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How to Deter Hackers by Beefing Up Your E-Commerce Website Security

How to Deter Hackers by Beefing Up Your E-Commerce Website Security
According to a Statista report, worldwide e-commerce is projected to grow to $4.48 trillion by 2021 up from $2.3 trillion in 2017.

As e-commerce grows by leaps and bounds, it becomes increasingly attractive to hackers in search of the personal and financial details of millions of customers. A Symantec report reveals that in 2017, American consumers lost $19.4 billion [source] due to cybercrime.

According to SmallBizTrends.com a whopping 43% of cyber-attacks are targeted to small businesses and as per the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyber-attack. Given these alarming statistics, it is imperative for online businesses to make website security their top priority.

Some useful tips on e-commerce website security:

- Don’t Collect Customer Data That Is Not Required

It is obvious that hacker cannot steal what you do not have in the first place. Therefore, it is important for e-commerce businesses not to collect or save any private customer data that is not required for carrying out the transaction. The most common way of protecting credit card data from unnecessary exposure is to use an encrypted checkout system that bypasses the servers of the online business.
The checkout process may be slightly more inconvenient due to this but the benefit by far outweighs the risk of compromising confidential credit card data.

- Encrypt Browser Communications with SSL/TLS

To ensure that hackers can’t steal confidential information while it is being transmitted, the necessity of encrypting it is common knowledge but it is also very important to prevent hackers from cracking the code. You can do this by maintaining encryption algorithms that are current such as the latest versions of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Security Layer (TSL).
The reason why it is important to update to the latest versions is that serious flaws have been found in the SSL 2.0 and 3.0 codes.

- Continuously Test Your E-Commerce Platform for Security Vulnerabilities

Even though leading credit card companies make it mandatory for online retailers to regularly test their e-commerce websites to ensure that they meet specified security standards, simply conforming to these standards may not be adequate. It is important that you have a regular testing schedule that includes scanning the platform and all the links with it to ensure that there has been no introduction of malware into content, including advertisements, by third parties.
It is not unknown even for innocently titled guides on how to get followers on Instagram to contain malware. If you are really determined to stop cyber-attacks, as you should be, you can even hire ethical hackers or cyber-security consultants to identify vulnerabilities that can be potentially damaging. There are also a large number of security testing apps with scanning tools that can help you to identify any vulnerability that could put confidential data at the risk of inadvertent exposure.

- Stop Using Software Known for Jeopardizing Website Security

There are many older types of web development code and applications like Java and Flash that are known to have weaknesses that can be exploited by hackers. If a new site is being developed or an existing site is being redesigned, it should be done with web development code that is modern and hack-proof.
Even if you require supporting legacy applications with Java or Flash, you should ensure that you regularly patch the software to ensure it is secure from cyber-attacks. 

- Protect the Network Perimeter

Online businesses cannot exist by themselves as they usually need to share perimeters with other networks belonging to their business partners.
Even though one assumes that hackers will attempt to mount attacks from public networks, it is equally possible for them to do so from the networks belonging to your business partners. You can take steps to ensure that you guard your network perimeter more stringently and ensure that there is a physical separation of the network that is accessible by a business partner and the network that contains sensitive and confidential data of the customers.

Prudent security measures for protecting data include layered defenses with each of the layers having stronger identification, credential, and access management restrictions.

- Configure the Perimeter Defenses Correctly

Buying a good quality firewall is quite easy; however, the real pain is in being able to configure it properly so that it gives the maximum possible protection to your e-commerce platform. If your site is being managed by a hosting services provider, it is quite likely that your own IT personnel will be restricted from accessing the network security infrastructure. 

This, therefore, means that you will have to depend on the language of the contract entered with them to address all issues of network security. It is important to work directly with the service provider to ensure periodic testing and monitoring of the network security of your e-commerce site with special attention paid to the detection and prevention of data loss, advanced detection of persistent threats, services to prevent intrusion, DDoS protection, fraud management services, reputational defenses, among others.

- Encrypt Sensitive Data Communications

One of the fundamentals of e-commerce security is encrypting all the communications with business partners, especially those that process confidential financial information like credit card data. If you are ultra-conservative, you can even think of using encrypted mail to communicate sensitive data.

- Verify Customer Address and Credit Cards

As much as every merchant wants to trust customers, it is very important that e-commerce platforms put in the systems that enable address verification as well as require customers to input the card verification value (CVV) for all transaction made through credit cards.

Conclusion

Even though most people treat hosting provider capabilities as standard and given, you should ideally try and identify a provider that is as keen on security as you are and has at hand a large array of applications and tools geared to provide the most optimum level of e-commerce platform security. 

Try to get a hosting provider that employs 256-bit AES encryption, performs backups at regular intervals, undertakes regular network monitoring, maintains comprehensive logs as well as provides a single point of contact for emergencies besides providing written security policies and procedures to be followed in case of a security breach.
Author bio -
Daniel Mattei is a Professional writer. He has written many articles on Social Media. He is quite experienced in the field of web marketing as well as website designing.
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