Over the past two years, the rise of e-commerce as a priority channel for consumer-facing businesses has only accelerated. Therefore, the need to provide your consumers with a secure e-commerce website has never been so critical to your success. In this blog post, we will offer 8 tips to help you secure your e-commerce website. A single public breach of your platform could result in loss of customer trust, damage to your brand reputation, and financial losses.
Here are 8 practical tips on how to secure your e-commerce website:
1. Encrypt your traffic with SSL/TLS (HTTPS)
Make sure to enable SSL/TLS certificates (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security) to encrypt all communications between your website and your customers. This will help protect their personal and financial information from being intercepted by attackers. Your e-commerce platform should also support the latest security protocols, such as TLSv12 and TLSv13.
In e-commerce, SSL/TLS certificates are used to establish an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and secure. You can purchase an SSL/TLS certificate from a reputable Certificate Authority (CA).
2. Use a third-party payment provider
Using a third-party payment provider for processing, storing, and transmitting credit card information is a best practice in e-commerce security. This way, your customers’ sensitive data is not stored on your servers where it could be compromised by an attacker.
Additionally, most third-party payment providers are PCI DSS-compliant, so you can be sure that their systems meet the highest standards for security. In addition, using a third-party payment provider can help you meet your own PCI-DSS compliance requirements as a merchant.
3. Secure your admin area
Restrict access to your admin area to authorized users only, such as yourself and your employees. You can do this by setting up a password-protected login page. If possible, you could also restrict the admin area to authorized IP addresses only.
In addition, consider using two-factor authentication (also known as “two-step verification”) for an extra layer of security. With two-factor authentication, you will require users to enter not only a username and password but also a code that is generated by an app on their smartphone.
This makes it much harder for attackers to gain access to your admin area, even if they have stolen a user’s credentials.
4. Regularly back up your website data
Backing up your website data regularly is important for two reasons:
- First, if your website is hacked, you’ll have a copy of your data that you can restore.
- Second, if you make changes to your website that end up breaking it, you can revert to a previous version.
There are many ways to back up your website data, including using a hosting provider that offers backups. No matter what method you choose, make sure to test your backups regularly to ensure that they’re working as expected.
5. Keep your website updated and patched
One of the best ways to secure your website is to keep its software and plugins up to date with the latest supported version and security patches. Attackers are now using powerful automated tools scanning the Internet to find and exploit vulnerabilities in any systems, including e-commerce websites.
Outdated software is one of the most common ways attackers gain access to a website. A report by Sucuri indicated that 90% of all the websites that got hacked in 2018 were hosted on WordPress, a platform known for its default configuration containing flaws. When a new software update is released, make sure to install it as soon as possible.
6. Submit your website to a penetration test
A penetration test, also known as a pentest, is a simulated cyberattack that is performed by ethical hackers. The purpose of a penetration test is to identify security vulnerabilities in your website so that you can fix them before they are exploited by real attackers.
A penetration test report provides you with some actionable recommendations and best practices to help you reduce the risk of an attack on your site. To keep your website as secure as possible, it’s a good idea to submit it to a penetration test regularly.
7. Monitor transactions for suspicious activity
Another way to help secure your e-commerce website is to monitor transactions for suspicious activity.
There are many ways to do this, but one of the most effective is to use a fraud detection and prevention service. These services use data analytics and machine learning to identify patterns of fraudulent behavior so that you can take action before an attack happens.
In addition to monitoring transactions, you should also regularly review your website’s access logs. This will help you identify any suspicious activity that may be taking place on your site.
8. Use a Web application firewall (WAF)
A web application firewall (WAF) is a type of security software that can help protect your e-commerce website from attacks. A WAF works by filtering traffic to and from your website, looking for malicious requests that are trying to exploit vulnerabilities. If a request is identified as being malicious, the WAF will block it before it reaches your website.
There are many different WAFs available, both as standalone products and as part of a larger security solution. No matter which one you choose, make sure it is compatible with your e-commerce platform and easy to configure.
Secure Your E-Commerce Website Today
E-commerce website security is now a critical part of doing business online. While no e-commerce website is 100% secure, following these tips will help you reduce the risk of an attack on your site. On top of fixing your vulnerabilities and increasing your overall security posture, performing penetration tests on a recurring basis will allow your technical team to better understand the changing landscape of threats and how they fare against new attacks. Reach out to a professional to learn more on how to secure your e-commerce website from cyberattacks.