E-commerce Solutions August 18, 2021

Improving Website Security: The Importance of Secure Websites

Written by Analytix Editorial Team Jagruti Patel

Website security is critical for anyone browsing the internet. For eCommerce businesses, however, website security takes on greater importance because the website is the primary mode of contact for the customer.

Given the way they operate, eCommerce sites present a treasure of information, both personal and financial. Data breaches can be severely damaging for businesses, especially in financial terms. A report by csoonline.com says that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million.

Because cyberattacks and cybercrimes are not new, most businesses prepare well in terms of deploying reliable cyber security. The need for a strong website security arrangement is important to business survival:

  • Any loss in personal or financial data can cause the affected eCommerce business to lose customers
  • Loss in goodwill and reputation painstakingly built, especially for startup businesses or those looking at rebuilding themselves after a crisis
  • Loss of future capability to build similar levels of trust and goodwill among customers and new visitors
  • Loss in competitive advantage, even after some amount of damage control has been achieved

Staying a step ahead #1: Understanding vulnerabilities

As cyber-attacks grow in sophistication and scope, eCommerce businesses need to stay a step ahead, removing vulnerabilities and security gaps to ensure hackers cannot get to the data. Understanding areas of vulnerability can help businesses plan security measures around them.

  •  Storing credit card data securely

Probably one of the most critical aspects of eCommerce is convincing your customers to complete a checkout. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is an industry standard to ensure data collected online is transmitted and stored securely. Plus, some other critical elements to keep in mind when dealing with money online:

  • Easy checkouts
  • Simple payment processes
  • Watertight navigation; rigorous testing to ensure speedy page loads and no lags or frozen pages
  • Personal data and information collection

Personal data is vulnerable to theft because it links not just to an individual, but also to their email ID, residence address, phone number, and from here to more critical data such as social security numbers.

Securing personal data may involve the need to stay compliant with stringent regulations, including the GDPR that regulates any information collected on EU residents, regardless of the location of the business collecting it.

  • Understanding malicious software

Malware and ransomware are rapidly becoming common terms. This is where cyber criminals install a kind of software on unsuspecting systems to be able to control them. Typically, users get locked out of their systems and access is prevented until a ransom is paid to the hacker.

Businesses need to be doubly cautious that their websites are secure. Visitors may not even know they have fallen prey to a malicious attack, until they notice links leading to different webpages and not the intended ones or they face a lot of pop-up ads all of a sudden.

  • Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS

 A DDoS attack is carefully planned to divert or disrupt traffic to a particular website by sending out high volume traffic. This high volume traffic then blocks the entry of visitors to the website, or customers to the eCommerce store.

Staying a step ahead #2: Building up website security

Security needs to be built alongside website development to ensure maximum effectiveness. This also closes gaps and vulnerabilities, while reducing risks, not allowing attackers to gain a foothold.

  • Keeping your eCommerce website up-to-date

Security is an ongoing process. Your website and customers are only as safe as your latest security efforts. Identify necessary processes that need regular updates and upgrades; getting website development done professionally can help ensure your website upgrades are taken care of and security systems are up, running, and tested at all times.

  • Store only relevant data

Ensure your business collects and stores only relevant data. This could include: data needed to address customer needs, data that the business must store for regulatory purposes, and the business’s own data. Keeping data separated is an effective way to ensure relevant storage.

  • Implementing additional security and authentication

This includes Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), HTTPS authentication, and Transport Layer Security (TLS). These acronyms have become commonplace; however, they still play a major role in communicating to your target audience that your website is secure.

Technical processes of authentication, encryption, and authorized access are among the processes that help keep your eCommerce website secure, while helping visitors decode that they are indeed in a safe zone.

  • Encourage website visitors to stay secure

Placing safety messages in a visible place can help visitors understand the importance of web security and participate in it. For example, prompt for stronger passwords, changing passwords often, looking for the HTTPS authentication, etc.

  • The International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

The ISO certification basically says that your business has a data security methodology in place. This includes processes to avoid vulnerabilities and deploy strategies for risk-aversion. Working towards getting this certification can help your website not only build security, but also communicate to visitors and customers that your business is invested in data security.

  • Adding an extra layer of security to handle peak times

eCommerce activity peaks during certain times: holidays, vacations, or industry-specific events and happenings. Cyber attackers also plan to make the most of these heavy-traffic times. As a responsible eCommerce business, you can:

  • Double up on fraud protection measures in anticipation of peak time
  • Carry out checks long before peak time hits and identify possible security loopholes; this way they can be addressed well in time
  • Bring everyone involved on board; ensure everyone takes care of the business, including ensuring that non-customer facing resources are aware of the security precautions to take
  • Routine processes like authenticating purchases or verifying customer identities should be taken more seriously to avoid signing in a cyber attacker even unknowingly

Professionally deploy your eCommerce website

Website security can never be a one-time concern for an eCommerce business. As cyber criminals take to more sophisticated ways of attacking, businesses can only work at making themselves and their customers secure through increased awareness and better preparedness.

Further, this cannot be carried out without support from the customers. An eCommerce business must set up an entire system to ensure failsafe website security, from beginning to the end of a purchase cycle, for the customer as well as for their own website.

Taking the help of professionals, especially website security services, can boost your business sustainability in a big way. It can ensure eCommerce businesses:

  • Get access to industry-best when it comes to current trends and technology
  • Get professional solutions and deployment, including reliable support and troubleshooting
  • Get the latest in security solutions; at cost-effective rates
  • Gain the freedom to focus on business building and gaining maximum benefit from high-traffic events, without investing precious time and effort on security
  • Gain freedom from worrying about financial and business losses

Next Steps

  • Learn more about professional eCommerce website development and how it can streamline your business operations and boost growth and profitability at cost-effective rates.
  • Email us at sales@analytix.com or call us on 781.503.9003 today.
  • Follow our blog for industry trends and the latest updates.
  • Engage with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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