Most of the small-scale merchants have been becoming a victim of cyber attacks from the last few years. Around 850 data breaches cases are seen every year just because of the lack of security measures on an eCommerce website.
The risks of data breaching, phishing, whaling or malware not only affect the way of business but also put a detrimental effect on financial transactions process. An SSL certificate, advanced software, two-factor authentication, and the best eCommerce platforms are widely used by web owners to enhance their website security as well as to build the business credibility and conversion rate. We have described a few effective tips to secure eCommerce consumer data under:
1. Clearly describe your data handling policy
It is crucial to define your data handling policy to your consumers as it enhances their trust in your business and they share data without any worry. It should be clearly defined that what data is going to available on site or what is not (consumer’s existing data), and what security protocols are used on the website for the protection of stored data?
2. Think before you collect
When you are running an online shopping website, it is quite easy for you to store consumers’ email id, contact number, address or credit card number. But, remember that one time all the stored data may become a liability for you. So do not take any risk, set some limits for storing consumers’ data. Store as much data as can be handled and secured easily. Remove unnecessary information like credit card detail, as it can be targeted by hackers anytime.
3. Encrypts user data
User data can be encrypted by installing an SSL certificate from SSL2BUY on a website. It is considered the best form of online security that you can provide your customers. An SSL certificate encrypts the information that is exchanged between a web server and a web user. Nowadays, users are more aware of cyber threats and like to shop from fully secured websites. An SSL certificate helps the eCommerce owners to enhance their business credibility, also increase their conversion rate. HTTPs, padlock and green address bar are the signs of SSL certified websites that bind the customers with businesses.
4. Be PCI DSS compliant
Every E-commerce that transmits information on the site must be PCI DSS compliant. PCI DSS is a security standard, it is adopted by most of the credit card companies in the world for user’s data security protection. If the eCommerce does not compliance that security standard, the company will be fined or will have to experience forensic audits, card replacement cost, and lost in the brand image. Encryption of transmitting data, network security, infrastructure security and Restriction on information access includes in the PCI DSS compliance.
5. Stay up-to-date with security software
Hackers always try to find a hole in the security software as they can easily breach the security line through these holes. If the software like firewalls or antivirus is not up to date, it is more prone to security threats. Some companies delay in updating security software; as a result, they become a victim of cybercrime. Thus, stay up to date with security software because it can outweigh the downsides.
6. Demand strong passwords from customers
User’s data protection always comes on first priority when we talk about eCommerce business motives. Creating an account and logging in is necessary for every visitor to complete the shopping process, but the vulnerabilities also start from there. When a user chooses weak passwords, they are more likely to target by the hackers. Thus, always ask your users to choose a complex structure password that includes capital or small letters, numeric and special characters.
7. Test for vulnerabilities
You cannot hide your website code and website code easily shows the vulnerabilities on the site. So besides such security measures, you have to test your website vulnerabilities that are not revealed through security tools. You can hire an expert or an ethical hacker to identify the code vulnerabilities on your website. Only the expert can do daily scanning of malware that may harm your website as well as users data.
8. Handover credit card information to third-party providers
As we above mentioned that never store too much information on your database especially the credit card information as it can be hacked. If it is necessary to save credit card information, always use a third-party processor such as PayPal, Stripe or Authorize.Net. Third-party providers have advanced security and tech measures to handle the user’s private data. Thus, it is ideal to hand over credit card information to them.
9. Restricted access
Recent studies show that 62% of data leaks are originated by insiders or companies employees. Data-stealing cases by the insider have been rapidly increasing from 2015 and have reached alarming levels. Always review who is handling what type of data, who is handling the master data how much he/she can make changes to the database and, give restricted access to the credit card holder database.
10. Prepare for the most horrible situation
As every business prepare itself for worse situations like data center downtime, human error, and natural disasters, same the E-commerce owners must be prepared for the worst conditions such as; cyber crimes that are usually ignored by the most of E-commerce businesses. They must have a disaster recovery plan to tackle the worse situation in the event of cyber-attack. Cyber-attacks do not only put the financial condition of business on the stack but also put a detrimental impact on business reputation.
Besides applying the above-mentioned data protection tips, you should provide training to your employees about how to handle sensitive consumer data, and what precautions should be taken to prevent cyber attacks etc. Moreover, you can persuade your consumers to take on an active role in securing their data such as; use a secure network, recognize the suspicious emails and use strong passwords on their operating devices.