Building an eCommerce website and starting an online business can be an exciting experience that holds plenty of possibilities. The eCommerce market is constantly growing and if done right, it can be a very profitable and highly successful business opportunity for anyone. However, one thing that many eCommerce business owners overlook, is the security of their eCommerce website.
eCommerce businesses are at risk of being attacked 24/7. This is often the result of low levels of security measures put in place by businesses, large amounts of sensitive data that can be stolen and a direct connection of eCommerce websites with payment services. When no action is taken, it can lead to risks for both the business and its customers.
Thankfully, most hacking attacks can be prevented with some security strategies. For this, many businesses hire SharePoint developers. These professionals can offer ongoing support to put security measures in place and fix any loopholes, should they arise. Many businesses are also investing in SharePoint development because of the security benefits it offers right from the planning stages. As a result, the demand for SharePoint developers has increased dramatically.
Why Are the Security Needs of eCommerce Websites Different?
eCommerce websites allow consumers to buy products and services directly from a business, regardless of their locations. This requires large batches of sensitive information to be stored on the website. Some of this information can include customer’s personal details, bank details, and shopping history.
When this type of information is hacked and stolen, it can lead to stolen accounts, making unauthorized payments, account takeovers, and even identity theft. For website owners, it can also mean the loss of intellectual property, traffic, and sales.
Because eCommerce websites are so vulnerable with the type of information collected and stored, investments in proper security become very important.
Unlike other websites, eCommerce also often takes longer to develop, are much larger and hosts major sets of data. When an eCommerce website is hacked or compromised, it can take a lot of valuable time and money to get the website back up. Hacking events can also lead to a loss of reputation and trust in clients. It can take very long for these websites to regain the confidence of consumers.
Ways a Website Can Be Attacked
There are many methods hackers use to steal information. Some of these include:
1. Malware infections
Malware can include viruses, Trojan horses, spyware or ransomware to erase data, steal information or website visitors. Malware can be manually uploaded or emerge as a result of downloading an infected file.
With this method, a hacker can use a fragment of malicious code as part of an existing command to trick your eCommerce website into doing something it shouldn’t.
3. Brute force attacks
Some hackers use a software application to cycle through password combinations until they find the correct combination to access your website. Once access is granted, a hacker can manipulate content and steal info.
4. DDOS attacks
With a DDoS attack, a hacker will arrange thousands of independent units to visit a website all at once. This can render eCommerce servers ineffective in serving all the requests and shut out real customers from accessing the website.
5. Cross-site scripting (XSS)
With an XXS attack, a hacker sends user-supplied data to a web browser before validating it. These flaws are then used to attract legitimate shoppers away from a website.
Other threats include:
How to Secure an Ecommerce Website from Hacking
There are many website security tools and strategies businesses can take advantage of to protect customers’ information and their online stores from malicious activity, without losing out on sales. Let’s take a look at some of these strategies:
1. Choosing a secure web host and eCommerce platform
Many eCommerce platforms and web hosting providers do have sufficient security measures in place. The best solution is to shop around and review different hosts and platforms to find the best fit. Ideally, a host and platform combination must offer complete protection from common threats, such as malware.
2. Using an SSL encryption
If customers buy products directly from a website, the eCommerce site must make sure its checkout process is encrypted with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. SSL encryption gives a website “HTTPS” status, allows for secure connections from a web server to a browser and shows a green lock icon in the URL field to show the site is safe.
3. Staying updated
Hackers often look for website vulnerabilities as a result of outdated software. New updates on website software are available all the time and they are essential for ensuring crucial security patches. As a result, businesses must pay attention to updates and implement them as soon as possible.
4. Using a website application firewall
A firewall can help to take the security of an eCommerce site to the next level. It can protect a website from injections, XSS and brute force attacks. This type of firewall works by filtering, monitoring and blocking out any malicious traffic traveling to the website.
5. Running regular security audits
Performing routine security audits on an eCommerce website can be highly beneficial in securing a site. Security audits help to determine the chances of getting malicious access to the online store. A thorough web security audit can involve static and dynamic code analysis, configuration tests and web system analysis.
6. Building strong passwords
Users that choose weak passwords make it easy for hackers to crack the password and hack the e-commerce account. Therefore, eCommerce websites must have a requirement to maintain strong passwords. Passwords should ideally be case sensitive, use a combination of symbols and numerals and include a special character.
7. Hiring the right development team
Because many businesses do not have the knowledge or experience to implement many of these methods, eCommerce businesses can hire a Sharepoint consultant to offer advice and develop an effective security strategy for specific business needs. It is also advisable to invest in custom development for eCommerce websites as it makes it more difficult for hackers to figure out the structure and processes behind the site. Ultimately, the cost for SharePoint developer and consultant teams far outweighs the costs that can possibly be lost in a cyberattack.
The Bottom Line: Investing in a Secure Ecommerce Website Solution
ECommerce platforms offer endless opportunities for businesses to increase sales, however, cybercrime is also increasing rapidly. Hacking events can cost eCommerce businesses thousands, and even millions, of dollars. Therefore, it is very important to invest in proper security.
Ultimately, there is no one unified solution to make eCommerce secure. But the optimum solution always considers the right choice of software and hosting platform and regularly keeps everything up to date.