Nowadays, every business, no matter how large or small, operates online. The digital world provides countless opportunities to businesses. However, with all the benefits also come the numerous risks. The biggest issue companies face online is the threat of cyber attacks. Hackers become more sophisticated as time goes by and every business is a potential target for data breach and exploitation. Many e-commerce businesses believe that hackers target only large companies and corporate giants.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. As a matter of fact, 43% of all cyber attacks target small businesses, especially e-commerce stores that store their customers’ sensitive information. What’s more, 60% of small business fail in 6 months after a data breach. That’s why it’s vital to protect both your business and your customers from potential attacks. That being said, here are a few ways to protect your e-commerce site from cyber attacks.
Pick the right platform
The foundation for your site’s cyber security is the platform you opt for. There are various e-commerce platforms for you to choose from and each one has its unique settings and security measures. Make sure that the one you choose can have additional security measures integrated into it. This is very important, especially if you want to add extra layers of security to meet your needs, such as additional security software or third party cyber security extensions and plug-ins.
What’s more, ensure that you’re using the latest version of your e-commerce platform. Outdated versions also have outdated security measures, which can easily be exploited by cyber criminals. In essence, the better the built-in security measures are in the platform you choose, the easier it becomes to protect your site from cyber attacks.
Choose the right hosting provider
Your e-commerce site’s performance pretty much relies on the hosting provider you’ve chosen and the service they provide. The same goes for cyber security. When choosing a hosting provider, make sure you do some research to identify which provider focuses on proper cyber security measures. When looking for suitable conditions, check out whether the provider offers proper encryption for your website.
Also, check if they offer regular data backups, proper monitoring and efficient technical assistance for disaster recovery. When choosing a hosting provider, it’s always better to focus on good quality solutions that are reliable, rather than settle for an affordable solution. With the right platform and the right hosting providers, you’ll have a solid foundation for proper cyber security and ensure your e-commerce website is safe from potential data breaches.
Be proactive with your security
Nowadays, cyber attacks can happen to anyone. It has come down to “when” rather than “if” a cyber attack is going to hit your website. The best way to ensure your website is safe is to be proactive about your defenses and security measures. For instance, reliable cyber security monitoring is an excellent way to determine the efficiency of your security measures.
You can check your website to determine if it’s vulnerable to potential attacks. A good example is to perform penetration testing which simulates real-time cyber attacks. That way you can identify weaknesses in your security measures and fix them before an actual attack happens. Moreover, you can determine what type of threats are most likely to cause a data breach, such as malware, denial of service (DoS), ransomware, malicious software etc. and protect your website from such threats.
Include additional security
E-commerce websites process a lot of customer sensitive information such as credit or debit card information on daily basis. It’s equally important to protect your customers, as it is to protect your website from those wishing to steal that information. Adding extra security to your website is never a bad choice. For instance, make sure your website has HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secured) communication protocol. It’s a standard HTTP encrypted by a TLS (Transport Layer Security) certificate.
It encrypts communication between customer’s browser and your website, especially during transactions and purchases. It helps protect from attacks, such as man-in-the middle, where hackers try to obtain sensitive information by listening in on the communication between two parties, otherwise known as eavesdropping. Aside from HTTPS, make sure you don’t actually store any sensitive information on your website. Instead keep them on offline servers until you need that data and keep only information related to returns and chargebacks on active servers.
Ensure you’re PCI DSS compliant
The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council requires from all businesses that process credit card information, such as e-commerce stores to comply to their Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This standard is a set of practices designed to improve cyber security practices and protect consumers from credit card frauds and thefts.
Businesses that follow these practices are able to improve their cyber security measures and ensure their website, as well as their customers are adequately protected from cyber attacks. For example, one of the practices is to conduct annual risk assessment, in order to check for vulnerabilities in security measures. The compliance list updates regularly following the latest security trends, so make sure you check out what’s new, in order to remain compliant.
Cyber threats aren’t something business owners should look down upon. Even a single successful data breach has the potential to ruin your business entirely. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to improve cyber security and ensure your e-commerce website is safe from such threats.