Protecting your online store is a must these days. With so many online frauds and cyberattacks happening, the security of your store should be your top priority. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report 2021, the public reported around 847,376 complaints of cybercrime, a 7 percent increase from 2020. Meanwhile, the 2021 Cost of A Data Breach Report revealed that the average data breach cost increased from $3.86 million in 2020 to $4.24 million in 2021.
Your ecommerce store might not have experienced such attacks yet but will you wait for that to happen? You need to act and take the necessary steps to secure your online store and avoid being a victim of such attacks. Here are the steps on how you can secure your ecommerce store.
Ways Your Online Store Could Be Attacked
- Credit Card Fraud
- Password Breaches
- Malware and Web Attack
Tips On Protecting Your Online Store
- Get an SSL Certificate
- Use Third-Party Payment Channels
- Create Strong Passwords For Your Site
- Consider Two-Factor Authentication
- Educate Customers and Employees
- Encrypt Confidential Information
- Conduct Regular System Updates
- Become PCI Compliant
Ways Your Online Store Might Be Attacked
If your online store does not have the necessary security measures, hackers can have their way and attack your online store. Cybersecurity threats are very prevalent nowadays. Check Point Research revealed that global attacks increased by 28% in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. Here are some ways your online store can be attacked.
1. Credit Card Fraud
This is one of the most common attacks that an online store can encounter. According to the Federal Trade Commission, 67% of identity theft victims reported that their credit card accounts were misused and 19% reported that their checking or savings accounts were misused. Credit card fraud may ruin your brand reputation. This may also cause your online store to go broke.
2. Password Breaches
Sensitive information such as personal and financial information is at risk of a password breach. 81% of hacking-related breaches used stolen and/or weak passwords. Implementing secured password protocols can save customer data and continue gaining their trust.
3. Malware and Web App Attacks
Malware and web app attacks pose a serious risk to your ecommerce store. Poorly coded web apps pose a lot of weaknesses that could put your database at risk of being hacked. The 2020 State of Email Security Report revealed that 51% of organizations experienced a ransomware attack which resulted in partial disruption of business operations.
Spamming is the practice of sending infected links via email, social networks, comments, and contact forms accessible on your website. Did you know that nearly 45% of all emails are spam which translates to 14.5 billion messages worldwide? Spamming impacts your website because it reduces the loading speed, worsens its performance, and reduces overall website security.
Tips On Protecting Your Online Store
Protecting your online store is not an easy task. When it comes to hackers, there is no such thing as a small or big ecommerce store. Protecting your ecommerce business starts with acknowledging that there are hackers who could be trying to steal confidential information from you. Here are some ways you can ensure the safety of your online store.
1. Get an SSL Certificate
SSL certificates ensure the authenticity of users and data encryption on store and in transit. It is proof of the security of the connection between your end-users and the store. One poll revealed that 67% of shoppers would not shop on an ecommerce site without an SSL certificate. Over the years, SSL has established itself as the de-facto standard for securing online transactions.
Most shoppers will always look for the padlock icon of HTTPS in the address bar of your online store as an assurance of the security of their details and credit card information online. SSL certificates also help prevent data breaches. In addition, it keeps hackers away from your code or other sensitive information that you have.
When you have an SSL certificate, shoppers will be more confident to buy from your ecommerce store. It shows consumers that you are doing everything possible to secure transactions and hence will be more likely to do business with you. Eventually, they will become brand advocates because you have put so much effort into securing your online store through SSL certificate implementation.
2. Use Third-Party Payment Channels
Choosing the right payment channel is crucial to ensuring the safety of your online store. Let’s face it, not every shopper is comfortable with sharing their credit card information with online stores. One of the biggest challenges of running an online store is processing payments. Once integrated into your system, payment channels allow seamless collection of payments without the need to create a merchant account.
Third-party payment channels offer a wide range of payment options for customers to choose from. With third-party payment channels, online store owners simply have to create an account with the third-party payment processor and all transactions will go through them. For businesses that are just starting out, a merchant account may not be the most economical way of taking payments.
Third party payment channels use SSL(Secure Socket Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) to authenticate and encrypt data when moving on the Internet. This ensures that sensitive information is only visible to the intended recipient, In addition, they use payment tokenization to convert sensitive payment information by converting it into a string of randomly generated numbers called “tokens,” that can then be sent to the payment network for completion of payment without being exposed.
3. Create Strong Passwords For Your Site
Ensuring strong passwords for your website is extremely important nowadays. Hackers have become more resilient and intelligent nowadays. They have become more tech-savvy in recent years that no password is safe with them. If you are one of the 67% of Americans who use the same password for different online accounts, then you may have probably had a stolen password at some point.
Did you know that the password 123456 is used by more than 23 million people? We all have the habit of creating easy-to-guess passwords like birthdays, anniversaries, or even your dog’s name. But in today’s digital age, using these passwords are not recommended because they can be easily cracked by hackers.
To keep your passwords safe, use stronger passwords. The longer it is, the better. Longer passwords are harder to hack. Also, do change your passwords regularly. The longer you stay with the password, the higher is the risk of it being hacked. In addition, you can make your passwords even stronger by setting password rules for safety.
4. Consider Two-Factor Authentication
Using two-factor authentication (2FA) gives your online store an additional layer of security. Unfortunately, only 26% of companies use multi-factor authentication in the US. For the remaining companies who are not implementing 2FA yet, this makes them prone to stolen or compromised user credentials. It also compromises the security of their online store.
Two-factor authentication requires two means of identification – one is a username/password combo and the second is an auto generated code sent to the verified phone number of the user. While hackers can crack the password, they cannot steal the code as it will expire after a short duration. Since they do not have access to this code, hackers will not be able to log in to your website and wreak havoc. Authentication factors may include the following:
- Knowledge Factor. This is something that the user knows such as a password, personal identification number (PIN), or other types of secret.
- Possession Factor. Something that the user has such as an ID card, cellphone, mobile device, mobile device, or smartphone app to approve authentication requests.
- Biometric Factor. Also known as the inherence factor, this is something that is inherent in the user such as their fingerprint authentication, facial and voice recognition, or speech patterns.
- Location Factor. This is usually determined by the location from where authentication is being made. This can be enforced by limiting authentication attempts to certain devices in a certain location or by tracking the geographical source of the attempt based on the source Internet protocol address.
- Time Factor. This restricts user authentication to a specific time window in which logging on is permitted and prohibits access to the system outside of that window.
5. Educate Customers and Employees
Sometimes both your customers and employees just need to be educated about the laws and policies that affect customer data. Provide education and training to your customers and workforce regarding your information security practices. Let them know that you are protecting their credit card information and advice them on what they should do on their end
Help your employees understand their role in keeping your online store secure. Train them on how to properly handle sensitive data. Employees who have access to private information and credentials have the responsibility of keeping that information safe. Customers count on your employees to ensure the confidentiality of their data. If there is a lapse in security, you will lose the trust of customers.
Employees should be trained on the proper course of action to keep customer data safe. Direct them to strictly follow security protocols and policies to protect your business from possible legal consequences. Remember it is about keeping the trust of your customers so they will keep shopping at your store.
6. Encrypt Confidential Information
Confidential information travels between the website and the browser during an online transaction. As a safety precaution, you will encrypt them. However, it is not enough. Your aim should be to keep hackers away from your code or other sensitive information. This is where encryption software comes in.
Aside from algorithms, you also need an encryption key. This will convert the sensitive data into cipher text. Upon receipt by the receiver, the customer receives a decryption key to convert the cipher text to its original readable format. This decryption key must be kept secret and should not be similar to the encryption key.
Data breach is very common nowadays which makes encryption even more crucial. According to studies, the average cost of a data breach to small businesses can range from $120,000 – $1.24 million. While data encryption may seem like a daunting task, there are many data loss prevention software apps that you can consider investing in. What’s a few hundred dollars worth of data encryption software if it will offer long-term protection of your sensitive data?
7. Conduct Regular System Updates
Another way of keeping your online store secure is to update your system regularly. Old and outdated software will make your system vulnerable to hackers and cybercriminals. Updating your system eliminates flaws that may allow easy access for hackers. Once they are able to open your system, your confidential information becomes exposed to potential cyber theft.
Regular system updates are not only designed to keep your data safe, but they also offer a better end-user experience. Aside from that, updating to the latest version of your system will improve speed and enhance features. Not only that, outdated software may not always be compatible with current systems and software.
In addition, you should also back up your confidential data. By doing so, you will be able to restore your device quickly and seamlessly in case of data loss. According to a 2019 report by Google Registry and The Harris Poll, most Americans have a huge knowledge gap when it comes to online security safety.
8. Become PCI Compliant
Becoming PCI compliant is also important in ensuring the security of your online store. PCI compliance protects your online store from data breaches. Unfortunately, PCI DSS compliance is one area businesses have failed, exposing their online store to the threat of cyber attacks. According to Verizon’s latest Payment Security Report, only 18% of organizations are fully compliant with PCI DSS regulations during their interim validation in 2019.
PCI DSS compliance helps improve the security of your card processing environment and lessens the chances of fraud. This gives customers an assurance that you are handling and storing data for card payments according to certain regulations. This maintains the security of card transactions in your online store.
Although not a legal requirement, not being PCI compliant can subject you to fines imposed by providers that comprise the Security Standard Council (SSC) composed of American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard, and Visa on banks. The banks could pass these fines on to you or choose to terminate your bank account entirely.
Outsource Your Ecommerce Solutions with airisX
airisX has a complete range of individual and complete solutions for ecommerce sellers – our bread and butter. Born out of necessity to help ecommerce sellers scale their businesses and lower their costs, we solve your pain points by bringing all your ecommerce staffing needs under one roof.
airisX works with a large number of companies that build and run their own ecommerce platforms/websites (self-coded or through Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, etc.). We manage customer support teams and support teams for some of the largest websites in the world today, including 4 of the top 20 largest apparel websites in the world.
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you with a customized ecommerce solution for your needs.