The rate and sophistication of cyber threats targeting online stores have skyrocketed in the recent past. This trend has mainly spearheaded because online stores are havens for massive amounts of money, which hackers want. The cyberattack threats used by hackers are usually broad and varied; they range from phishing attacks, malware threats, SQL injections, and identity thefts. You might never know when a cyberattack will hit your online store. Preparedness is the best immunity in combating the cyber threats that have been mentioned above. The cost of a successful cyber breach is something you do not want to hear, leave alone dealing with it.
Proper measures and tools should be installed to deal with the many cyber attackers that have flooded the internet who are willing to do anything to bring your online store to an unexpected halt. This article explains five of the most critical cybersecurity protocols that should be followed in creating a secure and successful online store.
Implement Best Password Practices and Ensure Your Customers Follow Suit
According to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, compromised passwords have contributed to 81% of all security breaches. Strong and unique passwords are one of the fundamental ingredients used in creating a secure online store platform. Your employees and customers should be enlightened on the importance of using strong, unique passwords across all their accounts. Here are some of the things that you should have in mind when creating passwords.
- Strong passwords mean the ability of a password to withstand forces of attempted hacks. A strong password should be at least eight characters in length and should combine symbols, numbers, and letters-both uppercase and lowercase.
- Your customers should never share login details. Every user should have a unique password.
- A google survey found that 65% of people reuse login credentials across multiple accounts. This trend is alarming to cybersecurity and inviting for All a hacker will need to do is get hold of the login details, and he will be able to access all your accounts. As a password best practice, you should never use login credentials for your online store as you have used on other platforms. Similarly, never let your customers or employees do so.
- Password storage is also a critical point that should be put into consideration. How you store, your passwords could make or break the cyber walls of your Ecommerce store. Writing passwords on a piece of paper or having your web browsers to store the password is something that you should never entertain. All a hacker will need is get hold of the device, access your browser, and enter your account. The best practice will be to memorize all your passwords.
- Default passwords should be changed. Attackers have laid their traps in the form of written scripts that will make numerous trials to access your account.
- If you have used something like “ADMIN” as a password or username, then you are vulnerable to cyber attackers.
Implement a Multiple Factor Authentication
Passwords alone cannot provide the level of user authentication that is required for accessing your online store. An extra layer of verification called the multiple factor authentication procedure should come into play. Here, apart from just using a password to access your account, extra identity verification tools are used. For instance, a user will be required to enter a secret code sent to him via email or text message. The secret code will usually have an expiry time. The user will have to enter the code before it expires. Other multiple step authentication essential in securing your online store includes the use of biometric features such as fingerprints and face recognition technology. Multiple factor authentication features add an extra layer of security that is so much needed in protecting your online store. The more the identity verification procedures that your online store has, the more secure it is.
Consider this situation; your online store involves exchanging very vital data such as credit card details between your clients and your website. How can you make sure that this information remains secure? This is where an SSL certificate comes to play a role. An SSL certificate is the most vital encryption tool that is used to secure communication between your web servers and the clients’ browsers. If left unencrypted, hackers will easily intercept the information, decipher it, and alter it for their malicious purposes.
A website that has an SSL certificate will have all the information travel in a coded format. No one will be able to intercept the information or alter the information’s intended meaning unless he has the key. You have no option but to buy an SSL certificate and install it.
You should be keen when buying an SSL certificate and ensure that you acquire one only from trusted Certificate Authorities. Many certificate options could give you the encryption level that you so much need for your online store. You can check some options on SSL2BUY. SSL certificates will not only secure your online store but also improve your ranking in the Search Engine Results Pages. Please do not wait, buy an SSL certificate, and enjoy the many benefits that it brings forth.
Carry Out Frequent Software Updates
Carrying out frequent software updates is a very necessary procedure in the security of your online store. Hard lessons were learnt from the Equifax data breach incidence. Close to 143 million Americans were victims of a cyberattack. They lost their social security numbers, exposed their personal information such as birth dates and physical addresses. The hackers behind the Equifax breach succeeded in accessing the Equifax data by taking advantage of a vulnerability in a web application. Interestingly, a fix in this vulnerability had been released as early as two months before the hack took place. Sadly, Equifax had failed to carry out a software update to fix the security vulnerability leading to one of the greatest hacks the internet has ever seen.
The Equifax data breach incidence is just one example. Many organizations have suffered dire consequences just because they are not proactive enough to install a software update. Many of the data breaches that happen today result from hackers taking advantage of the loopholes in web applications and software.
You should never procrastinate with software updates. See them as one of the most crucial measures to take against hackers eyeing your online store. They carry very critical fixes to the loopholes that exist in the previous versions. Apart from just providing the fixes and enhancing your online store’s security, software updates also come with improved features and better compatibility that will improve users’ experience and streamline the operations of your online store. Ensure that you update your software as well as your operating system once a new release is out. You can enable the auto-update feature to save you time and effort.
Perform Frequent Data Backups
Hackers are clever and will do anything to get past those security walls. They are dynamic and outgoing, doing extremes to compromise your online store. So, what if they do? Only one thing can save your data in case of a cyber-breach, data backups. You should ensure that you undertake frequent data backups to ensure that you have your data back in cases of uncertainties.
Your online store is a lucrative spot for hackers. Where there is money, there are hackers. With so many cyber-attacks happening daily, there is a reason to be worried. Your online store is at risk. Unless you have safety measures in place, you are treading on the wrong path, the path of cyber insecurities. Proper security measures should be put in place to ensure that your online store is safe. One security wall is never enough. Make sure that you use multiple security walls to strengthen the security walls of your online store.