Building An Ecommerce Website? Here Are A few Security Tips

Oct 24, 2019

data-securityIn the excitement of setting up an eCommerce site, it is often easy to forget that there is more to a website than descriptions of your product or service, pictures, and a payment button. In reality, site security is one of the most important aspects of an eCommerce site, yet it’s often the last thing considered. Research shows that at least 86% of websites contain at least one serious vulnerability, which puts both your business and customers at risk. So, with that in mind, here are a few security tips to ensure that your website is secure from the moment it goes live.

Trademark Your Brand

Trademarking your brand is a basic step in protecting your business, but it’s easy to overlook. Owning a domain and registering with Companies House doesn’t mean your business is protected. You can apply to trademark the band as a whole, as well as specific products and services you offer to prevent future companies from profiting off these.

While trademarking is another upfront cost, it means that no one else can copy them to capitalize on your existing brand reputation or business ideas. If they do, you’ll be within your legal rights to stop it.

Businesses can trademark a number of things, including:

  • Words
  • Sounds
  • Logos
  • Colors

However, there are also some guidelines over what qualifies for a trademark- it’ll need to be unique enough to differentiate your brand, and it should not merely describe the service your offer.

Use a Dedicated SaaS eCommerce Platform for Your Site

Using a dedicated SaaS eCommerce Platform is another great way to enhance the security of your eCommerce site. There’s no denying that this comes at a price, but you’re paying for support in building and maintaining your eCommerce store.

These platforms implement stringent safety measures to keep clients’ services secure, as well as monitoring closely for any security issues, tackling them before they become a problem.

Platforms such as WooCommerce, Shopify and Etsy make it easy to set up an eCommerce business, as all of the basics are done for you. On top of this, your shop will come supported with security features from day one, meaning you needn’t implement them yourself.

These sites cover security from all angles, thinking of business data as well as customer details, and secure payment methods, such as PayPal. PayPal has become an increasingly popular online payment method thanks in part to the high level of security it provides. A whole range of shopping sites, including clothing retailers, affiliate websites and online casinos offer PayPal as a fast and secure payment method.

Of course, this isn’t to say that you should not worry about the security of your website. However, knowing that there are other eyes on your business means you can concentrate on your products and the service you offer to customers.

Invest in a Security Certificate

Figures show that shoppers are worried about the safety of their financial information when making online purchases. This means that, if you’re doing the work to protect your site, you should tell your customers about this. An SSL certificate does both of these jobs.

A domain with an SSL (secure socket layer) certificate will feature ‘https://’ and a small padlock in the URL bar. These certificates are becoming more standard across websites for two reasons. Firstly, the introduction of the GDPR in 2018  puts even greater pressure on businesses to protect data, and an SSL certificate is another step in protecting this data.

Secondly, Google is putting even more emphasis on security, encouraging all sites to use SSL certificates. Google has even gone as far as to penalize rankings for sites that don’t possess SSL certificates, which could seriously damage businesses as it makes sites less discoverable to searchers.

Make Use of Security Plugins

There’s a whole range of different security plugins for content management systems (CMS). These are simple yet effective tools that can increase the security of your site, protecting against bad bots, SQLi and CSS, among many other threats. They’re usually pretty easy to implement, available through the plugins area of your CMS. Simply search for your chosen plugin, install and activate- little tech know-how required. Of course, exactly which security you should, or can use, will depend on your CMS.

Here’s a look at some useful security plugins for your CMS:

Loginizer:

Loginizer is a WordPress plugin that protects against hackers trying to access your site, blocking login for an IP address once it has maxed-out the retry allowance. It gives you the flexibility to blacklist and whitelist IP addresses, as well as implementing additional login security techniques, such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and reCAPTCHA to make your website more secure. Loginizer also facilitates easier site security monitoring, sending an email to admin after logins have reached maximum lockouts.

Astra:

Astra offers all-round protection for eCommerce sites, protecting from all angles. Put simply, it makes automatic security fixes to your site, patching software and preventing your site from receiving malicious requests. Astra uses a firewall to protect against email & SEO spam, but it also protects sites against OWASTop 10 security vulnerabilities, as well as blocking the injection of malicious PHP or javascript files into your site that could steal user data. This plugin also alerts the admin of suspicious activity.

 

Update Everything

It’s not as simple as creating your eCommerce site and leaving the CMS as is. Developers work constantly to ensure that all aspects of sites and backend software are as secure as possible and that any weaknesses or vulnerabilities are patched up. All of these fixes are made available in updates, so it’s important to ensure you’re always using the latest version of your CMS. Failure to do so could result in attacks could that could have otherwise been prevented.

Use Multi-Layer Security Measures

The more layers of efficient security protocols you employ, the more secure your site. While this may seem manual, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is an easy-to-implement security measure that protects your eCommerce site against DDoS attacks, filtering out any harmful traffic from genuine traffic to your site. You can also make it harder for users to log in to the admin area of your site, requiring 2FA and security questions on top of usernames and passwords.

In addition to all of these security tips, you should take care to back up your business data on a regular basis, in case you were to fall victim to an attack. While each of these steps does require an investment of time and money and will require maintenance, it is a worthwhile investment. Failure to prepare effectively for the worst-case scenario puts your business and customers at serious risk.