ECommerce Store Security Influences Your Success
Even in 2017, eCommerce store security remains one of the biggest concerns about online shopping for consumers. Just as slow loading pages and poor checkout processes can cost you sales, people will quickly abandon your brand if there are problems with protecting personal information or other data. It turns out that data and information security are incredibly important to the overall success of your business and for this reason are among the musts on every developer’s checklist.
However, it isn’t uncommon for eCommerce entrepreneurs to be caught up with the flashing lights and cool tricks of an online store and forget that eCommerce store security is essential. One mishap would be certain to return your attention to this hot button issue. However, by the time you’ve had a breach most of the steps you need to take for heightened security in your online store are irrelevant.
Instead, this autumn be proactive about your eCommerce store security.
The Baseline of ECommerce Store Security
“In the eCommerce world, the following are absolute non-negotiables to running a successful business: site speed, stability and security.” – BigCommerce
If you don’t take any steps in regards to eCommerce store security, the one necessity is ensuring that your information is hosted on a PCI DSS server. If you haven’t heard of the PCI DSS before, it’s time to become comfortable with the terminology and how it applies to your business.
Regardless of your business’s size, revenue, industry, or store setup, the Payment Card Industry’s (PCI) set of Data Security Standards (DSS) are going to be relevant to your online store. That’s because the PCI’s DSS monitor the processes and security standards of any business that handles credit card transactions and customer information online.
The standard of the PCI’s DSS actually apply to where and how your site’s data is hosted. You only want to entrust your data to a host that is PCI Compliant. There are 12 criteria the PCI considers to determine compliance with its DSS. These criteria include everything from protecting customer data to the implementation of an information security plan. To achieve PCI Compliance, a host must successfully meet all 12 criteria.
If you plan to host your own site, then, for eCommerce store security purposes, you will be responsible for ensuring PCI DSS compliance. Otherwise, it is essential to confirm with your eCommerce platform that it stores all data and information with a PCI compliant host. Shopify, for example, ensures that all store, customer, and transaction data is stored on a Level 1 PCI DSS compliant server, which is the highest level possible.
Ongoing Efforts in ECommerce Store Security
Just as a traditional stores requires constant updates and maintenance, an online store requires the same, even if these maintenance requirements are very different than in a physical space. In fact, when it comes to eCommerce store security, maintenance is one of the most important parts of the process.
The technology and tactics used by hackers are constantly changing and improving. Every day there are new threats to information and data security. Therefore, your protective features also need to change just as rapidly. For the most part the tools to protect against current threats are available, you simply need to make sure you have the latest version of any software or security measures.
For example, there are hundreds of plugins that improve the security on your Shopify or Bigcommerce store, but these plugins do little good if they are outdated. From the moment your store is up and running, you need to monitor these plugins or outsource the task to a eCommerce developer.
Implement a Notification System for Security Concerns
Perhaps one of the most overlooked tools in information and data security is the use of alerts. ECommerce entrepreneurs have a thousand tasks pulling on their focus at any one moment. There is always something to update or something to resolve. Therefore, eCommerce store security concerns can be lost in the shuffle.
Even if this isn’t an issue receiving your consistent or constant attention, don’t let a minor online security problem become a major issue for your business. There are tools and technologies out there that will take care of monitoring your site for security risks and concerns, such as suspicious activity on your online store. Most importantly, such notifications bring a potential security problem to the forefront of your to-do list where it will receive the deserved attention.
Empower Customers to Increase ECommerce Store Security
A great deal of eCommerce store security focuses on what online stores can do through plug-ins. However, one of the most important parts of a comprehensive eCommerce store security strategy is ensuring your customers have the appropriate information and tools to protect their personal information when on your site.
These customer-facing development and design elements are incredibly effective at keeping information safe. Plus, they provide assurance to your shoppers that your business is invested in providing the proper security measures. When it comes to online shopping, both the appearance of security measures and the effective implementation of them are vital.
First, don’t just encourage your customers to set up secure accounts; require it. While customers should absolutely always enter their payment and personal information across a secure connection, make it air-tight by requiring account setup. This has the effect of implementing an additional level of security against hackers who could break a secure connection.
Of course, the downside of this additional security step is that it requires time at checkout. Balance the procedural time requirements by ensuring your store is equipped with proper tools and plugins to allow customers to securely save personal information and remain signed in from specific devices.
Second, make certain that sign-in to these customer accounts is through a strong password. Gone are the days when sequential numbers or the first letters of the alphabet qualify as a reliable and acceptable password. The best way to do this is utilize a password manager on your site. This improves your overall eCommerce store security, while making it efficient for customers to set an excellent, randomized password.
Help with a More Secure Site
ECommerce companies that want to invest in a more secure online store should work with an experienced digital agency. Developers are always watchful for security gaps and possible solutions when they create, migrate, or update an eCommerce store, but these aren’t the only times to take a closer look at your eCommerce store security.
- Dan Kogan
- September 21, 2017