Increased incidents of data breaches pose a serious challenge to e-commerce entities. This challenge is even more significant to startup businesses which even though tech-centric, lack the much-needed expertise to ramp up their cybersecurity. Unfortunately, if not dealt with appropriately, data breaches place startup owners at the risk of losing not only revenue but also their website and valuable customer data. The good news, however, is they need not wait until this happens. As described herein, there are steps that they can take to secure their e-commerce platforms
1. Invest in Quality E-commerce Hosting Services
Your web hosting service directly impacts your website’s security. You, therefore, need to ensure that you invest in a good one. Apart from keeping hackers at bay, your host should also have excellent backup resources. These will make it easy for you to restore your site whenever there’s a breach.
Also make sure the hosting service you opt for operates 24/7, has no downtime and has invested in RAID data protection for optimal website performance. That said, go for cloud-based hosting services as they not only fit these criteria but also have engineers working behind the scenes to safeguard the security of your e-commerce platform.
2. Move to HTTPS
Using HTTPS not only protects your site from hackers but also increases your traffic as Google tends to give HTTPS sites a better ranking signal. HTTPS also creates a secure link between the internet’s user browser and your server, thus protecting user data. To move to HTTPS, get an SSL certificate from a recognized vendor or web host, run it, and then change the settings to your site.
3. Opt for a Secure E-commerce Website
While reputable hosting services and moving to HTTPS will help tighten the security of your site, it’ll be useless if the site you opt for isn’t secure. Hence, besides support, performance, and features also ensure you consider how secure the platform is before you make it yours. A good e-commerce site usually has secure payment gateways, has shipping method extensions, and releases security patches.
4. Don’t Forget User-Level Data
With login details, cybercriminals have the upper hand and can do a lot of damage. To ensure none of your clients ends up a victim, ensure you remind them to take precautions when using your e-commerce platform. For instance, remind them to change their logins at least once a month by automating this process. Also, make sure your e-commerce site is designed in a way that each user password has at least eight characters. The password should include a number, a symbol, and an upper and lowercase letter.
5. Avoid User Data Storage
When your site’s security is compromised, you’ll lose not only your website but also valuable clientele info. This, in turn, results in loss of revenue and customer loyalty. Being the last thing you want, ensure you don’t store sensitive user data. If unavoidable, use creative ways to protect their data, for instance, tokenization.
6. Invest in Regular Vulnerability Tests
Running regular vulnerability tests on your sites helps you exploit loopholes that hackers would use to penetrate your system. This puts you one step ahead as you can then secure them. Fortunately, most e-commerce sites usually have tools that you can use to run this test. Ensure you go for a website that scans both your site and its network such as MBSA.
7. PCI DSS Compliance
As the website owner and admin, it’s your responsibility to make sure your site is PCI DSS compliant. This not only keeps you out of trouble with the law but also increases your control over consumer credit card data hence preventing incidents of fraud. Being PCI DSS Compliant also helps you detect and prevent potential hacks before any damage is done.
8. Always Ensure Your Platform is Updated
Hackers are usually on the lookout for vulnerabilities that they can exploit to penetrate your site. Developers, on the other hand, are usually a step ahead as they come up with new software updates to cover the vulnerabilities. Your role in this battle is to ensure you install and run these updates because you never know when a hacker will strike!
9. Backup! Backup! Backup!
Regular e-commerce backups are for your good. In case of a compromise, you don’t need to start from scratch as you can retrieve your website from your web host. This enables you to bounce back efficiently. Thus, make sure your web host has an automatic backup service.
10. Make the Most of Content Delivery Network
Commonly referred to as a CDN, a content delivery network delivers content to users based on the servers close to them. It also stores your site’s contents and identifies malware, hence helps prevent DDoS attacks.
Safeguarding your e-commerce website should be a priority. Implementing the outlined tips not only helps you to do so but also enhances your website’s efficiency.