Cyber Threats: Preventing an eCommerce Website from Security Hacking

Posted on July 16, 2020 at 12:31 PM

Cyber Threats: Preventing an eCommerce Website from Security Hacking

As an entrepreneur, having a website not only helps build your brand but also cultivates the much-needed credibility to attract more customers. Unfortunately, the ever-increasing cases of internal and external cyber-attacks mean that businesses have to constantly keep updating the security protocols to keep the cybercriminals at bay. And although a CSS programmer can help solve technical website problems and fixing bugs, there are other supplemental measures eCommerce businesses need to put in place.

In this article, we are going to look at the importance of eCommerce website security and the necessary security measures to prevent security hacking.

But first, what is website security?

Also known as “cybersecurity” website security is any action taken by a business or a website to detect, prevent, and respond to cyber threats. Just like brick-and-mortar businesses, eCommerce websites are also prone to security breaches, which is why having a system of protection protocols is important.

Despite advancements in the website security space, more and more websites continue to get compromised every day. According to a study published by the University of Maryland, it is estimated that there is a cyber attack incident occurring every 39 seconds. A different report by Statista shows that, in 2019, more than 1,473 cyber attacks occurred in the US, whereby more than 164.68 million sensitive documents were exposed.

In terms of cost, a report by Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that cybercrime will wipe out $6 trillion in global market value by 2021, which is a 50% jump from 2015. This is means that cybercrime will be more profitable than the global trade of all illegal drugs combined.

Importance of Website Security

Despite the improvements in e-commerce development services and the emergence of new security procedures, cybercriminals continue to innovate in a bid to accommodate these new security measures. For this reason, using simple and outdated website security protocols is no longer sustainable.

Below we have listed 3 reasons why website security is increasingly becoming a necessity for eCommerce businesses:

Hackers Target Your Customers

Most eCommerce websites are data-driven and entail collecting important customer information. By infecting eCommerce websites with malicious software, hackers are able to harvest this data, hijack computer resources, infect visitors, and even redirect traffic.

By failing to secure your website, it means that you are essentially prone to all these problems, not forgetting they could potentially trickle down to your customers.

Reputation Damage

Today, most people use search engines to gather intel about products and services. On top of having a well-developed and secured website, eCommerce businesses need to put solid Search engine optimization (SEO) strategy in order to get favorable rankings. And for a reason…

Websites with missing HTTPS are marked as insecure, which restricts the visitors or potential customers from visiting it. As a result, customers lose trust and interest, eventually damaging the company’s reputation.

Protection Is Cheaper Than Cleaning Up

There are many online articles showing website owners on how to clean up hacked websites. However, they eventually end up recommending one thing – have a cyber-security engineer do it for you. And although performing manual malware removal can be helpful, the clean-up service itself is expensive, not forgetting the lost revenue and reputational damage.

7 Tips to Protect Your E-commerce Website Against Security Hacking and Fraud

Use a Trusted eCommerce Platform

When looking to build your e-commerce store on a SAAS platform, ensure you choose a platform that not only hosts your store but also takes care of security problems. Along with that, they should also have the resources to constantly detect security loopholes on their platform and rapidly deploy solutions before they become a major issue.

Keep Data Encrypted

Another great tip to underwrite your website’s security is to ensure that data exchanges between the customer’s website and your web server are encrypted. This helps prevent a phishing attack and eavesdropping from unwanted parties. For this, you need an SSL certificate, as it helps reassure your customers that all their online transactions are safe.

Today, many businesses and search engines are adopting SSL certificate integration on their websites to secure customer information and reduce fraudulent purchases.

Avoid Storing Confidential Data

Storing too much of your customer’s sensitive information on your server is not only expensive in terms of maintenance but it can also entice attackers to try and steal it. As an eCommerce store owner, you should ensure that your store is PCI compliant mainly because storing important customer information like their credit card information is prohibited. Along with that, most platforms penalize merchants once they infringe on security guidelines.

Use Firewall Security

Having a Firewall on your website can help avoid many Trojans and virus attacks. Basically, a firewall is a network layer on your website that sends you a “Ping” whenever a suspicious activity occurs on your server.

To avoid cross-site Scripting attacks and SQL injections, ensure that your eCommerce website is equipped with an extra security layer on the customer’s login page, search queries, and contact forms. Firewalls help monitor all the traffic coming onto your server, plus you create a predefined access control list permitting only consented communication.

Keep Your Site Updated

Hackers are constantly looking for low-hanging fruits using automated web crawlers and having unpatched extensions and applications make your eCommerce website an easy target. Having an eCommerce developer to help update your website and backend software with the latest security patches is a key step towards stopping security attacks.

Regularly Back-up Your Data

The primary purpose of backing up is to create a recoverable copy of data in the event primary data failures occur. There are many causes of primary data failures including hardware failures, software failures, malicious attacks, data corruption, or accidental deletion. If you are using a hosting company to look after your data back-up, you should ensure they regularly do it.

Educate Your Employees

As an eCommerce website owner, you should try and educate your employees about online theft and the best security protocols. Generally, most eCommerce employees visit many websites without taking web security precautions, which could lead to cyber-attacks. However, with proper education on customer security laws and policies, preventing possible cyber-attacks becomes easy.

Final Thoughts

Most businesses – including those in the eCommerce space – continue to treat cybersecurity as a technical problem. However, almost every security breach is directly or indirectly linked to bad cyber hygiene or a lack of security awareness among the employees. And in a world where customers prefer security over everything, it is time for eCommerce businesses to start taking website security seriously or kiss good-bye their business revenue.

Along with that, educating employees more about how to implement updates and patch vulnerabilities and the do’s and don’ts when online is also important. From the above-listed website security measures, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a robust security approach to protect both your customers and your eCommerce site.

Author’s Bio

Anastasia is a passionate writer and Information Technology enthusiast. She works as a Content Manager at Mobilunity, a provider of dedicated development teams around the globe. She is fond of keeping abreast of the latest news in all areas of technology, Agile project management, and software product growth hacking, at the same time sharing her experience online to help tech startups and companies be up-to-date.

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