How can eCommerce portals make shopping secure?
By Yasmin Duggal / 31st May 2021
ECommerce security protects your company and customer data from cyber-attacks and malicious bots. As an eCommerce business owner, you must ensure that all data is handled securely to avoid a breach.
Poor eCommerce security can have many negative impacts on a business. Customer trust relies on great customer experience, and when customers enter their personal details into your website, they expect it to be protected. If malicious bots gain access to data and cybercriminals exploit it elsewhere, customers will quickly lose trust and take business to another site.
On top of this, footing the bill for a data breach includes reimbursing customers, paying the fine to the relevant data privacy organization, and dealing with any financial repercussions from loss of custom.
So, how can eCommerce portals make shopping secure? In this blog we explore three best practices for staying protected.
Don’t make your website an easy target
Creating strong passwords for every account on your website is paramount to good eCommerce security. You should enforce a strong password policy for your users to reduce the likelihood of attackers gaining easy access.
Protect the site’s overall security by making sure to have a secure password for your admin account (using a password manager is a great way to maintain good password hygiene) and protect yourself with two-factor authentication and multi-level firewalls, so you can be sure to monitor any suspicious login attempts.
Making sure your site has a secure connection is also key. Do this by keeping your IP address private and using a VPN to protect your data and communications. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks when conducting sensitive business transactions to remove yourself as a target to hackers.
Make encryption possible by installing an SSL certificate on all pages where you collect sensitive information, i.e., your login page. Use HTTPS protocol, when possible, to encrypt your site and protect customer data.
You should also restrict access to login information across your business, and keep training updated so staff are aware of potential scams like phishing attempts.
Update and patch regularly as standard
The use of open-source software can put your eCommerce website at risk of security vulnerabilities as hackers have access to the source code. Whilst patches for these security vulnerabilities are readily and quickly available, many organizations let patching fall down the priority list as ongoing software maintenance is considered low priority internally.
The first step to keeping on top of eCommerce security updates and vulnerability patches is knowing what services are being used on your site. Regularly audit these to make sure you aren’t using anything that is out of date or putting your site’s security at risk.
Make sure you update all your software including plugins, themes and Wordpress core. Keep your site’s CMS up to date with the latest security patches and make sure all the links on your site are working correctly. Check the security features of any third-party apps you use on your site such as payment gateways or analytics software, including PayPal, Strike and Authorize.net.
Monitor your traffic closely
For eCommerce businesses, monitoring traffic is the first step to cutting off attackers at the first stage of the kill chain. Tracking user activity to spot suspicious behaviour could be the difference between spotting an attacker early and a damaging data breach.
Use Google Analytics to track visitors and monitor traffic sources by linking them back to their origin. Maintain oversight of traffic patterns and look for abnormalities that could be bot activity by looking for unusual login attempts and sudden spikes in traffic which look suspicious.
Check in with Google Search Console often to make sure no one has been trying to hack into your account, and install an eCommerce security plugin, such as Wordfence or Sucuri, to monitor and protect your site against hackers.
Using bot management to tackle eCommerce security threats
Growing online activity leads to greater potential for cyber-attacks. As customers create more online accounts, more data becomes available as a result, and cybercriminals use more sophisticated automated methods to harvest data and make fraudulent purchases.
2020 saw more and more attacks on eCommerce websites, including Italian liquor vendor Campari, Claire’s Accessories and global hotel chain Marriot – which suffered a cyber-attack that impacted 5.2 million guests when email accounts were illegitimately accessed.
Common eCommerce bot threats include:
- Scalper bots
- Account takeover (commonly through credential stuffing)
- Card skimming
So, how do eCommerce portals stay protected from bots?
Protecting your admin logins, patching regularly and monitoring traffic patterns can fend off a level of automated threats. But for sophisticated bots and hackers, investing in a bot management strategy goes the extra step to monitor, detect and protect eCommerce portals to make shopping secure.
Netacea Bot Management utilises machine learning to intelligently analyse user behaviour, detected and preventing suspicious activity before it causes damage to both customer and brand.
To find out how much bots could be costing your eCommerce website, visit Netacea’s new bot calculator today.