Ecommerce Website Security – What You Need to Know
With the Covid restrictions becoming less stringent, and more retailers opening their doors again, there has been an increase in ecommerce activity. But as the world reverts to normal, more and more people will be shopping online. Being prepared for this change involves taking ecommerce security seriously. In this article, we will give you a brief overview of what you need to consider when implementing a security strategy for your online store.
The first step in any security strategy is ensuring that your business’ physical security is up to date. This involves ensuring that all of your business’ physical locations are well-protected by the right physical security measures. These measures could include locking the doors, installing surveillance cameras, or even hiring guards to patrol your place of business.
It is also crucial that all of your online stores are physically located in a safe and secure environment. You can do this by ensuring that all of the websites storing your company’s sensitive and payment data are registered trademarks or have a verified SSL certificate. This guarantees that your customers’ personal and financial information is kept secure and that all interactions with your website are authenticated. Additionally, you can use a trusted security plugin to further encrypt and secure all transmissions made via your website.
Just as with physical security, your digital security strategy will depend on your business model and how you intend to transact with your customers. For example, if your business is predominately online, then you will need to focus your efforts on keeping your digital assets secure. This could involve taking care to always use a secure connection when transferring funds to and from your store, using strong and unique passwords, avoiding third-party payment processors, and keeping your software up to date.
But if your business operates entirely in-house, as many sole traders and startups do, then you have less to worry about as your digital assets are generally not as accessible as in an ecommerce environment. Nonetheless, you still need to take care to protect your intellectual property and ensure that any information shared via e-mail or over the phone is always secure.
User authentication is another important step in securing your online store, and one that you can implement in several ways. The first is via email verification. When a user submits their email address to create an account on your website, you can send them an email containing a link to verify their email address. Once they have verified it, they can log in to their account on the site.
The second way to authenticate users is via phone verification. As with email verification, when a user signs up for your site, you can send them a link to verify their phone number. Once they have verified it, they can log in to their account on the site.
The last method of user authentication is via text message verification. When a user signs up for your site, you can send them a link to verify their phone number. Once they have verified it, they can log in to their account on the site.
All three of these methods of user authentication add an extra layer of security to your online store. Not only do they ensure that everyone who signs up for your site is who they say they are, but they also provide an extra level of security by requiring two different things to access an account on your site (i.e. an email address and a password).
Data security is often overlooked when it comes to cybersecurity, but this is a grave mistake. Your customers entrust you with their personal information, and it is your duty to protect their data. This involves taking several steps, such as:
- installing a password manager (e.g. LastPass)
- encrypting backups
- using SSL to secure web traffic
- implementing a data breach notification plan
The first step is to install a password manager. A password manager is an application that generates strong passwords for you, meaning you no longer have to remember them. LastPass is a popular cross-platform password manager that manages all of your logins and passwords for you, providing you with the ability to keep track of them in one place. This makes generating and remembering passwords a thing of the past!
You also need to back up your data regularly. This is especially important if you have been storing personal or payment information, as a data loss incident could seriously damage your business. The majority of businesses lose sensitive data to cybercrime, with financial information being some of the most commonly stolen. To prevent this, you must ensure that all of your data is backed up regularly.
Similarly, you need to implement SSL to secure web traffic. The use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a security mechanism commonly used for transmitting sensitive information online. When a website uses SSL, the information the site is transmitting is encrypted (i.e. scrambled) before it is transmitted, preventing anyone from snooping on the data.
Ensuring the security of your customer’s personal and financial information is one of the most important things you can do for your business. But it can also be one of the most daunting tasks. The key is to become familiar with the various ways hackers and cybercriminals try to infiltrate your business and steal your customers’ information. Then, you can develop a comprehensive strategy to combat these attacks.