How to Protect Your E-Commerce Store From Hackers

With the number of e-Commerce sites growing at a rapid pace, the threat of fraud and hacking has also increased manifold. Statistics indicate companies losing a lot of revenue because of fraudsters and mean-scheming hackers every single day. Not only companies but the customers buying from them also lose their social security numbers, payment card details, and other personal and confidential data. Thus, protecting e-Commerce sites from hackers has become a major concern. Business owners selling a variety of products through their e-Commerce web sites need to be familiar with the Payment Card Industry Security Standard and why staying compliant is very important for the business. 

Here, we bring you a list of things that you can do to keep your online business safe and protected from hackers and fraudsters. 

PCI Compliance maintenance

The business owners must know that the existence of PCI DSS has a specific reason and that is protecting consumers and businesses against fraud. It is thus vitally important to ensure the business is PCI Compliant.

Avoid Collecting Sensitive Data

One thing that must be strictly avoided is collecting and storing confidential data as the hackers focus on hacking sensitive information like payment card numbers, its date of expiry, security code, etc. It is the responsibility of the payment provider to ensure the safety and security of this information. Moreover, the practice of storing data is against PCI Standard.

Keep Your E-commerce Platform Duly Updated

Irrespective of the platform chosen by you for your e-Commerce website, ensure that it is always kept updated. As soon as new releases are out in the market, ensure that your system is duly patched. Many times outdated or redundant software is the major reason behind an attack by hackers.

Use Strong Passwords

It is very important to use very strong and hard to crack passwords when creating an account on the website. Always follow the instructions offered to come up with a strong password like a password having a minimum of 8 characters, having upper and lower-case letters, consists of symbols and more. Another way to ensure protection against hacking is to go for passphrases rather than passwords as it is difficult to crack. Change the passwords quite often so that this layer of security is always up.

Set an alarm for suspicious behavior

Another way through which you can protect your e-commerce website against hacking and frauds is to set up an excellent alarm system that can be triggered as soon as any suspicious behavior is observed. There are several anti-fraud monitoring devices and services available that can help you in this endeavor. If you do not wish to invest in such a service or system, you can manually scan orders and see if any suspicious behavior pops up. These indicators can be if there is no match between the IP address and delivery address, billing address and delivery address, delivery address and phone number, issuance of payment card from the same country as the address of delivery, unusually high order amount, unusual product combination, etc. 

If you notice any of these indicators, it must set off warning bells ringing loudly in your ears so that you can take suitable steps to avoid fraud or hacking of your website. There is no harm in calling the customer and confirming his/her identity and whether the purchase was made by him/her. Even if this manual checking takes a little more time, there is no harm in going forward with it as it will save you a lot of revenue and hassles in the long run. 

Use Encryption

When there is a transfer of confidential data between the browser and the website, it is important to ensure encrypted communication. It helps in protecting customers and business and it also builds trust among customers about the safety of the website. It is recommended to use Secure Sockets Layer or SSL, or Transport Security Layer or TSL that is sure to add the best protection to the consumer’s data. A green bar will be seen on the customer’s browser along with an SSL Security seal close to the address line to show website security with an extended validation SSL Certificate.

Add layers of security

Additional layers of security are always better. You can go for a firewall that prevents hackers and fraudsters from attacking and reaching your network. Add a few more security layers like login pages, contact forms, search queries and more to prevent cross-site scripting and SQL injection. You can also limit the number of login attempts, use a CAPTCHA, ask a security question, rename or hide the login page, enable two-factor authentication and more. 

Well Trained Staff

It is important to train your employees and ensure human errors are reduced to a minimum. The staff can be provided security training where they learn never to reveal customer information in chats, emails, texts, etc., as this is not a secure communication. Come up with an informative Security Policy and put in protocols to adhere to ensuring your staff apprised of general security guidelines. They must understand the need to protect customer data and the laws and regulations surrounding the same. 

Scan and monitor your website

It is important to run a scan and manually monitor the website now and then. There is no dearth of tools available that can help spot security vulnerabilities, malware, spyware, etc., while at the same time notifying immediately so that immediate steps are taken. 

Regular Data Backup

It is important to ensure regular data backup. If you have been neglecting this, it is time that you start keeping a data backup so that you do not end up losing your crucial data in case your hard drive fails, server crashes, or a virus finds a way into your system. It is always better to be safe.

Following the above tips, you can lower down the chances of your e-Commerce website getting hacked. While following these tips, it is also desirable to always stay informed about security issues that might plague your e-Commerce business. 

Written by Ronak Meghani

Ronak Meghani's picture

Ronak is closely working with e-Commerce ventures since 2009 and he has helped 200+ brands for building/improving their online ventures. Ronak Meghani is the award winner CEO and co-founder of Magneto IT Solutions a web and Magento development company.