In the 21st century, cyber crimes have become more sophisticated and therefore harder to detect. From netspionage, phishing, misusing botnets, to online credit card frauds and various types of identity thefts – the list could go on.
Given the fact all eCommerce websites process sensitive information and payments, business owners have an additional responsibility to protect end users, i.e. their online shoppers.
The bad news is, eCommerce has always represented an especially attractive target for hackers and that’s not likely to change. According to statistics, eCommerce fraud loss reached $57.8 billion in 2017, which is a staggering number.
The good news is, Magento eCommerce platform offers one of the most secure environments, which is definitely one of the reasons it has been chosen by renowned brands such as Nike, Ford, Samsung and Nespresso.
But, a tool is only as good as its user. Read on to find out more about Magento security best practices to keep your eCommerce ecosystem fully protected.
What can happen if you don’t care about security?
Security in the eCommerce world is a top priority for both merchants and customers. However, small business owners often overlook security protocols as they believe their websites are not a worthy target, i.e. that they are too small to get noticed by hackers.
This, of course, is a logical fallacy.
If you don’t care about security or like many, think it only happens to other people, you’re putting your business at great risk.
The end damage is highly dependable on the type of the hacking attack a poorly protected eCommerce shop goes through.
For instance, if a web server is compromised, it means all available resources such as bandwidth and processing power, are at stake. This can result in serious downtime and disruption of business operations. When your customers get denied website access, not only will you lose revenue, but you will also break the trustworthy bond you’ve worked so hard to build with them.
In case of a cross-site scripting attack, site visitors can get exposed to malware, which will mark your website as spam. In terms of SEO, this can make your rankings plummet and you’ll have to start building your online reputation and visibility all over again.
Security vulnerabilities also lead to higher customer churn rates. If customers feel their financial data is not protected, they will continue shopping somewhere else without ever looking back.
Not only do compromised websites suffer through great financial losses, but they could also face lawsuits from damaged cardholders and get a bad reputation, which is hard to recover from.
How to stay safe in the cyber jungle?
Now, the logical question follows: how to keep your website protected in the world of rising cyber threats?
Start from the beginning. In the eCommerce world, HTTPs websites have become a standard, not just a preferred security choice. Online shops operate with sensitive data, which is why it is of paramount importance that they own an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate.
Having an SSL certificate is smart in the context of SEO as it can help with your reputation with Google, but it’s also crucial for building trustworthy relationships with your customers. Namely, Google has been marking HTTP sites as non secure since July, 2018.
SSL certificates ensure the data going from the customer’s computer to the website stays secure and impossible to read to hackers or other cyber criminals trying to intercept these informations. The prices of SSL certificates vary, but there is also a free, automated and open Certificate Authority called Let’s Encrypt that’s democratised Internet security, making it available to anyone.
As for other security precautions you can take within Magento, here is what you need to think about:
- Keep all software up to date and apply security patches as recommended in order to ensure a protected environment
- Work with a reliable hosting provider that is PCI compliant
- Monitor transactions, require strong passwords from customers, request a CVV number for additional security
- Use strong, unique passwords yourself and change them frequently
- Limit access to key files, monitor the system and run security checks
- Ensure all applications running on the server are secure
- Use only the latest Magento version
- Only use third party extensions from verified Magento developers
You know the saying – he who fails to plan, plans to fail? That’s especially true in terms of online security. The harsh truth is, there is no 100% security protection and no one can guarantee it. Magento security reduces the risks to a minimum, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a plan B.
As a responsible eCommerce owner, you should develop a disaster recovery plan that will help you get back on your feet in case of any IT catastrophe. Modern businesses deploy disaster recovery plans that include a cloud environment since this enables them to automatically backup all their data to an external location. Thinking in advance is smart as it reduces the time you need for continuing business operations after a serious incident.
Magento 2 security solutions
Magento 2 is the latest incarnation of the leading eCommerce platform and it comes with some pretty handy security solutions that keep your online store safe and protected.
Here is an overview of Magento security features you can take advantage of:
Better password management tools
Passwords are the basic layer of protection for your customers. However, if they are not strong enough, they can be exploited. This is why Magento enhanced password management by introducing the hashing algorithms (SHA-256), which deploys an encryption protocol that’s practically impossible to break. Therefore, user data remains safely protected.
Magento 2 secure URLs
We already explained the importance of owning an SSL certificate for your store. Once you acquire it, Magento 2 will automatically change your URLs to secure ones, so they are no longer HTTP, but HTTPS. Thanks to this Magento security perk, you can clearly indicate your site visitors they are safe to shop on your website. But don’t forget to do the SEO migration work required during this process so as not to lose rankings!
Regular updates ensure the best protection
Magento’s team of developers is always working towards bettering the level of security. You can browse through the latest released security patches within the Magento Security Center. Rest assured, you’ll always have access to Magento security best practices while your store remains protected and the security system up to date.
Control files permissions
To prevent malicious attacks on backend systems and protect data, Magento has worked towards creating recommended configurations. This means file system permissions are set automatically for optimal user authorisation, but you can always adjust them to your business needs. It is the perfect balance of security and convenience.
When it comes to Magento security, prevention is the key. This is why it’s crucial to address all the possible vulnerabilities and commit to best security practices.
But, if you’re a bit puzzled with all the security-related elements you need to take in mind within your Magento store, you might want to consider getting help from professionals who have the necessary experience in this department.
Best Response Media is an award-winning eCommerce agency and a certified Magento partner that’s been helping online businesses around the world build more visibility, drive sales and expand their customer base. Curious about how we can help you too? Get in touch today!