Are you already running an eCommerce store or just planning to launch the one? Future belongs to online shopping, which means that you are a wise merchant.
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But let’s come back to the topic of our article. Every online entrepreneur dreads frauds. It’s not really that difficult for hackers to steal credit card as well as other sensitive information from eCommerce sites. Nobody will argue that it’s vital for your business to protect your customers, your e-business, and your sensitive customer data. Herein under you will find 10 bullet-proof tricks shared by eCommerce and security experts on how you can prevent fraud and keep your site safe.
Every day you hear about someone hacking a website or stealing credit card and other sensitive data from eCommerce sites. What are you doing with this information? How do you protect/going to protect your eCommerce site from being hacked and sensitive customer data from being stolen? Not sure that you are doing everything right? We have compiled top 10 answers from eCommerce and security experts. Following them, you will be able to protect your eCommerce site from hacking and fraud.
- The first advice is to choose a secure eCommerce platform. Make sure that the selected platform uses a sophisticated object-orientated programming language. Its administration panel should be inaccessible. to attackers and only available on your internal network and completely removed from your public facing servers. Additionally, it should have a secondary authentication that authenticates users with your internal Windows network.
- Use only a secure connection for online checkout. Don’t forget to make sure you are PCI compliant. Use strong SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) authentication for Web and data protection. It can be a powerful trust signal for your customers meaning that your eCommerce site is safe, especially nowadays, when Web-based attacks increased by more than 30 percent. As you see, it’s important to use SSL certificates to authenticate the identity of your business and encrypt the data in transit. This guards your company and your customers against getting their financial or important information stolen. There is an even better solution: you can integrate the stronger EV SSL (Extended Validation Secure Sockets Layer), URL green bar and SSL security seal so customers know that your website is safe. SSL certificates are must haves for transactions. Employ a payment gateway that uses live address verification services right on your checkout to validate buyers’ credit cards. The trick prevents fraudulent purchases by comparing the address entered online to the address customers have on file with their credit card company.
- Don’t store sensitive data. There is no need to store numerous records on your customers, especially their credit card numbers, expiration dates and CVV2 (card verification value) codes. Most of the organizations are struggling with two mutually exclusive forces. They are the demand for ultimate information protection and access and the expending increase in data growth and spread. Strictly speaking, it is forbidden by the PCI Standards. It is recommended to remove old records from your database and keep a minimal amount of data, which is enough for charge-backs and refunds. The risk of a breach exceeds the convenience for your customers at checkout. You will never be robbed if you have nothing to steal, won’t you?
- Involve an address and card verification system. Enable an address verification system (AVS) and require the card verification value (CVV) for credit card transactions to reduce fraudulent charges.
- Make strong passwords requisite. While it is the retailer’s responsibility to keep customer information safe on the back-end, you can urge the customers help themselves by requiring a minimum number of characters and the use of symbols or numbers. Longer, more complicated logins make it harder for criminals to breach your site from the front-end.
- It’s a good practice to set up system alerts for suspicious activity. Set an alert notice for multiple and suspicious transactions coming through from the same IP address. Moreover, set up system alerts for multiple orders placed by the same person using different credit cards, phone numbers that are from noticeably different areas than the billing address and orders where the recipient name is different than the card holder name.
- Layering your security is one of the best ways to keep your business safe from cybercriminals. Start with firewalls, an essential aspect in stopping attackers before they can breach your network and gain access to your critical information. Next add extra layers of security to the website and applications such as contact forms, login boxes and search queries. These measures will ensure that your eCommerce space is protected from application-level attacks like SQL (Structured Query Language) injections and cross-site scripting (XSS).
- Provide regular security trainings to employees. Employees need to know they should never e-mail or text sensitive data or reveal private customer information in chat sessions as none of these communication methods are secure enough. Employees also need to be aware of the laws and policies that affect customer data and be trained on the actions required to keep it safe. And the last point here, you need to use strict written protocols and policies to reinforce and encourage employees to adhere to assigned security practices.
- Tracking numbers should be applied for all orders. Have tracking numbers for every order you send out to resist chargeback fraud. This is especially essential for retailers who drop ship.
- Monitor your site regularly. Make sure that your hosting provider does the same. Always have a real-time analytics tool. It serves as the real-world equivalent of installing security cameras in your shop. Tools like Woopra or Clicky allow you to observe how visitors are navigating and interacting with your website in real time, allowing you to detect fraudulent or suspicious behavior. With tools like these, you even receive alerts on your phones when there is suspicious activity, allowing you to act quickly and prevent suspicious behavior before it causes any harm. Besides, make sure that the hosting company that hosts your eCommerce site regularly monitors its servers for malware, viruses and other malicious software. Ask your current or potential Web host if they have a plan that includes at least daily scanning, detection, and removal of malware and viruses on the website.
Of course, this list can be continued and we hope you’ll help us and the rest community members to supplement the above fraud avoiding tips. You can leave your own live hacks right below this wrapping up.
So, what else can you do to make your e-store even more secure?
- Perform regular quarterly PCI scans through services like to reduce the risk that your eCommerce platform is vulnerable to hacking attacks. If you’re using third-party downloaded software like Trustwave Magento or PrestaShop, track the releases of new versions with security enhancements. It’s not complex if you cooperate with leading template providers, like TemplateMonster. For instance, their Magetique Multipurpose Magento 2 Theme you see down below comes with regular free updates and support, as well as all other templates in company stock. So, there is no chance for you to miss the next update. Your website will always stay current and protected.
Just agree that a few hours spent on development today are worth it as they can potentially save your entire business in the future.
- Patch your systems, patch everything straight away. Do this literally the day they release a new version. That includes the Web server itself, as well as other third-party code like Java, Python, Perl, WordPress and Joomla, which are hackers’ favorite targets. As a rule, breached sites are running a three-year-old version of PHP or ColdFusion from 2007. So, it’s critical for you to install patches on all software: your Web apps, Xcart, OSCommerce, ZenCart, whatever – all need to be patched regularly.
- Make sure you have a DDoS protection and mitigation service. With DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks increasing in frequency, sophistication, and range of targets, eCommerce sites should turn to cloud-based DDoS protection and managed DNS services to provide a transactional capacity to handle proactive mitigation and eliminate the need for significant investments in equipment, infrastructure, and expertise. The cloud approach will help eCommerce businesses cut operational costs while hardening their defenses to prevent even the largest and most complex attacks. In addition, a managed, cloud-based DNS hosting service can help deliver 100 percent DNS resolution, improving the availability of Internet-based systems that support online transactions and communications.
- Consider a fraud management service. Frauds do happen, it’s an undeniable fact. And for merchants, the best resolution is to be prepared for the worst scenario. Most credit card companies offer fraud management and chargeback management services. This is a practical approach to take because most security experts know there is no such thing as 100 percent safety guarantee.
- Make sure that your hosting company is backing up your website and has a disaster recovery plan. A study by Carbonite revealed that businesses have big gaps in their data backup plans, which put them at risk for losing valuable information in the instance of power outage, hard drive failure or even a virus. So to make sure your site is properly protected, back it up regularly or make sure your hosting service is doing so.
We hope you will follow these simple, yet working tips and they will protect your eCommerce project from fraud. Thanks for reading this blog post and don’t forget that your additions are welcome at the comments section.