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BizReport : Ecommerce : June 01, 2019


Cybersecurity Tips for Responsible eCommerce Shop Owners

Here are a few tips on where to start and what to add to your eCommerce website.

An estimated 1.92 billion people will shop digitally by the end of 2019.

That makes eCommerce one of the most profitable global industries. Whether you're interested in building an empire or earning some easy money, you've certainly considered opening an online shop of your own. Now, you're probably thinking, how hard can it be anyway?

If you already have some experience with this industry, you know that opening and running an online store is easier said than done. In addition to branding, marketing, sales, and retention, eCommerce leaders must invest time and money in something else - cybersecurity. eCommerce stores are especially sensitive to cyber threats since they collect and store data from their visitors.

You'll need to develop a framework for keeping your customers' names, addresses, buying behaviors, and purchasing history safe from cybercriminals. Otherwise, you'll be risking not only your revenue but also your reputation. In case of a data breach, your customers may never trust you again.

Here are a few tips on where to start and what to add to your eCommerce website.

1. Be Careful When Choosing Your Website Host

You cannot build a trustworthy eCommerce brand without a trustworthy web hosting provider. This is not something to be frugal about. Skip shared data center solutions and choose the most reliable top-rated company you can find. Otherwise, you're risking everything.

2. Enable Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Protection

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protection is an encryption protocol that establishes a safe connection between your website and your visitors' device. SSL will keep your customers' data encoded and secure, even when they're shopping via unsafe public WiFi networks.

Besides, reliable eCommerce businesses are expected to have an SSL certificate, as well as to update it on a regular basis. Google is also a firm believer in this cybersecurity protocol - the world's leading search engine will reward you with higher rankings if you have it in place.

3. Collecting Customer Data? Keep It Encrypted

SSL protection prevents cybercriminals from accessing your database via a browser. Unfortunately, this preventive measure is ineffective when it comes to system attacks. Since hackers will try to get in through third-party apps, you need to keep them all encrypted, too.

This applies to all tools and services your online store relies on for marketing, email automation, and CRM systems, just to name a few. Before you start feeding confidential data from your website into these systems, make sure that they are using the Advanced Encryption Standard.

4. Have Multiple Duplicates of Primary Storage

In the event of a cyber attack, data breach, or ransomware, you should have a secondary storage system to help you keep your eCommerce business afloat. Develop a backup policy on all key databases and set up more than one duplicate of your primary storage.

5. Receive Potential Threat Alerts in Real Time

Investing in cybersecurity is always a smart decision. Take website monitoring services, for instance. Even though paying for external IT security may not have been a part of your original budget, this investment will pay off in the long run. Besides, the prices are fair.

Website monitoring allows you to put a big part of your cybersecurity routines on autopilot. You'll get automatic and very precise scanning, as well as real-time threat alerts and recommended damage control practices. That way, you'll be able to focus on running the store.

6. Stay Compliant with the Latest Regulations

If your eCommerce shop is open to European buyers, then your business must be GDPR-compliant. The alternative is not viable - you'll either face fines and penalties or be closed for good. Do research on other similar regulations that apply to your country, industry, or niche.

7. Run Penetration Testing & Threat Simulations

Now that you've built your eCommerce cybersecurity framework, it's time to test how it works. The most effective option you have is called penetration testing, where you hire an IT security firm to try to hack your store and databases and reveal oversights and vulnerabilities.

Alternatively, you can run penetration testing and threat simulations yourself by using a Virtual Private Network (example for mobile users). By changing your IP address and encrypting your data traffic, a VPN makes an anonymous threat for your website monitoring system to try and catch.

Conclusion

eCommerce may be able to help you earn some easy money, but it's still serious business. If you're planning to stay profitable in this industry, you simply cannot afford to skip cybersecurity. With these 7 tips in mind, your customers should be safe from all the cyber threats.






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