Last Updated on January 23, 2020

Image: Unsplash

Statistics reveal that, in 2018, e-commerce retail sales worldwide accounted for 12.2 percent of global retail sales. The figure also rose by 22.8 percent from the previous year.

With this success, however, comes great risk.

In that same year, the e-commerce industry accounted for the highest percentage (32 percent) of cybersecurity breaches since it held sensitive customer information like credit card numbers.

Cybersecurity breaches are serious. They result in thousands to millions worth of financial, data, reputational, and business loss. That is why e-commerce store owners need to have a firm grasp of the information security landscape so they can cope better with the changing times.

The sad part is, the majority of businesses don’t even apply some of the most basic steps to bolster their cybersecurity.

If you’re looking for ways to keep your business secure, then you’re in the right place.

Allow me to share with you six rock-solid tips to strengthen your e-commerce security.

Let’s get started.

1. Encrypt and back up your data.

Especially in e-commerce businesses, customer data is crucial.

Whether you’re into omnichannel or multichannel marketing, there are several ways you can leverage your customer data to generate more sales.

You can use it to improve your relationships with your customers, foster their brand loyalty, and increase your sales and conversions.

For example, for your shoppers to buy items they like, you have to personalize product suggestions. Personalization helps shoppers buy more, after all.

For personalization to work, you need volumes of data about your customers’ interests.

In other cases, you may also keep customer details like their names and addresses in a Customer Relations Management (CRM) software for various purposes.

While these data are helpful for your e-commerce, they may also be valuable to hackers.

As such, you need to safeguard your customer data. One way is to encrypt and back them up regularly.

Store them in a distant data center or replicate integral systems.

If you’re storing some data in your cloud, encrypt them first. Then, choose cloud services that allow you to encrypt your data.

2. Plan and monitor your cybersecurity.

To help prevent cybersecurity attacks from succeeding, you need to plan and enforce robust defense protocols and monitor your cyber health at all times.

One of the ways you can plan your defenses is by following a cyber kill chain.

A cyber kill chain shows you the stages a hacker goes through to carry out his attack.

Knowing the steps and means lets you establish protective measures and offense mechanisms when a threat comes.

For instance, in the first stage called Reconnaissance, the hacker attempts to intrude on your system through brute force attacks and social engineering.

To stop him in his tracks, you can run penetration tests that simulate and verify the strength of your first defense layer.

You can then set up necessary fences like stronger passwords and an SSL-certified website.

You may even include monitoring user-generated content on your website or browser feed and reporting suspicious, spammy, or fake online reviews and comments.

If you think the security measures you’ve put in place won’t cut it, don’t hesitate to contact certified third-party cybersecurity experts to help you enforce an effective plan and monitoring system for your business.

3. Manage your passwords.

Your passwords are important because they provide access to your private accounts and information.

Hackers are on to stealing your login credentials because, once they do, they can then change your passcodes, prevent your future entry, exploit your account, and more.

To get ahold of your access codes, they can use sophisticated tools like malicious chatbots. Here’s the thing, while chatbots can certainly do wonders for your e-commerce store — something that we can learn from eCommerce giants who invest in having them — you need to make sure that they are secure.

To help you better manage your passwords, here are a few tips.

Use long and complicated passwords.

Use around 14 different kinds of characters for your passwords. Mix up lower and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers.

For example, instead of “thorinoakenshield,” use “tHoRin*122^OakEnShieLd$474&.”

Long and complicated passwords make it almost impossible for hackers to crack.

Verify your password strength as well with secure password meters like My1Login.

My1Login tells you your password strength. Ideally, aim for a very strong assessment. You can also opt to hide or display your password while testing it.

4. Bolster your payment gateway’s security.

When starting your e-commerce marketplace, a system for processing your customers’ payments is a crucial component.

While reliable e-commerce platforms usually have a secure built-in payment gateway systems, you’d do well adding whatever layer of security you can manage.

Here’s how you can further secure your e-commerce payment gateway system:

Apply for SSL/TLS certificates.

From an SEO perspective, having an SSL certificate can do wonders for your site.

According to Google, having one is one of the easiest things that website owners can do to boost their SEO ranking. If you’re into doing SEO audits, generating content consistently, and building strategic relationships with other webmasters — all for the purpose of ranking your site, then you hands down need to have an SSL certificate.

With the value that an SSL certificate can bring, getting one should be a no-brainer decision for you.

The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) enable encryption on your e-commerce site.

Encryption means attempting hackers need to go through additional layers to access the information or payment transmitted.

Having SSL/TLS certificates indicate that you have a secure e-commerce website, and customers can feel safe while shopping on your online store.

You and your customers will know your e-commerce store is safe when you see a padlock icon before your URL and HTTPS instead of HTTP.

When your customers feel confident about your store’s security, they’ll be more inclined to continue with the purchase and provide the necessary information.

Be PCI-DSS Level 1 compliant.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) requires all companies to cultivate a safe environment if they receive, process, relay, and store credit card details.

As an e-commerce business owner, not only would you need to make sure that your e-commerce business is housed on the best ecommerce website builder platform, you also need to ensure that your site complies with the security standards.

The standards, after all, protect your business from possible cybersecurity breaches not only in one card but also across your payment system. You also protect your company and customer details.

Get a third-party payment system provider.

Unless you can spend for an IT team to manage your cybersecurity, you should not store confidential banking and financial details on your website.

Outsourcing your payment security to a third-party service provider, however, is a sound option.

Get a reliable payment processing company, like Paypal or Stripe, to handle your financial transactions.

Key Takeaways

The tips mentioned in this guide are some of the basic (yet effective) preventive cybersecurity steps you should employ in your e-commerce store.

With the unprecedented rise of cyberattacks in the e-commerce industry, there’s no better time to strengthen your security than now. Apply these tips so you won’t be part of the cyber breach statistics.

Did you find this guide beneficial? Be the first to share this with your colleagues. Cheers!


Sidharth. Professional Blogger. Android dev. Audiophile. Find us on Google+ Find Me on Facebook Follow Me on Twitter

Write A Comment