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Ecommerce Site Security

In less than a month, we’re going to enter in 2020. And just like every year, this new year will also bring more challenges for website security. Especially if you run an e-commerce site, you need to be extra careful. We’re saying this because, according to Trustwave’s 2019 Global Security Report, most cyber incidents in 2019 were aimed at retailers. In short, shopping sites are still a prime target for cybercriminals, which is why you must take the necessary steps to keep your e-commerce site secured in 2020. 

So here, we’re going to tell you about seven easy steps that you can take immediately to keep your e-commerce site safe in the upcoming year. Let’s get started:

#1. Enforce a strong password policy


Cybersecurity begins with passwords, so the security of your e-commerce site should also start from there only. Enforce a strong password policy for everyone who manages and uses your website. Easy passwords are often cracked either by guessing or by brute force attacks, so every password of your users and employees should be a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers. That is the first step to ensure the security of your e-commerce site and its users. 

#2. Store only as much data as you need

While we live in a world where organizations worship data, more data is not always good. It may be good for marketing and marketers, but from a cybersecurity point of view, you’ll be better off with less data. The more data you save, the more responsibility and risk you take for its security. If there’s ever a breach of your systems, your problems may escalate exponentially if a lot of sensitive data has been stolen. So, we would advise that you strike the right balance between your marketing requirements and security requirements, and only store as much data as you need to optimize the experience of your customers. 

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#3. Conform with PCI DSS & other security standards

PCI DSS (Payment Cards Industry Data Security Standards) are some cybersecurity standards laid out by the significant players of the payment processing industry (i.e., Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, etc.) to ensure that cybercriminals do not steal the card information of their customers. If you want to accept online payments on your e-commerce site, you’ll have to comply with these standards. Without doing so, no payment gateway service provider will provide you the access to its services. So, it’s not just your duty – it’s an obligation to implement all the safeguards that are required in PCI DSS to accept payments and run an e-commerce store. 

There also are some other data security standards, like ISO/IEC 27001:2013, and some location-specific standards like GDPR in Europe and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in California. If your customers include people from these geographies, you’ll have to comply with these standards too. You should do that, as it reduces your risk to a large extent. 

#4. Install an SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate is the foundation of every secure website, so you should install it at the earliest on your web server. It can protect the sensitive data of your customers from hackers who may be trying to steal it while it is in transit between their computer and your web server. By encrypting the data, it makes the job of cybercriminals very hard, as they can’t recover anything from encrypted data packets. 

Now, when it comes to SSL certificates, many types of certificates are available in the market. However, you can go with an EV SSL certificate if you want the highest validation and secured padlock. These types of certificates are more secure than all other types of SSL certificates. 

#5. Educate your employees on social engineering attacks

Social engineering has historically remained one of the easiest ways to hack into anyone’s system, mostly because humans are more prone to making mistakes and poor judgments than machines. By being an impostor, a hacker can easily fool your employees to reveal sensitive information that helps them compromise your systems. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance that you train your employees about social engineering and how can they avoid falling prey to it. 

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#6. Enable 2FA for critical areas of your site

Password protection alone is not enough when it comes to the security of critically sensitive data. You should take extra measures and two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of essential measures. What 2FA does is creating another layer of protection for any sensitive information that you want to protect by requiring some additional information that may be known to you only. That way, even if someone manages to steal the password, they can still not access the information that is protected by 2FA. 

Sometimes 2FA is achieved by requiring a code that is sent to your mobile phone after successful entry of a password. Sometimes it’s done by requiring an answer to a question that only you may know, and sometimes by the help of approval from a mobile app that may be installed on your phone. Whatever the method, the idea is the same – creating an additional layer of protection besides critical data passwords. You should use 2FA to protect the payment information of your customers.

#7. Backup all your data


Finally, having a backup of all your data is also essential. Backup helps you migrate quickly to another server in case of a cyberattack, and it also helps in data recovery if you lose your data due to some reason. So, you must put a process in place for regular backup of your website data. Often this can be automated with the help of plugins or features already built into your CMS. You should check how it can be enabled on your site and enable it at the earliest. 


Securing an e-commerce site requires more effort than other sites, but it’s not difficult if you follow the steps outlined above. These seven steps can take you a long way when it comes to website security, so implement them today to ensure the safety of your customers in 2020. Finally, if you know any other essential cybersecurity tips for e-commerce sites, share them in the comments.


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