How Security Healthy is Your E-Commerce Website?
You put your heart and soul into setting up your online store, feel the excitement of getting your first orders and exult at good customer feedback. E-commerce has become the primary revenue source for many today, and a lot of hard work goes into building a business online. While e-commerce sites gain profits faster than traditional offline channels, they are more prone to security breaches and fraudulent transactions due to improper security protocols. What happens as a result is that many store owners suffer from revenue and data losses and, worst of all, take a hit on their online reputation!
So, in this vulnerable digital world, you need to ask yourself this all-important question: ‘How security healthy is my e-commerce website?’
To answer this, first you need to know the various ways in which you can increase your site’s security and take steps to prevent a cyber-attack. We bring to you some pointers, which will help you in this regard:
- Get a secure hosting service
The cheapest hosting service may not always be the best. So, don’t think twice on investing in a reliable and safe hosting service, which not only keeps hackers away but also provides back-up systems that can get your site up and running quickly in case a security breach occurs. There are some good hosting services in the market, which provide a high uptime guarantee, a secure data centre, backup programs, RAID data protection and manual reboot. Here is a list of top-rated web hosting service providers, which can help you decide.
- Educate users on protecting their information
Customers often don’t give much thought to keeping their login information and payment credentials safe. Things like 2-step secure passwords or using combination of characters as your password can, to some extent, keep your account safe. Apart from this, ensure to have a security program installed on the device you use to administer your website – because if the admin access to your site is compromised, then you just can’t repair the damage.
In nopCommerce, which is an open source e-commerce platform, it is possible to restrict admin portal access to only a specific IP address. We can specify the allowed IP address from admin portal under menu ‘Configuration → Settings → General settings’ as shown in the screen grab below.
- Invest in SSL/TLS for your website
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security), are two important security protocols that any e-commerce site should invest in as they help protect your data from hackers when it is being sent from the site to a server or another application. SSL and TLS encrypt the data to make sure that the information remains secure even when it’s being processed through an unsafe or a public network. You can check if your site has an integrated SSL certificate by using this SSL Checker.
nopCommerce has a built-in feature to support SSL. After configuring the SSL certificate on the hosting server, you need to enable SSL for your store in nopCommerce admin area from ‘Configuration → Stores’ menu as shown in the screen grab below.
If you want to force SSL for all site pages, check the checkbox ‘Force SSL for all site pages’ from ‘Configuration → Settings → General settings’ menu as shown in the screen grab below.
- XSRF Protection (Cross Site Request Forgery)
It is easy to protect your e-commerce public store and admin area from XSRF or CSRF attacks. nopCommerce provides checkboxes to enable XSRF or CSRF protection for your admin area and public portal in ‘Configuration → Settings → General settings’ section as shown in the screen grab below.
- Captcha and Honeypot
With most tasks getting automated today, many cyberattacks have started taking place through bots and automated scripts. nopCommerce has 2 different mechanisms to prevent your website forms like contact form, registrations pages, etc., from getting submitted by scripts or bots. In nopCommerce, you have the option to enable Honeypot for registration pages which will prevent submission by scripts. nopCommerce also has a built-in module to enable Google captcha. You can find these options under ‘Configuration → Settings → General settings’ menu as shown in the screen grab below.
- Encrypt Communications to Vendors
E-commerce involves lot of company communications to vendors, including critical ones like your credit card processor. Important transaction details, bank information and other personal data must be sent in encrypted emails rather than using plain text.
nopCommerce has a placeholder to enter your encryption key to encrypt sensitive data under ‘Configuration → Settings → General settings’ menu as shown in the screen grab below.
Managing an e-commerce website is quite a daunting task these days, with the online retail industry seeing a sharp increase in security breaches and data leaks. However, if you get some of the basics right as listed above and invest a bit in having the right protocols in place, you can rest assured and have a smooth sail!
If you are planning to build an e-commerce website, or already have one and want it upgraded, please contact us today.
Shwetha Bhat | Blogger