Having an E-Commerce website can have its fair share of risks these days.
As a site owner that handles online payments, however, it’s even more important to understand said risks and the best methods of avoiding it from not only impacting your business but your customers as well.
Here we’ll be discussing the main aspects that are important to an E-Commerce website, the kinds of vulnerabilities that can impact your business, and how to take better preventative measures.
Why SSL Certificates Aren’t Enough
An SSL certificate is one of the most crucial things to have for any eCommerce website, yet it’s not the “end-all-be-all.” They’re put in place to solely encrypt data in transit, but they have no impact on the actual security of the origin server.
That’s not to say SSL certificates don’t hold a purpose, because they play a critical role in terms of an eCommerce site’s trustworthiness, as well as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings.
Installing an SSL certificate should be the first step in ensuring your eCommerce site meets PCI standards, which we’ll discuss in more detail in a bit. When configuring the site to use HTTPS instead of HTTP it’s important to understand this is only one piece of the puzzle, however.
Depending on the size of your online business, there are multiple kinds of SSL certificates available and one may suit your needs better than another. For instance, if you have multiple subdomains a wildcard SSL certificate would be recommended. For smaller businesses, a Domain Validation SSL should suffice, however.
If you’re allowing credit card payments then PCI Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) is a requirement.
Say for instance a customer’s card information that’s been used on your website is breached and stolen, you’re now held liable for this.
The outcomes can range from penalties, hefty fines, or losing the ability to accept credit card payments. On the dark web credit cards are commonly bought and sold, so eCommerce sites are a primary target for these attacks.
If you’re unfamiliar with what PCI compliance entails do not fret, as we’ve provided a handy guide going over the list of requirements to make sure your eCommerce website is in tip-top shape.
When it comes to an online store it’s crucial to be on top of any new vulnerabilities that may arise.
There’s a multitude of threats out there, but one of the biggest concerns when it comes to eCommerce is web skimmers. Skimmers are often injected into a site via vulnerabilities and can steal credit card information from customers.
When these infections happen to eCommerce sites it’s severely damaging to their brand and online reputation. For example, here’s a piece of malware injected into a Magento 2. x site found by one of our security analysts, Keith P.
How to Harden & Protect eCommerce Sites
Being proactive against the risks of potential exploits should be at the forefront of any eCommerce site owner’s mind. If a site owner doesn’t have a substantial amount of time to manually handle a website maintenance schedule, then utilizing a Web Application Firewall (WAF) can be less of a hassle.
A WAF includes hardening, limiting login attempts, Allowlists/Blocklists for IPs, amongst many other features that are important for eCommerce type sites.
Installing a security scanner for your website will also help detect any questionable changes made, as well as detecting any out-of-date software. Ensuring updates are installed regularly will help mitigate the risks of vulnerabilities creeping up.
For example, if an update breaks the site, however, keeping backups automatically stored within a certain timeframe that you can revert to is very handy.
When it comes to managing accounts with your eCommerce website you want to ensure you’re adhering to good security practices.
Using the Principle of Least Privilege is important due to the fact certain user accounts that have the potential to be breached don’t need to have full access to everything on the back-end. Utilizing a form of 2FA with either an authentication app or SMS will also add an extra layer of security.
Adding CAPTCHAs to any login pages and limiting the login attempts will decrease the risks of being Brute Forced, as well as using non-standard URLs.
As you now may be aware, creating an online business versus a physical store has its fair share of pros and cons.
This article will hopefully shed some light on the factors to consider when setting up an eCommerce store. If you believe your eCommerce website has been the victim of an attack please don’t hesitate to have it cleaned up as soon as possible.
The longer an infection lingers the more it has the potential to spread and ruin your brand’s online reputation. Our security analysts would be glad to take care of it for you.