So you decided to shift your brick and mortar business to an online one. But have you thought about the cybersecurity issues that come in conjunction with the data you collect from your customers? If you haven’t given it much thought, now is the time to get crackling on securing your customers’ personally identifiable information (PII).
This article has been written to walk you through the basics and intricacies of e-commerce security, how attackers swindle information, and how to protect your customers’ valuable information from cyberattacks.
What is the need for e-commerce cybersecurity?
Wherever there are instances of money exchanging hands, the chances of theft go up. The same is valid for e-commerce websites as well. They serve as a preferred spot for hackers to sniff out customers’ credit card details and other confidential information.
In 2014, the e-commerce giant eBay servers got hacked and exposed the personal information and passwords put up on every registered user’s accounts on the site! The users were susceptible to an increased vulnerability level on other accounts and several brute force attacks elsewhere. This breach of cybersecurity managed to put their identity at risk.
Online commerce is like the proverbial beanstalk that is only expected to grow further. More than half of American consumers are turning to online shopping for meeting their varied needs and requirements. According to Forrester Research findings, cyber sales in the U.S.A were expected to top $355 billion in 2016.
To prevent such breaches in the future and to present a clean, dependable image, e-tailers have understood the need for having cybersecurity checks in place. They have turned to the services of cybersecurity auditors, administrators, and engineers, to stay on top of their cybersecurity game.
Cybersecurity is critical for your business to ensure compliance with set standards, financial solvency, gain, and maintain customer trust.
Common security threats to your e-commerce business
It is not possible to compile an exhaustive list of cybersecurity threats in a single blog post. However, some prominent threats have found their way on to the top. Read on to know more!
- Ransomware and Malware: If you have the misfortune of encountering and downloading malware or ransomware on your device, you can be locked out of essential data and systems. Refrain from clicking on suspicious links and installing new software that does not have code signing certification on your system.
- E-Skimming: It refers to stealing credit card information and other personally identifiable information from payment processing pages on e-commerce sites.
- SQL Injection: If you insecurely store your e-commerce store’s data on an SQL database, you could be at risk! If proper checks are not in place, a malicious query can be injected into a packaged payload and give the attacker access to view and manipulate information in a particular database.
Must-follow ways to secure your customers’ valuable PII
The responsibility of ensuring the security of your customers’ data lies with you. If you are an e-commerce website owner selling products or services online, you need to take accountability for the data users submit with you. Read on to know about foolproof ways to ensure your customers’ data security.
Collect only the data that you will need, refrain from collecting superfluous data:
The best way to save data from hackers’ prying eyes is not to have it on-site in the first place! Collect only the requisite amounts of data that you will need to conduct a successful transaction and have a system in place to get rid of old databases.
Marilyn Prosch, associate professor, Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, believes that “Don’t collect data just because you can. It could very well become a liability if you lose it.”
Install an SSL certificate:
Making the switch from HTTP to HTTPS could make all the difference to your site rankings and a visible improvement in customer trust levels! Installing SSL certificates on pages that require payment transactions can secure your website and customer data from hackers trying to sniff out and eavesdrop on your communication.
Allow third-party providers to handle payment credentials information:
Refrain from storing sensitive information for faster checkout such as consumers’ credit card details. Depend on third-party payment processor portals, such as Authorize.net, Stripe, PayPal, Paytm, etc. to look after such sensitive and confidential details. They are in a better position to secure such data with world-class security and tech checks in place.
Make use of updated software and solutions:
Staying updated rules out significant bugs that can put your customers’ sensitive data at risk. Ensure that the shopping cart that you use is updated.
If you are still using carts managed on a server or a homegrown shopping cart, the chances are that it comes with MD5 hashed outdated passwords. They can easily be cracked open by brute force attacks.
Keep your customers informed:
It comes under your prerogative to inform customers about the data, the why, how and whereabouts of the data that you collect. Teach them to identify any suspicious activity on your site and report the same to you.
Ensure PCI DSS compliance:
Compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is mandatory for websites which deal with online money transactions. Abided by major credit card banks such as, MasterCard, Visa, JCB, American Express, etc. it provides unparalleled security. Choose a plan in concurrence with your transactions limit to ensure security against data theft.
Make use of a Web Application Firewall (WAF):
Choose a WAF that is compliant with the PCI DSS standards, and comes with built-in DDoS protection. Ensure that your WAF allows you to block incoming traffic from areas or countries that you don’t ship to.
With cyberattacks as prevalent as the Sun in the tropics, you need to up your cybersecurity game to protect personal data of your valuable customers. View it as an investment rather than as an expense and ensure that your security doesn’t get compromised.