In the last twelve months, 35% of organizations surveyed in the United States reported that their organizations were breached. Data breaches have quickly become one of the most common cybersecurity concerns, exposing consumers’ and businesses’ private data to the public (or the dark web).
If customers sense that your website’s security might not be up to scratch, they will lose trust in your brand – and they leave permanently. Now, more than ever, shoppers care about their online safety.
In 2017, US retailer Target reached an $18.5 million settlement for a data breach that exposed 41 million customer payment card accounts and the contact information of over 60 million customers.
Fortunately, Target is a huge corporation and had the ability to recover – but we can’t say the same for all small to mid-sized businesses.
Could your business afford to lose its customers and its reputation after a cyberattack? Probably not. That’s why we’re sharing some tips to improve E-commerce security on your site – ASAP.
1. Set Up Security Alerts for Your Site
Most E-commerce security issues will involve your payment processing system. That’s why we recommend setting up a payment system that sends instant alerts in regards to suspicious behavior or potentially fraudulent activity. This can help you catch dangerous activity before it has the chance to harm you or your customers.
Another great way to bolster your E-commerce security is to enable an address verification system (AVS) and require card verification value (CVV) for card transactions. These extra layers of protection reduce fraudulent charges and establish the shopper’s identity. They also instill additional trust in your consumers.
Here are some other E-commerce security issues you might want to set up alerts for:
- Orders placed from foreign IP addresses
- Mismatched billing and customer data on the credit/debit card
- Multiple orders placed on the same card
- Multiple orders from the same person using different cards
- Conflicting shipping and billing information
- Mismatch on customer name vs. cardholder name
If one of these issues occurs, administrators should review the order and approve it manually, before it’s processed. This improves your chances of spotting illicit activity before it has the chance to do harm.
2. Make Sure Your Store is Completely Encrypted
Encryption and SSL certification act together to improve E-commerce security. If you haven’t looked into either, it’s past time to do so.
Encryption converts information into a secret code, disguising the information’s true meaning and masking your customer’s bank details and sensitive information from potential hackers.
SSL stands for ‘Secure Sockets Layer.’ It’s used to ensure that an internet connection’s secure between two platforms, i.e., your E-commerce site and your customer’s smartphone or computer. This safeguards against any sensitive data being intercepted as it’s passed between the two platforms.
An SSL certificate is hosted on a website and acts as proof that the connection between the two platforms is secure. Nowadays, many customers actively look for SSL certificates on websites – and so do search engines.
Customers will likely be wary of using an E-commerce site that does not have an encryption emblem displayed. It’s vital to use encryption on your E-commerce site and display it prominently to let users know their information’s protected.
Using encryption on your site has never been easier than it is now. Big-name E-commerce sites like Shopify already have this included so customers can shop safely on their platforms.
3. Enhance Customer Account Security
A simple yet effective way to improve E-commerce security: let your customers take some control over their own settings.
For example, if you offer customer accounts, allow your customers to log in with two-factor authentication or set personal, secure passwords. Many customers are risk-averse and prefer options like these to keep their information extra secure.
On another note, you may want to give customers the option to not store their credit cards, addresses, or other personal information on your company’s files. This grants your customers more control over their own risk and data, but it also minimizes the potential damage of a cyber breach targeted at your business.
4. Always Complete Regular Backups and Updates
If you back up your E-commerce site regularly, past versions and crucial data can easily be accessed and reuploaded if a cyberattack occurs. Plus, in the event of a ransomware attack where criminals hold your data for a fee, you already have access to your data – and that diminishes the hackers’ power.
Another valuable piece of cybersecurity hygiene is regularly following through with system and software upgrades. Many updates include security patches to address the latest threats and update bugs. If you stay on top of yours, you’ll increase your security with every update.
5. Offer Multiple Trusted Payment Options
Believe us: E-commerce security is something that customers really value, even if they don’t always talk about it. In a recent poll, only 21% of respondents said they trust established global brands to keep their personal information secure.
Today’s E-commerce sites can help customers feel safe by giving customers different options on how to pay. The best options are the ones your customers are likely to know and have used before, like:
- Apple/Android Pay
Payment processors provide a secure gateway between your E-commerce site and your customer’s credit card information. Once the customer has entered their data into the payment processor, the information can be encrypted and processed.
The processor then notifies the customer’s bank account to check if the funds are available to make the payment. If the transaction gets approved, the payment is made, and the customer’s account can be charged.
Payment processing systems not only add an additional safety net in the form of encryption, but they also make customers feel their information’s more secure. People like to check out with familiar, trusted methods.
6. Educate Your Team
Lastly, it’s important to remember that hacking often occurs due to human error – like when an employee falls for a phishing scam by opening a lousy link. In 2020, phishing alone was responsible for 20% of all data breaches. A large part of that percentage could be remediated by simply investing in employee education.
To stem the tide of cyberattacks, ensure your whole team knows how to avoid common pitfalls. Enforce security measures such as requiring two-factor employee encryption and regular password changes.
Most importantly, talk about the common risks and industry-specific threats that lurk on the web. The more your employees know about online dangers, the better they can avoid them and protect your business.
Protecting your website and customers is paramount to any E-commerce brand. Adequate E-commerce security ensures your business and its customers are protected against threats, new and old.
There are many tips and tricks you can use yourself to improve your site’s security. Of course, for some tasks, you should probably seek professional assistance.
At Ayokay, we understand that every business is unique and that E-commerce website requirements are continuously changing. We’re experts in E-commerce web design, and we’re here to help you make the best decisions for the safety of your company and its customers.
To learn more, send us a message online or call 317-210-AYOK.
Jack Shepler is a Marketing and Search Engine Optimization expert. He founded Ayokay, award-winning marketing, and web design firm in Indianapolis, Indiana that has built brands, increased sales for businesses, and helped nonprofit organizations fulfill their missions since 2011. He uses his decades of experience to educate through the Ayokay blog and through public speaking. You can follow him on LinkedIn.