5 Ways You Can Improve Your eCommerce Store's Security To Get Ahead Of Your Competition

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Ensuring utmost security of your online store is significant for reasons more than one. A safe online store gives a factor of safety to your customers, help attract more sales and win recurring customers, other than securing your transactions and saving your online portal from unwanted downtime due to security loopholes. Implementing VPN, 2-step verification and SSL can help upgrade security.

Amidst formidable competition on the e-store e-commerce frontier, a safe and secure website can make a big difference in attracting and retaining customers.

Online transactions have become the underlying framework of the world economy today. Web-based businesses have provided an all-new significant measurement to webpreneurship. While the rise of e-commerce has given massive revenue streams to thousands of webpreneurs, the industry - no doubt -  is right at the nucleus of attraction for cybercriminals.

Security breaches, compromised platforms, and accounts, financial infringement, etc. are nothing new when it comes to e-commerce. Vulnerabilities in an online store can be exploited by attackers to do the harm, and detecting vulnerabilities is no rocket science anymore, no matter it’s a startup online store or the giant eBay.

Now you might be wondering when the online retail behemoth like eBay proved petite against these attacks on occasions more than one, then what’re the odds of a small e-commerce site defending itself! Well, it can sure be challenging, no uncertainty. But then, there are certain proven measures you can adopt and implement to ensure maximum safety of your online store, if not complete.

Here’s a rundown of the top 5 security best practices to keep your e-commerce store secure:   

1. Choose the right secure e-commerce platform

First things first - selecting the right platform is the first thing you can do to ensure you step out on the right foot with your online store. Most online stores run on platforms like Shopify and Magento, and security is one of the most influential reasons for this.

The top 3 features merchants fancy while choosing a platform include:

  • · Robust functionality
  • · Ease of use
  • · And of course, the fact that the chosen platform is more secure than others

Most online stores run on platforms that feature automatic security updates, which saves the merchants from logistical labor and security concerns - so they can focus on other important business operations like marketing and support.  

But then, just because the security of your online platform is automatically updated, doesn’t truly mean your site is safe as houses.

The fact that certain eCommerce platforms are used more than others clearly means that those platforms are more on the wishlist of hackers and, consequently, online stores that do less to prioritize their security and that of their users could be in trouble, leaving important data of their users on ‘chance’.

Therefore, you must get a step ahead of security updates and consider hosting your online shopping carts on a Level 1 PCI DSS compliant server, which means your personal data and user information is completely secure. You can even opt for a 128-bit Free SSL certificate provided free of cost in all pricing plans at Shopify, except the Lite.

Though running a store on a secure platform as Shopify means there are fewer chances of your store being individually targeted by cybercriminals, you must ensure you have the best defense mechanism on board.  

2.  Boost your safety with security plugins

Plug-ins are an integral part of eCommerce website operations. They not just extend the capabilities and functionality of your store, but also ensure maximum infiltration is kept at bay to provide your seamless security.  

WordPress offers several handy plugins such as WordFence that provides your website a much-needed security shield. It can easily be integrated with an e-commerce platform to activate a robust security system backed by Web Application Firewall.

It remains active, protecting your store from being hacked, and even provides you a seamless real-time view of your site’s traffic. WordFence even sends you real-time notifications in case someone tries to break-into your platform with evil intentions.

There are several other plugins too which can easily be integrated into your online store platform, no matter you’re running Magento or Shopify.

The only thing about successfully using these plugins is that they must be kept updated at all times to get robust, seamless protection as outdated plugins can be easily exploited by cybercriminals.

Most of these plugins are absolutely free and you can choose any of them as per their specific features, platform compatibility and your unique needs to get an added wall of safety.

3. Go for two-factor authentication

Traded off or stolen user accreditations are the prime reason for most web security infringements. Phishing attacks are the most common approach to steal legit user information such as logins and banking details. These details are then traded off to instigate break-in attempts at your e-commerce store and, therefore, there’s a need for you to consider adding an extra shield of safety at that point.

Two-factor authentication is a demonstrated user confirmation mechanism which is proven and effective to prevent hacking attempts at your online store.

Numerous eCommerce merchants are already validating authentic client logins through two-step verification, wherein a user is required to provide two methods of valid recognizable proofs for secure login.

The first proof is generally the combination of username and a secret code, while the second proof is usually a key code generated progressively and delivered to a verified phone number of the user.

Though hackers might break the watchword, they can’t still access this code as it’s sent to the registered mobile number of the user and terminates (expires) after a brief period of time!

4. Regular data backup is a must

It’s never a delight to spend hours trying to figure out that your online eCommerce portal has been compromised and that what specific information has been stolen.

It’s such an awkward situation to find out that someone has been nosing around on your store, and equally sore is the feeling that you have no clue as to what the intruders have done. Hackers can do anything unpleasant, from copying your data to getting it corrupted through some malicious code or tool, which renders your data unfit for use again.

Therefore, it is essential that you take regular backup of your store’s data. The data on your eCommerce store is your property and you must not surely have blind faith on your hosting service provider to ensure that regular backup is maintained.

Though there are several ways to take backup of your data manually, there are chances forget to take it on a consistent basis, being preoccupied with other formats of the business. If your data is updated, added or modified daily or (say) weekly, having a backup you took a few months back will be of no use.

Therefore, most eCommerce merchants go for automated data backup service. This eliminates the odds of forgetfulness or human error and provides you a total peace of mind as you can focus on other core business operations, having one less imperative thing to do regularly.

To automatically take back up of your data, you can use Rewind plugin for Shopify that helps you sync inventory levels, restore deleted items, and backup all your data, including theme, product images, orders, inventory, customers, etc. For Magento, several automatic data backup plugins are available which you can choose from depending on the features you need.

5. Use multi-layered security

Breaking into an online store is much similar to intruding into an ancient city or castle. Back then, the kings used to have in place a multi-layered security, generally at different doors of the castle, to neutralize any external attack. Castles with layers of security lasted the longest.

There’s no one specific way to safeguard your online store from hackers forever; however, using multiple security layers will certainly make it all the more difficult for intruders by a jump in.

Consider starting with a firewall that barricades trusted and untrusted networks, and controls all inbound and outbound traffic to your website. Firewalls are proven single best safety mechanism against widespread and generally used hacks such as SQL injections and cross-site scripting.

Final word

Cybercrime is at an all-time high and nothing is completely secure, to say the least. However, you can upgrade your store’s security using the methods discussed in this post and surely make your website a nail-biter of a task for anyone to break in. If you’re a startup and have outsourced the development of your online store, you can consider consulting an established e-commerce website development company to know more about how you can ensure maximum security of your store, preventing it against any major cyber attack.

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