If you have just started your e-commerce store, then you are probably cutting corners, trying to save up as much as you can to promote your store. You may have even decided to buy a cheap SSL certificate, shared hosting plan, etc.… to reduce operational costs. Before you start making those mistakes, we consider it our duty to inform you about the pitfalls of compromising on your e-store’s security. So, let us dive into some of the most important concepts regarding eCommerce security.
Describe eCommerce Security and its importance?
As compared to other online businesses, e-commerce websites work very differently and are more susceptible to security breaches. According to reports, over 7.9 billion records were exposed in 2019 alone, following Magecart attacks.
As the day-to-day functioning of e-commerce websites involves collection and processing of the customer’s financial information and personally identifiable details, these websites are both morally and legally obligated to protect it. So, the collective efforts made in this direction is referred to as e-commerce security.
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Laws and regulatory frameworks like the EU’s GDPR and the PCI DSS now make it mandatory for e-commerce websites to follow specific security measures. With cybersecurity law reforms taking place worldwide, e-commerce website owners are currently being held accountable for security breaches and must therefore focus on improving e-commerce security. Let us now discuss some of the key e-commerce security measures and how it can contribute to creating a secure ecosystem.
Start by Installing the Right SSL Certificate
SSL Certificates encrypt the data transmitted between the client and the server through private-public key encryption. This eliminates the possibility of unauthorized interception of data when it is being transmitted. Even in case of unauthorized interception of the data, it cannot be decrypted post interception. So, the in-transit data between the source and the destination is entirely secure.
E-commerce websites need this sort of protection because the users send personally identifiable and sensitive data like credit or debit card numbers, contact details, etc.… If such details fall into the wrong hands, they can cause some serious damage. However, you can foil the attacker’s plans by installing the right SSL certificate on your e-commerce website.
Making the Right Choice| Why Should you Avoid Buying a free SSL Certificate?
Often, e-commerce startups end up buying a free SSL certificate that does not provide the kind of benefits an e-commerce website needs. The right way to choose an SSL certificate is by selecting one based on your website’s architecture and level of validation. Let us now understand how you can do that.
Level of Validation
SSL certificates offer different levels of validation based on the type you choose. For example, if you buy a cheap SSL certificate then in most cases, you would be settling in for a domain validated certificate, which carries basic validation and checks only domain ownership that the domain is owned by the person or entity that has applied for an SSL certificate from the Certificate Authority.
Now, this might be okay for an affiliate blog, but not for an e-commerce website that accepts customer information like credit or debit card details, addresses, phone numbers, etc… So, what an e-commerce website truly needs is an SSL certificate that offers comprehensive website security and helps build more credibility.
As most e-commerce business models do not need a physical presence, they need to establish their legitimacy. One way of doing this is through the Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate, which involves a comprehensive business-level validation. The certificate authority issues the EV SSL certificate only after confirming the legal existence of the entity. Post validation, the name of an EV SSL holding entity is displayed in the URL bar, as shown below, which helps build trust and credibility.
Choice Based on Website’s Architecture
Your choice of an SSL certificate should benefit your entire website and depending on how it is architected; you would have to pick an SSL Certificate. For instance, if your website makes use of multiple subdomains, then you may want to consider a Wildcard SSL Certificate. On the other hand, if your website caters to various geo locations and makes use of multiple domain extensions, then you might want to pick a Multi-domain EV SSL Certificate.
Choosing a Secure Web Hosting
Your web hosting plan is extremely important, so do not settle in for a shared hosting plan that comes bundled with free ad credit and an SSL certificate to save a few dollars. Instead, invest in a Dedicated Server or at least a VPS hosting plan to avoid sharing the same infrastructure with several other websites, which could prove to be potentially dangerous.
Other e-Commerce Security Best Practices
Besides choosing the right SSL certificate and web hosting for your e-commerce website, you also need to follow the below mentioned security best practices.
- Set Automatic Daily Backups
- Avoid using unreliable third-party tools like extensions, plugins, etc.…
- Enable malware protection
- Make sure to protect your e-commerce website against XSS attacks.
- Scan your website regularly to identify anomalies
Infographic created by Fiserv, a merchant services provider
E-commerce websites are prone to cyberattacks, and one way of minimizing that possibility is by not buying a cheap SSL certificate. The right SSL certificate, coupled with a secure hosting plan, can drastically reduce the possibilities of security breaches. Also, incorporating certain other security measures can keep your website safer and ensure better compliance.