The e-commerce industry offers an incredible opportunity for profit. Driven by internet infrastructure, smartphone technology, and the still-ongoing mass migration from traditional retail, it becomes more valuable with each passing year: global revenue is expected to surpass $4 billion in 2020. It’s no surprise that opening an e-commerce store has become the go-to move of the aspiring entrepreneur. Get the right angle, and it can prove a huge moneyspinner.
At the same time, it presents a significant level of risk for those who join it, and the primary reason for this is security.
If an e-commerce website isn’t sufficiently secure, the consequences can be disastrous. Hackers can gain access and make any changes they wish: rewriting product descriptions, swapping out images, taking your site offline, or — most worryingly — access your customer data (and/or add traps to collect even more data over time).
In the end, it’s the data that matters the most. The Morgan Mc Kinley article Data Privacy in a post-GDPR world exposes that, shoppers are more aware of how some companies abuse data, and how others use it appropriately but fail to secure it, ultimately making them responsible if it’s copied. If you show your customers that you can’t — or won’t — protect their data, they won’t be willing to trust you with it again.
If you want your e-commerce business to survive and thrive without being disrupted or damaged by hacking efforts, you need to make an effort to secure it against attack. In this post, we’re going to cover 5 key tips for securing your e-commerce website, so let’s get to them:
1. Invest in excellent hosting
A large part of the appeal for a new online seller is that you don’t need much investment to get started, but you do need some beyond the absolute minimum. Look at it this way: you can build a car that works (moves in the chosen direction when you accelerate) but isn’t safe to drive. Your store doesn’t just need to work. It also must be ready for the demands of the operation.
Above all else, the key to this is securing excellent hosting, which will generally require you to pay a little more. That excess will be worth it. A great host will not only deliver excellent speeds but will also provide modern security infrastructure and a security team ready to help you in the unlikely event of an intrusion or attack .
In the rare event of a site getting hacked at wetopi, our incredible support team of WordPress experts will quickly and carefully remove the malware for you for free.
If you are a Wetopi client, this is included in your plan:
- Free from Hack Guarantee –We will fix all hacked site for free
- Backups included–We keep website backup, we can rollback your site instantly
- Prevent future attacks– You don’t need to bog down your server resources with Firewall plugins. All plans provide dedicated external WordPress WAF and blacklisting feeds filtering non-legit traffic.
- Secure checks – We scan your server files to identify malware.
- 24/7 Support–Once onboard you get assigned to a wetopi engineer.
2. Adhere to best password practices
We all intend to do this, but many of us fail. Password security is incredibly important, but it’s easy to forget that when your systems aren’t being attacked — and that complacency can lead to major problems if that luck ever runs out. If someone can get your admin password through brute force or social engineering, they can get absolute control over your store.
The good thing is that you don’t need to do anything extreme to protect your website here. Just take sensible precautions: use lengthy passwords (ideally randomly-generated to avoid any obvious patterns), change them semi-regularly, and don’t leave them written on pieces of paper around your home (or office, if you have one).
3. Implement multi-factor authentication
As well as preventing others from gaining access to your admin login, you should also make it harder for them to access user accounts because that can also be very damaging. In addition to requiring complex passwords, you should implement multi-factor authentication for account access.
What this means is that anyone wanting to log in to an account will need to provide the right login details (username and password) and some other form of authentication: the latter could be the computer or device they’re using, or — as is more common — a one-time code from a registered phone number or email address.
If you have a WordPress e-commerce, the Two Factor Authentication plugin is a good choice. This plugin is developed by the same authors of UpdraftPlus, the popular backup plugin.
4. Choose your plugins very carefully
Plugins can be exceptionally useful for e-commerce sites, providing rich functionality that can drive up conversions and make admin tasks significantly easier — but they need to be used with great care. When you install a plugin, there’s a good chance that it’ll gain some kind of access to your main admin actions, and if that plugin is insecure then your system will be too.
In addition, using numerous plugins simultaneously can cause a wide variety of problems. They can try to access the same functions, causing one or more of them (or even the functions themselves) to stop working. Security aside, having so many active plugins can also slow your site down to a frustrating extent. The best way to proceed is to pick a select few plugins that offer exceptional features and are known to work well together.
Be careful who you trust
While it’s possible to run a strong e-commerce business as a solo operator, growth eventually requires having employees — or at least business partners. At some point, you’re going to need to allow others access to your admin dashboard, whether to configure analytics or make changes on your behalf. That’s normal, but it’s also risky.
Imagine this scenario: you bring in a consultant to work on your system, give them your admin login, get into some kind of disagreement with them, and see them use that admin access unprofessionally. That’s a terrible idea for them, obviously, as it’ll damage their reputation — but people make those mistakes all too often. The best thing to do is limit admin access to people you trust while giving others accounts with some elevated access.
By keeping your e-commerce website secured, you can protect your brand’s reputation, reassure your customers, and minimize the amount of time you need to spend dealing with attempts to gain access. Given that nothing we’ve looked at here requires massive investment, there’s no reason not to do each of these 5 things — and no reason not to get started right away. The longer you wait, the greater the risk becomes.