Can you think back to a time when you were not quite sure about giving your credit card details to a website? Remember when you only used to shop on the web’s largest stores, because you didn’t consider small websites safe? Thanks to the daily advancements we keep witnessing both in terms of cyber security and e-commerce, most of us trust most websites, and most of us shop online. But more traffic means more revenue, and more revenue can often make you a cybercrime target, or might simply cause your existing security systems to short-circuit.
Here’s what you need to know about e-commerce security in 2019, in order never to wake up to the sound of the cyber alarm going off:
Using Open Source
Even though the open source has made it increasingly easier to get your hands on a piece of software that can help you boost sales and cut down on expenses at the same time, its most obvious drawback is precisely its openness.
As any developer from anywhere in the world can contribute to the language of open source code – you can never really know what their motives are. Yes, open source codes are constantly being checked and double checked, but malicious new additions can’t always be easily traced and might land you in a lot of trouble if you are relying on open source software to store any of your most valuable data.
On the other hand, closed source codes are worked on only by a select team of developers, and are not open to the public, either to view or collaborate on. While having a limited number of people tinkering under the hood does not instantly mean there can be no security breaches, their likelihood is instantly reduced to a significant extent.
Forgetting about a VPN
VPNs are used not only to hide your identity online, they are also an excellent way to securely transfer data across public networks. By public networks, I mean the internet. Because let’s face it, the internet is anything but safe and secure. As a B2B e-commerce store, you will be storing a lot of data. And I don’t only mean very valuable and sensitive data from the customer’s point of view. You will also need to store data on your own inventory levels, product details, etc. – all of which can be worth a fortune in the wrong hands. Not to mention, keeping your data real-time can be quite an undertaking. However, by syncing up your ERP with your web store, you can easily keep everything in tune, at the same time exposing all of your sensitive data to attack.
This is where your VPN comes into play, as a way to secure the connection between your actual web store, and your ERP. As they encrypt all the data they transfer, and as they cannot be deciphered without an encryption key, you can rest assured that your data is safe, no matter where it communicates from.
When you run an e-commerce store, you can’t expect to get away with a simple anti-malware and antivirus piece of software that is also used by your customers. Remember the huge security breach that enveloped Saks Fifth Avenue in scandal last year? If that incident has not yet taught you that even the largest brands in the world can suffer an attack, you have not been paying enough attention.
Do plenty of research before you turn to a specific anti-malware solution. You may need something other than what the most well-known pieces of software can offer, so read well into the specifics before you make your purchase.
Failing to Devise a Failover System
While the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about online security is certainly data theft and the rise in ransomware we have been privy to, you can’t afford to forget about the importance of uptime and system availability.
You may not remember it, but back in 2013, Google was down for five whole minutes. And while your own systems are not as essential as Google’s have become, losing access to your systems will certainly cost your company time and money. All servers crash, that is certainly undeniable. Which is why having a failover system can help improve your availability online, by moving to a backup web store when your major store is down. All you need to do is make sure you do have a backup in place, ready to jump online in case of an emergency.
Also, do note that backing up your server data is considered standard. While you may not read about it a lot and may not think about it at all, making sure that you have a backup copy before you start executing any major changes on the web store is a must. And after you are happy with what you have changed, back up your data again, but never delete your previous backup versions. You never know when they might come in handy.
It’s easy to forget about security or assume someone else is thinking about it when you are not (your hosting company, another department, anyone but you). However, in real life, security is never questioned until it is plunged into danger. Implementing even these simplest of security measures will help both you and your customers feel safer and more secure.