You should also consider using a secure connection such as HTTPS to protect your website from malicious attacks. 

Securing your website with a SSL wildcard certificate especially if you are running an eCommerce is a smart way to increase security, prevent unauthorized access and make customers feel comfortable doing business with you. Keep in mind that both Google and Amazon now use HTTPS as a ranking signal for search results. Moreover, more than half of shoppers have abandoned online purchases due to security concerns. If you generate and use QR codes in your e-commerce website to boost checkout page visits, make sure to use SOC 2® Type 2 certified QR codes.

Perform regular SQL checks

One of the best ways you can do that is by conducting regular SQL checks. That way, if there are any issues with your database structure or other potential security issues, you will know about them right away. 

Set the scanner you want to check daily security for your site. If you find any weaknesses that could be exploited, they will be identified and fixed before someone else exploits them.

Keep your website up-to-date and patched

When hackers discover vulnerabilities, app developers discover ways to patch these vulnerabilities. Updates to websites are released daily, and they often contain important security patches.

Therefore, you must pay carefully for updates when they are made available. If the updates you receive are not automatic, you will need to take extra care to update the updates manually. It is also an excellent idea to switch to automatic updates, not just on your website but also for your entire PC.

Check what you download and integrate

The ability to download and incorporate plugins, tools, applications and much more on your website is an excellent feature! However, be aware of the software you are downloading and integrating. Some hackers use these extensions to install malicious protocols onto your website.

Sometimes, it is not deliberate. Some plugins may not be optimized for your application, making your website more vulnerable to attacks.

Regularly back up your website data

It is a good idea for eCommerce website security to regularly back up your website data in case you suffer a catastrophic failure. There are two main ways of doing so: using your hosting provider's built-in automatic backups or creating a manual backup yourself. 

Conclusion

When it comes to protecting your eCommerce website from cyber criminals, the above things to consider. Investing in robust cybersecurity measures such as multi-factor authentication and encryption will help to protect your customers' sensitive data from being stolen. Additionally, implementing regular security scans and monitoring can also help to detect any vulnerabilities that may exist on your site. By taking the time to review and implement these best practices, you can rest assured that your eCommerce website is secure and protected against potential threats.

September 7, 2023
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