1. Choose A Safe Web Host And E-commerce PlatformThe first step to creating a safe eCommerce site is choosing a secure platform and web host. Shop around for different platform providers and hosts to find the one that best suits your business and customers. Make sure your host and platform offer protection from threats such as SQL injections and malware.
Apart from finding a secure platform, make sure you get an SSL certificate. One of the requirements under the PCI Data Security Standard is for eCommerce websites to have SSL certification. These measures are put in place so businesses can take measures to protect their consumers from cybercrime. The SSL certificate encrypts the data between your site and the consumer’s web browser. This makes information unreadable for everyone except you and the user.
2. Perform SQL Checks
Hackers can make SQL injections in user input forms on your eCommerce site. Therefore, you should regularly check for these vulnerabilities. Various software options can allow you to monitor and secure your site from these SQL injections. You can also use free site scanners to perform daily checks on your site’s security. These scanners will identify vulnerabilities and address them before a hacker exploits them. However, make sure you download these site scanners from trusted vendors.
3. Monitor Your Downloads
The ability to download and integrate tools, plugins, and apps directly to your site is very convenient. However, you should pay attention to what you're downloading. Cybercriminals use these plugins and tools to attach malicious software that targets your website. Therefore, make sure you download these applications and plugins from trusted vendors.
4. PCI ComplianceAnother measure you should take to secure your website is PCI Compliance. PCI DSS covers all merchants who accept credit card payments from their clients using American Express, MasterCard, Visa, JCB, or Discover. This compliance is important if a security breach of your site’s network can compromise credit card data.
Some of the steps you should take towards PCI compliance include making sure you have a secure network, taking measures to protect cardholder information, identifying all vulnabilities in your site, using strong passwords, and managing a formidable data security policy.
5. Use A 3rd Party Payment Processing System For Customer Data
One of the ideal ways of protecting your client's data from cyber-attacks on your site is by removing their financial information like credit cards from your site. You can use a third-party payment gateway to handle your customer’s financial data. Make sure you choose a qualified payment processor that's compatible with your eCommerce platform and also offers fraud prevention.
6. Keep Your Site Updated And Patched
Every day, hackers are discovering new vulnerabilities and ways to steal or compromise data. Application developers are also finding ways to fix these vulnerabilities. Therefore, it's important to keep your website software updated to handle emerging threats. Turn on automatic updates to stay in touch with the latest security patches.
7. Back-Up Your Website Data
Backing up your website data will not only prevent security threats but will also act as a safeguard against losing information. It's good practice to always back-up information on your website. Back up the website every few days. If you have a busy schedule, set up automatic back-ups. This will prevent you from having to restart the process manually. Many eCommerce sites offer website back-ups — choose a platform with this built-in feature.
8. Use Strong Passwords
You should avoid using vendor-provided passwords for your systems. The primary tactic that hackers use to access your site is by cracking your password. The best way to minimize this threat is by using long and random passwords. Have your employees use strong passwords that combine upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. You should also have a policy where employees change their passwords every few months.
9. Use And Get A Website Application Firewall
A firewall will improve the security of your site. Firewalls protect you from SQL injections, XSS, and forgery requests. They also protect you from hacking attempts such as brute force attempts. With a firewall, you're also secured from DDoS attacks. There are many firewall vendors in the market. Find a vendor who fits your budget and needs and one who is renowned in the eCommerce business industry.