Mastering the art of e-commerce doesn’t only involve strategies to target and retain customers. While this process is essential to a successful e-commerce business, robust security is one of the most important elements of any e-commerce store. Without e-commerce security measures, online business security becomes challenging, leaving e-commerce platforms vulnerable to breaches.
However, there are simple ways to boost your e-commerce store security to enhance your online strategy, protect customer data, prevent fraud, and mitigate the risk of cyber threats. Given that e-commerce stores incur massive losses annually from issues like online payment fraud–with over 40 billion USD lost by the e-commerce industry in 2022 alone–security solutions are crucial to e-commerce sustainability.
But what are the best e-commerce security measures for a safer business operation? This article will explore seven practices for e-commerce security to ensure that your business is sustainable in the long term and that your customers are safe when they shop with you. Let’s get started!
1. Embrace multi-factor authentication
One of the wisest things you can do to protect your e-commerce business is to implement multi-factor authentication protocols. Methods like 2-step verification and 2-factor authentication ensure that only authorized users can access your e-commerce store, meaning you and your customers are safer in the long run.
While it might sound like a hassle, the benefits of using multi-factor authentication far outweigh the extra time it takes to access your store. Research shows that multi-factor authentication can block 99.9% of cyber attacks and security threats, making it incredibly effective and practical in preventing fraud and cybersecurity breaches from hitting your platform.
Studies have also found that multi-factor authentication protects e-commerce stores by stopping 96% of bulk phishing attacks and 76% of targeted attacks on e-commerce websites, making it a must for any store looking to improve its security measures. So take the extra time and implement multi-factor verification methods–it’ll be worth it.
2. Use stronger passwords
While e-commerce security might sound like a difficult beast to tackle, it can be promoted in many simple ways that don’t take too much time away from your business. For instance, implementing stronger passwords can do wonders for your e-commerce security.
Strong passwords are important for yourself, your employees, and your customers. A strong password goes beyond length and should include elements such as special characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, and numbers to make it difficult for hackers to access your store or customer information.
Requiring customers to incorporate different elements into their passwords is essential to prevent customer data breaches that cause customers to lose faith in your business. Password security is likely a greater issue than you realize; a Google survey discovered the following when analyzing online password usage:
- Only 55 percent of people know what a password manager entails
- Only 24 percent of people currently use a password manager
- 52 percent of people use the same password for several online accounts
- 13 percent of people use the same password for all of their online accounts
Weak credentials are easily stolen by malicious third parties, and e-commerce security will fall flat without proper measures to prevent customers from using repetitive, easily-breachable passwords for their store accounts. Encourage customers and employees to protect themselves by having password requirements in place.
3. Keep your e-commerce website up-to-date
Software updates can be time-consuming, making them easy to ignore in favor of other security measures. However, neglecting to keep your e-commerce store up-to-date puts your company, employees, and customers at risk. While it might seem easier to ignore update suggestions when they pop up, installing updates confirms that your software has the highest-security measures possible.
Keeping your software up-to-date goes beyond basic functionality–these updates are often intended to fix system vulnerabilities that could leave room for severe security breaches. Set aside time for you and your employees to download updates during the work week to guarantee everyone stays on top of security measures. Whenever you receive a notification about an available update, ensure it goes to the top of your priority list–you never know when the next security breach attempt might occur.
4. Use HTTPS security
If you haven’t switched from HTTP to HTTPS security, you’re leaving a huge vulnerability in your business. Websites that appear as “not secure” in the address bar do not use an SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, to protect and secure the website. An SSL transforms HTTP hosting into HTTPS, the current internet security standard.
SSLs are crucial because they encrypt financial information to protect customers when they pay for your e-commerce store. Using HTTPS security is doubly important because it impacts how Google views your website and how you appear in search engine results–Google will penalize e-commerce sites with HTTP, damaging organic search rankings and your online reputation and ensuring that your competitors get more attention than your store.
Beyond this, lacking an SSL means that many customers will avoid purchasing from your store before they even look through your products and services. When customers notice that your website is flagged as “not secure,” they’re far more likely to turn to competitors with HTTPS security measures over your website.
5. Use a firewall
Firewalls take your security measures to the next level to ensure your e-commerce security is the best. A firewall is a system that monitors all traffic going to and from your website to detect and block any suspicious activity while allowing authorized traffic to your website.
Firewalls can prevent cybersecurity attacks, such as a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack and a structured query language (SQL) injection. Both of these attacks can have serious consequences on the future of your e-commerce business, making it crucial to invest in a firewall sooner rather than later.
Given that over 60 percent of e-commerce employees worldwide state that their company uses firewalls as part of their e-commerce security strategy, adopting this modern solution into your current business model is increasingly important. Firewalls like proxies are critical to protecting customer data at all times and avoiding severe breaches that put your e-commerce platform and buyers at risk of financial damage. Customers may be hesitant to place their trust in your organization without evidence of firewalls being used in your business.
6. Only store necessary customer data
Though all e-commerce platforms have to store customer data to some degree, taking time to ensure that you only store necessary information can protect your customers and organization from financial harm. However, many e-commerce stores struggle with data storage because different storage requirements depend on your site’s needs.
To reframe how your organization stores customer data and what information it collects, consider what data is critical to how your business operates. Once you’ve determined this, separate all other data and information from critical information to segment your network and protect sensitive customer information.
For instance, some critical data that many e-commerce platforms collect about their customers include the following:
- Basic data like name, gender, and email address
- Interaction data like website visits, click-through rates, and conversion
- Behavioral data like subscription information, average order value, devices, and previous purchases
- Attitudinal data, like customer satisfaction, preferences, and motivations
Remember that, depending on your e-commerce business, you might not need to collect all of this information. While more data provides more customer insights, the trade-off between data and customer safety isn’t always worth it. Boil the list above down to what your business absolutely needs.
7. Have a secure e-commerce platform
Your e-commerce site is only as secure as the platform it's hosted on. E-commerce platforms must support security measures to ensure your website, employees, and customers are safe from data breaches and financial harm. Platforms like Magento, WooCommerce, Squarespace, and Shopify all have unique protocols and features to support e-commerce websites and scale your business as you expand your customer base and reach untapped markets.
Guarantee that your e-commerce platform has the security measures necessary to protect your business while checking for unique features and compatible plug-ins and extensions to determine how the platform can help your business grow. Security and overall website performance should be top priorities for your e-commerce business, meaning that you require an adaptable solution and a platform that works alongside different extensions for a full-service, well-rounded e-commerce website.
Find more with Amasty
Having the necessary tools and resources to protect your e-commerce business and promote e-commerce security is possible with solutions like Amasty. Amasty helps e-commerce businesses grow and thrive in a competitive marketplace by delivering high-quality, innovative, and consistent solutions to scale your business.
Amasty provides crucial Magento 2 solutions and extensions to maximize your e-commerce store and thrive in your business operations. Additionally, Amasty provides critical resources for organizations operating on WooCommerce and Shopify to adapt to unique needs depending on your host platform. Amasty can help you achieve your organizational goals no matter what solution you're looking for.
Amasty makes it easy to maximize your potential to succeed in the e-commerce market. Find out more about Amasty today to find your business's best e-commerce security resources and solutions.