How do I know if my eCommerce website is Secure? Definition, Tips, & Tools PT 1

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In this day and age, it’s becoming more and more common for eCommerce businesses to lose thousands of dollars and possibly their credibility at the hands of hackers. The internet can be a dangerous place to conduct business with the amount of retailer fraud estimated to surmount $130 billion by 2023

On average, an online retailer would need to generate eight legitimate sales to financially recover from a fraudulent order successfully placed. Luckily, building a secure defense to protect your eCommerce store can funnel safe and secure orders while filtering out the fraudulent activity that can hold you back. 

So what is eCommerce website Security? 

eCommerce website security refers to a variety of activities and protocols that protect your website from threats that deal with the safety of online transactions and the protection of sensitive information. An eCommerce website is a complex system with a variety of interactive components that include your server, apps, and user information. Each of these components must be protected by a system that encapsulates the whole of the website. Online fraud is a rapidly evolving threat to online security that can spot and capitalize on the smallest of errors and weaknesses.  

If you imagine your website or eCommerce store like a house it’s only natural to install security features at each of the points of entry like windows, doors, and a garage. That said, burglars will often find a weakness if they choose. It’s vitally important to understand the primary threats to your website security and what you can look for and do to resolve them. 

What are some warning signs to look for? 

In some cases, fraudulent transactions can lead to chargebacks and the eventual loss of merchandise. The following few warning signs should give you a good idea of what to look for and review when to come to unusual customer requests. 

  1. Multiple payments being utilized from a single IP address. This could be an individual using stolen credit cards to submit orders and receive goods they can sell. 
  2. Large volume orders for a single item from a new customer. 
  3. Some foreign billing and shipping addresses can be a red flag. 
  4. A series of orders shipped to the same address but purchased using different payment methods. 

Oftentimes, a manual review of orders can help eliminate threats and ease the process. Even if you only check the orders that signal the following dangers above, you are always better off.

What are the most significant security threats? 

SQL Injection: Avoiding Vulnerable Website Forms 

An SQL injection is one of the most common hacking techniques where a single malicious code injection can damage the entirety of your database. SQL injection usually occurs when you ask a user for input, like their username/user id, and instead of a name/id, the user gives you an SQL statement that you will unknowingly run on your database. Oftentimes, hackers will attack forms on your website that ask to sign up for a newsletter or discount code. 

The best way to avoid this type of fraud is to perform weekly and daily scans for vulnerabilities. Internet security companies like Norton have products to help with scanning however other free tools exist. 

Brute Force Attacks:

A brute force attack using a botnet accounts for over 80% of eCommerce attacks in the US. This is when hackers use a hijacked computer device known as a botnet to simply guess the required access to the admin section of your eCommerce website. All that hackers require is a program used to execute the attempts to connect with different passwords and enough uninterrupted time to establish a connection. 

To avoid and combat brute force attacks: 

  • Use complicated and lengthy passwords that feature symbols, capitalization, and numbers. 
  • Require some kind of two-factor authentication. 
  • Use a captcha or similar tool to verify users logging into your website. 
  • Change password every three months. Immediately change passwords after the termination or conclusion of work by outside contractors. 

DoS & DDos Attacks: 

Most malicious hacking acts have the same goal of making some profit at you and your companies expense. A DoS (Denial of Service) attack is an attempt to shut down your online store by flooding it with junk traffic and making it ungettable to normal users. A DDoS (Distributed DoS Attack) attack is performed from multiple devices or a botnet. A botnet is a ‘gang’ of computers infected with some malware.

To protect your site from DoS & DDoS Attacks, each eCommerce business owner should: 

  • Install a special web server configuration. 
  • use NGINX rate limiting to protect your website from malicious requests.

Friendly Fraud: 

This type of credit card fraud takes place when a legitimate customer interacts with your site, purchases an item, then later changes their mind. Instead of following the normal return policy, they submit a chargeback through their credit card provider. These losses can be prevented and recovered through apps and installations like that work to review ID and prevent fraud. 

Best Practices for eCommerce Website Security 

Protecting your reputation, customers, and sales revenue come with beefing up your eCommerce website security. Dealing with hackers and unhappy customers is never fun. With so much at stake and to protect, knowing what you can do to take your security to the next level is imperative. Schedule a consultation with one of our Drive Digital web developers and stay tuned for Part. 2 with more tips on how to reinforce eCommerce website security.