Security Tips for eCommerce Websites

Written by
Apr 20,2020

Ecommerce has without doubt taken over the global business space. Technology advancements have brought about a rise in 'lazy' shopping, whereby you would rather take orders from your favorite online store at the comfort of your couch, as opposed to having to make the trip to the conventional brick-and-mortar store.

Every action however comes with an equal and opposite reaction and these very tech milestones have also seen a rise in hard-hitting cybercrime affecting even top players like government institutions and tech companies. That’s why every ecommerce website must prioritize website security.

Security is everything is on your website

  • Secure Ecommerce Theme:

    One vital thing you need to consider seriously is the Ecommerce theme you are going to use for your store and the impact it might have on your website security. Your theme of choice might bring about security breaches if for instance it’s not updated often. Remember that you do not want sensitive customer details like credit card info to be compromised.

    It’s therefore important to choose an ecommerce theme that comes with its own security accreditations and features; like the popular Divi theme for WordPress that comes with a Safe Seal from Sucuri.
    A listing of popular Word Press Ecommerce themes:

    Secure eCommerce Themes
  • Important Security Tips for Your Ecommerce Site

    1. A Valid SSL Certificate is a Must:

      The word SSL certificate should rest firmly at the fingertips of any Ecommerce website owner at this point in time. Standing for Secure Socket Layer, this is basically an encryption technology that secures the information being exchanged between a web server and a client’s browser.

      An ecommerce store is surely going to be accepting payments and one mandatory way to obtain the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance is by installing a Comodo Wildcard SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority. There are many reputable companies in this niche offering a wide array of products.
    2. Choose a Trusted Ecommerce Platform:

      When you decided to try your luck in the world of Ecommerce, one major decision you are confronted with is which ecommerce platform to work with. There are some reputable names in the market like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento.

      Although they all come with flashy aspects like social integration, lead capture, and the like, prioritize on the one that values security the most as you can always get other features using add-ons. A nice platform should be stable and with necessary security protocols in place to sense attacks from a mile away and employ necessary combatants. They should also have payment gateways in place for a smooth checkout process.
    3. Work With a Reliable Hosting Partner:

      A hosting partner is a very crucial player for any ecommerce website. This is like the person or organization that you get to trust with taking care of your online assets. Although you may be strapped for cash when launching your Ecommerce website, you ought to be very careful about the hosting partner you choose to partner with because a mistake here can cost you dearly later.

      A great hosting platform should be steady with little or no downtimes at all. They should also have features like automatic updates & backups, malware scans, spam filters, and distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks mitigators.
    4. Use a Web Application Firewall:

      It’s important to note how bad actors operate online so as to wad them off your online store. Mostly they will try to overload your server with malicious traffic and requests so as to slow you down and ultimately crash your server. This is mostly employed by unscrupulous competitors that want to keep you out of business in crucial times such as Black Friday and holiday seasons.

      The way to combat this is by employing a web application firewall that is able to sift through all incoming traffic and requests. Any malicious activity from bots is detected quickly and sidelined. A web application firewall when used in conjunction with an SSL certificate will offer you foolproof security for your ecommerce website.
    5. Constantly Update Software:

      The internet is a highly dynamic platform that keeps changing every now and then. You cannot simply run one security audit for your store and then sit back knowing that all is well. You should make it a habit to keep in touch with your developer's updates or hire someone or a team to do so.

      Whenever a developer finds a deficiency in the software, they quickly come up with a patch to fix it. They will also notify clients about it and you should form a habit of being on the frontline to download and install these patches immediately before hackers can use the vulnerabilities to nail you.

      eCommerce Security
    6. Don’t Store Clients' Financial Information:

      One great way to beat hackers at their own game is by not having what they want. Mostly these malicious actors will need sensitive personal identifiable information of clients like credit card numbers that they can then use for fraud.

      A sure-fire way to curb this is by not storing such details on your server. Payment companies like PayPal, Stripe, and Skrill have the right armor to deal with any kind of attack. You can partner with them so that you are not liable for any data breach that may occur leading to hefty fines.
    7. Implement Automatic Backups:

      It’s always better to be safe than sorry. A smart trick is to have automatic backups in place. Your hosting company may be offering this service but you could also decide to have personal backups remotely. That way if a strike managed to go through, you would not have the stress of starting from scratch as you have the sensitive information with you.
    8. Enforce Strong Passwords & Security Education:

      As an ecommerce website owner, it’s your job to sensitize every single member of your staff and customers about security best practices. Top of this is the use of strong passwords. An ideal password should include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and special characters. You can also enforce two-factor authentication that adds an extra layer of security; requiring everyone to fill in a code sent to a phone number or email address on top of the usual password so as to sign in.

Parting Shot

Security is without doubt the most fundamental aspect of any ecommerce website. Starting from acquiring an SSL certificate to implementing the other tips outlined above, you should always maintain a laser-sharp focus to Ecommerce security best practices so as to always stay ahead of the game. As the internet space keeps evolving, so should you. You can then smile as you get to overcome every attack and attempt that hackers try on your site.

Mariya‌ ‌Adems‌

Mariya Adems is a Digital Strategist, having 5+ years of experience in the field of Internet Marketing. She is a social media geek, a complete foodie and enjoys trying varied cuisines. A perfect day for her consists of reading her favorite author with a hot cuppa coffee.