7 Killer Cybersecurity Techniques to Protect your eCommerce Website

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Financial data is the crown jewel that almost every hacker out there is eager to conquer. No wonder they go after eCommerce websites — the treasure trove of third-party financial data. Moreover, all it takes is one breach to expose hundreds (sometimes millions) of customer records, which only makes it all the more appealing to the notorious geniuses.

Unless you thwart their attempts, your customer data would not be safe, and that could lead to serious legal disputes and complications. Therefore, you must have a working knowledge of cybersecurity to protect your eCommerce websites. If you don’t, then we’ll help you devise a plan that offers 360-degree protection from cyber threats, so let’s get started.

1. 24x7 Monitoring of Systems and Assets

Sounds impossible, right? Especially if your eCommerce business is just taking off. Before we dive into the details, we’d like to get one thing out of the way — to enable 24x7 security; you don’t have to spend top dollar. It does not matter how big or small your business is; there’s always a way to create a 24x7 defense strategy.

While large businesses can implement an in-house SOC, the small and mid-sized can opt for managed SOC services. If none of that seems feasible, several AI-based tools can be used to investigate anomalies and respond to threats in real-time. Moreover, such tools are priced on the consumption-based pay-as-you-go model. So, if your eCommerce business is small, you’d be paying lesser and can gradually scale up as your requirements increase.

2. Inculcate Cybersecurity into your Work Culture

Did you know that the lack of cybersecurity awareness is one of the top reasons for the increase in cybercrime? After all, not everyone has the necessary tech background to evaluate threats and respond to them accordingly. For example, your customer support team, virtual assistants, delivery agents, logistics managers, and so on have nothing to do with cybersecurity. Therefore, it is easier for cybercriminals to trick them with a phishing email containing malicious attachments.

It has become a common trend for hackers to target employees who know little about cyber threats and send them phishing emails with malware. Unfortunately, 94% of malware is delivered via e-mails, and before one reaches your employee, you must educate them about the risks. You can achieve this by making it mandatory for your employees to undergo cybersecurity awareness training and workshops. Most Fortune 500 companies have this as part of their employee onboarding process.

3. Install an SSL Certificate to Seal Client-Server Communication

ECommerce websites frequently collect customer information such as order details, contact details, payment-related data, and much more. These details are confidential and must be protected when transmitted over the internet, a public network open to hackers. So, to ensure that the data remains accessible only to the concerned parties, it is essential to install a TLS/SSL certificate. And not just any SSL certificate; it has to be the right kind of SSL cert to suit your bespoke needs.

In eCommerce websites, it is always better to install a Wildcard SSL Certificate — a unique SSL type that provides encryption to the primary domain and all its first-level subdomains. This one makes your site future-proof, with the option to add an unlimited number of first-level subdomains such as blog pages, etc., without having to worry about ensuring their security!

4. Focus on Network and Infrastructure Security

Network and infrastructure security is one of the key components of any cybersecurity plan designed to protect eCommerce websites. It requires a series of activities such as eliminating unused software applications, updating the existing ones, installing a network firewall, etc.

Also, using genuine operating systems and keeping them updated plays a crucial role in preventing vulnerabilities from seeping into the system. Other measures include using private and encrypted WiFi routers, VPNs and eliminating insecure apps from lesser-known developers.

5. Use Secure Authentication

Despite the widespread use of multi-factor authentication, few eCommerce websites continue to use archaic memory-based passwords. Unfortunately, that can prove dangerous because most alphanumeric passwords can be cracked with a brute force attempt.

The only way to prevent this is by making multi-factor authentication mandatory for all users. It requires the use of a memory-based password and a time-based one-time password sent to an email address or a phone under the user's direct control. It is unlikely for a hacker to have both the memory and time-based OTP; this type of authentication prevents 99.9% of cyber attacks on passwords.

6. Refrain from Storing Sensitive Customer Data

The best way to prevent data theft is by not storing sensitive data such as credit card numbers, bank account details, social security numbers, etc. When you don’t store such sensitive customer data, you eliminate the need to protect it.

Quite a few eCommerce websites collect and store such details for easy checkouts, which causes all the trouble. However, you don’t have to do that because the safety of your customers is far more important than their convenience. Also, consider using a third-party payment gateway like PayPal because you won’t have to bother much about the security of the financial data.

7. Schedule Periodic Penetration Testing

Now that you have done all the right things, it doesn't end the possibility of a cyberattack. You need to hire a cybersecurity firm to test your IT infrastructure by trying to penetrate it periodically. This is done to gain insights into the existing vulnerabilities so that they can be eliminated.

Final Takeaway

As the owner of an eCommerce website, you are duty-bound to create and implement a robust cybersecurity plan that protects customer data and eliminates vulnerabilities. Such a plan must use a combination of tools and resources capable of identifying, evaluating, reporting, and responding to threats without any delay.

Therefore, we have discussed a combination of seven powerful techniques that you can implement to protect your eCommerce website from getting compromised. Always remember that the key to a successful cybersecurity plan is the ongoing vulnerability assessment because newer threats are introduced each day. So, your IT infrastructure needs to be well-equipped to combat them.

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