Technology September 4, 2020 Last updated September 4th, 2020 269 Reads share

10 Best Practices To Make Your eCommerce Website More Secure

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Many online shopping businesses are witnessing massive website traffic during this global pandemic. For example, hygiene products (sanitizers, toilet papers) and healthcare products are in high demand. People prefer to buy such products online instead of offline in the United States. 

While putting a lot of effort into catering to these newfound requirements, one thing that is easily overlooked by the business owners is – security of the website. It wasn’t a long time ago that cyber attacks were a thing of rarity. Now, breaches are far too common, which shows an increase in the rate of these attacks, and hence, one must not overlook them regardless of anything. 

In this post, we’ll cover eCommerce website security and best practices that you can follow to make your website secured. 

Let’s get started.

10 Best Practices To Make Your Ecommerce Website More Secure:

1. Select a Right eCommerce Platform 

Considering the best platforms for your eCommerce websites is a critical decision, especially for small businesses. There are mainly three types of eCommerce platforms to choose from: 1) Open-Source 2) SaaS and 3) Headless Commerce.

Several eCommerce platforms such as Magento, BigCommerce, 3dcart, WooCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, and Prestashop are available for businesses to evaluate based on their own specific needs and use cases. 

Here’re some recommendations for choosing the right eCommerce platform for your small or large business:

  • We suggest you choose a platform based on Object-Oriented Programming, which includes built-in security protocols.
  • If you choose WordPress as a platform, select a useful WordPress security plugin that puts an additional layer of protection to your website.
  • Moreover, set up a bot mitigation solution if it’s not provided by default. 

2. Choose a Secure Hosting Provider

Once selecting the best eCommerce platform, finding a secure hosting platform should be the foremost concern for your eCommerce business website. Hosting your website through third-party eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, or Wix can defend your website from common cyber-attacks and also save your money on operating costs at the same time. 

However, if you go with the cheapest hosting provider, your eCommerce site will probably suffer from poor performance and unreliability. Apart from this, a hosting provider must have a good backup service; therefore, your website can be quickly restored after a security breach. 

As a side note, a web host must be operational 24×7, has RAID data protection, maximum uptime, which creates a backup of the website on multiple disks, resulting in fast performance. Hence, choose wisely!

3. Payment Gateway Security

The payment gateway ensures that the transaction is secure and safe. The stored credit card numbers on the database are a liability. Not considering the payment gateway security gives open invitations to hackers where they can put the brand’s reputation and customers’ sensitive information at risk. Falling victim to a security breach where hackers getting their hands on credit card data can force you to shut down your business.

You can also use third-party payment processing systems like PayPal, Stripe, and Wordplay to carry out the eCommerce websites’ payment process. 

The payment gateway should be using tokenization to minimize payment fraud from stolen data, point-to-point encryption (P2PE), and PCI DSS compliant

4. Switch To HTTPS

Compared to web hosting, eCommerce hosting requires a multitude of functions. These features are security initiatives, SSL, shopping cart software, etc. If your eCommerce website is not encrypted with HTTPS, the website will be defined as not secured. 

With the absence of HTTPS in the URL, you would not earn confidence from your brand’s visitors. Having HTTPS in the URL sends a positive signal to your shoppers. Any professional company that provides eCommerce development services can help you set up an HTTPS-powered website.

5. Backup Your Data

No matter how safe you keep your eCommerce site, you never know what will happen. A determined hacker always attacks through security loopholes, which poses a severe software corruption vulnerability. This is where keeping your data backup comes into play. However, several web hosts have backup systems, but it’s suggested that you have your backup system to keep copies of your data offline in an alternate location. 

To backup your data, use the 3-2-1 principle, which is about having at least three recent backups at all times, keep two of those on different storage media, and one of them at an offsite location. 

6. Secure Website With an SSL Certificate

Generally, a website needs to have SSL by default. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates are commonly used to protect data transfer, credit card transactions, and login information. SSL certificate, when utilized on a server, activates the padlock and HTTPS protocol and activates secure connections from a web server to a browser. SSL certificates comprise:

  • The domain name, server name, or hostname
  • Organizational identity or company name and location

The main reason to secure the website with an SSL certificate is to keep sensitive information sent across the Internet encrypted; therefore, only intended recipients can access it.

When this best practice is used in eCommerce websites, then the information will become unreadable to everyone except for the server in which the information is transferred. This safest approach is safeguarding sensitive data from threats and notorious elements.

7. Secure Servers & Admin Panels

Several eCommerce platforms come with default passwords that are ridiculously easy to guess. If you don’t find alternatives, then the chances of hacks could increase. Here’re some simple steps that can significantly improve your eCommerce website’s security:

  • Use complex usernames and passwords and change them frequently. 
  • Take one step further by making the panel notify an unknown IP attempt to log in every time.

Apart from this, make sure that nothing on your eCommerce site has 777 permissions that allow anyone to read, write, and execute. Also, your cPanels should not be accessible from any IP address. One should lock access to cPanel and other services so that only specific IP addresses can be used.

8. Apply 2-Step Verification

Using 2-step verification, 2-step authentication, or multi-factor authentication can sometimes be a burdensome task. However, it gives you further assurance that only authorized visitors are logging into your store. 

Above all, an eCommerce site needs to implement the proper security measures before customers start engaging with their website. So it is always worth investing in a 2-step verification method to stay away from the potential consequences of a breach.

9. Use eCommerce Security Plugins

Security plugins are a simple way to enforce security protection on your eCommerce website. These security plugins protect against bad bots, XSS, code injections, and hundreds of other severe attacks. 

Astra is one of the most automatically secured plugins that prevent malicious requests from reaching your website. 

10. Keep the Website up To Date

It’s critical to keep the website system up-to-date for security concerns. If you are using SaaS platforms like Salesforce, Amazon Web Services, Zendesk, BigCommerce, etc., your software updates are automatically taken care of.

To give you an example, an eCommerce website switched from Magento to BigCommerce, and found a 94% increase in ROI, eradicated integration issues, and got security updates without a hassle. 

“Magento was one huge headache after another – from security updates to parts of our site not functioning. With BigCommerce, none of that is a concern now, which is great. We don’t have to spend time worrying about that, and we can spend time on running our business.”

~ Randy Choi & Billy Thompson, Co-founder, Thompsontee.com

On the other hand, if updates are not automatic, you need to be extra careful to update them manually. It would be great if you turn on automatic updates, not only for your eCommerce website but for the entire computer system.

Concluding Remarks

Implementing eCommerce security measures is vital to any business, especially when it comes to online retailing and digital payments. When not following correctly, it can reward hackers a treasure trove of sensitive information. This may lead to significant financial loss.  

Thus, using all the practices mentioned above and keeping yourself updated is the best way to secure your website completely. 

How do you handle such security woes? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.

DepositPhotos – website security

hardik Shah

hardik Shah

Hardik Shah works as a Tech Consultant at Simform, a leading custom software development company. He leads large scale mobility programs covering platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices.

Read Full Bio