7 Important Ecommerce Website Security Measures You Should Have In PlaceYou work hard to get your customers to the checkout page. You partner with thousands of vendors and get your comprehensive product catalog with competitive prices online. You set up an amazing looking website and invest money in a great advertising campaign. Then you work hard on getting maximum customer conversions. However, there's another important element of conversion that most eCommerce companies need to consider from the very onset - eCommerce website security.
If you run an eCommerce business, you'll know that eCommerce websites are a major target for hackers, fraudsters and yes, even for your own competitors. Just think about the thousands of user IDs, personal information, product catalog and prices, financial information including credit card details a typical eCommerce site stores. That's what makes eCommerce sites, big and small, so attractive to cyber criminals to exploit and competitors to leverage on.
Contrary to popular beliefs, today website security is not an expensive affair to be accessible only to corporations with large IT departments. Based on our conversations with eCommerce website security specialists, we have listed seven basic and most important eCommerce website security essentials for anyone running an eCommerce business.
- Use SSL and Ensure That Your Ecommerce web site is PCI Compliant
- An SSL is a digital certificate that encrypts information sent between a web server and web browser. It is one of the most effective ways to achieve data security on your eCommerce website and to keep your customer data protected. SSL also prompts customers that your website is secure enough to grant their credit card data.
PCI compliance is a security requirement created by major credit card brands in an attempt to reduce fraud and increase Ecommerce website security. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) applies to all companies who process, transmit and store payment card data online.
If you do not do these two things, you risk losing trust and losing business. Failing to be PCI compliant can even land you a fine as high as $100,000 a month until compliance standards have been met.
- Use a Real-Time Bot Detection Technology to Eliminate Price Scraping and other Online Frauds
- You want more traffic to your eCommerce site so that you get more conversions. However, not all internet traffic is legitimate. Bots
represent over 50% of all website traffic, and bad bots represent 30% for eCommerce website frauds. What you might think is an influx of genuine traffic, could actually be malicious bots run by your competitors or fraudsters to scrape your product prices in real time or steal your entire product catalog, customer or vendor data in just a few seconds.
The impact on an eCommerce business can be substantial in terms of compromised website security, depressed sales and lost opportunities. Additionally, automated processes that constantly scan commerce sites for pricing data may hit many pages and use up server resources.
- Use a Web Application Firewall for Network Level Security
- A WAF is a hardware or software system that essentially works as a gateway between two or more networks, permitting authorized traffic and blocking unauthorized or potentially malicious traffic from accessing a network.
Generally, WAF protects websites from common attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injections and DDos attacks. Since eCommerce websites have a lot of inbound traffic, they need firewalls to protect themselves against malicious entry. The two very effective firewalls for eCommerce websites are application gateways and proxy firewalls.
- Application Gateways - With an application gateway in place, there are two lines of communication: one between your computer and the proxy, then one between the proxy and the destination computer or network. It’s essentially a checkpoint that all network information has to stop at. By serving as this middle point, the application gateways help hide and protect your network from others’, only letting in traffic or packets that have been authorized.
- Proxy Firewalls - Proxy Firewalls take eCommerce website security one step further - instead of your network connection going all the way through, a new network connection is started at the proxy firewall. This means that there is no direct connection between systems at all, which makes it even harder for attackers to discover your network and get in.
There are a few important things to keep in mind before you implement a WAF solution for your eCommerce website. For a firewall to be effective, it has to be properly configured. What does this mean? Well, firewalls don’t automatically know which traffic is malicious - they need to be programmed with this information. So, this limits firewalls ability to detect malicious bots that cause the majority of online frauds on eCommerce websites. Moreover, web application firewalls look at packets, and can only block specific IP addresses, again proving to be largely ineffective against detecting bots. Also, WAF isn't an updated SaaS offering making it lack collective fraud intelligence and machine learning based user behavioral analysis that a robust bot detection platform provides. WAF should be used with the intent to prevent DDos attacks.
- Select a Secure Ecommerce Platform
- Do in-depth research before choosing a particular eCommerce platform. We recommend that your eCommerce platform should be based on an object-oriented programming language with respective built-in security protocols. In case, if you opt to use WordPress as your platform, select a WordPress security plugin that will add an extra layer of protection to your site. Remember that from a website security perspective, eCommerce platforms do not provide with a bot mitigation solution, a must have in place for eCommerce websites.
- Have a System in Place for Purging Customer Data
- The best way to ensure that your data is not vulnerable to hackers is simply to not keep that data around. Get rid of old customer data on a regular basis. Then, only keep the information that you need to track packages, issue refunds and credits, and to chargeback accounts. You will need to retain names, addresses, and emails for marketing purposes, but it is important to think long and hard about what information you keep storing and why.
- Insist On Customers Using Strong Passwords
- If a customer information gets hacked, they are not going to care that their lack of oversight might have contributed to the issue. All that will matter to them is that their information was compromised and that they lost money because of it. It might seem unfair, but you're going to have to save customers from themselves. Set up strict password rules that force customers to use capital letters, special characters, and to have long passwords. In fact, you might consider forcing them to use a password phrase.
- Train Your Employees to be Vigilant About Online Security
- The truth is – a lot of the fraud that occurs is due to human error. Your customer support rep may reveal an account number during a live support chat or on social media. Another might give a login and password over the phone to somebody who claims to have forgotten theirs. All this can be avoided by establishing strict policies related to privacy and security, training employees in these policies, and providing regular refresher courses.
By staying on top of these seven eCommerce website security measures, online businesses can effectively build their customers' trust and their own company's reputability, taking the first steps to ensuring that they have a successful, long-lasting online presence.