Joining the ranks of other secure e-commerce business store merchants can be exciting and lucrative. Yet it takes more than great products and marketing to build a reputable online brand.
It also takes some serious consideration regarding your site’s security. After all, you owe it to your customers, team, and vendors to put protective measures in place.
Just how dangerous can one privacy breach be to your company? According to IBM research, you could lose around $180 for each personally identifiable record that’s stolen. If you have 10,000 customers, that’s nearly $2 million—hardly small change.
Fortunately, you can put measures in place to lower your chances of an e-commerce data breach. Below are several strategies to help you protect your company from bad actors.
1. Choose a well-respected e-commerce platform.
It can be tempting to go with the cheapest e-commerce platform when you’re starting out. However, starting with an unsecured or vulnerable site will lead to problems down the road.
Before deciding on the perfect e-commerce platform for you, do some homework. Research the systems you’re thinking about using. Find out their pros and cons, including whether other e-commerce merchants have had security problems. The stronger your e-commerce foundation, the better.
2. Partner with secure e-commerce solutions providers.
You may not want to run all your e-commerce company operations yourself. That’s where a full-service e-commerce solutions provider comes into the picture.
For instance, you could rely on a third-party provider to take care of all your fulfillment, warehousing, and returns.
The key is to pick a provider that’s safety-minded with a system that will seamlessly integrate with yours. That way, you can share customer data back and forth without worry.
One example is Tradefull, a complete e-commerce solution provider. Tradefull’s marketplace integrations and centralized inventory management solutions leverage security best practices around authentication and access control, using a combination of TLS and VPN technology, which helps to ease security concerns.
3. Embrace two-factor authentication for all passwords.
Your e-commerce company will run on passwords and logins. To mitigate the chances of stolen employee or customer credentials, turn on two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication cuts down on the chance that someone can pretend to be someone they’re not online.
Unsure whether two-factor authentication is the answer? You can be sure it’s useful because Google is pushing it. Your customers may grumble a bit, but a few grumbles are better than a host of breaches.
In addition, encourage all workers and buyers to change their passwords after a couple of months. You may even be able to program your system to prompt customers to do this automatically after a certain number of days.
4. Secure all connections with a VPN.
A significant benefit to being an employer today is that you can hire e-commerce employees from anywhere.
However, your remote workers may inadvertently put your data at risk when logging in. It’s not hard to imagine a virtual employee working from a local coffee shop and using public WiFi.
Since you can’t be with your team members at all times, you need a viable workaround for potential issues.
Setting up a virtual private network (VPN) makes sure that all their transferred information is encrypted. That way, no one can grab private data like your buyers’ credit card numbers.
5. Back up your systems regularly.
When was the last time that you created a backup of all your information?
Backups can’t protect you from a data breach, of course. Nevertheless, having a recent backup allows you to get up and running faster if something occurs.
Besides, in an era where ransomware is becoming more common, being able to restore your system quickly makes sense. The last thing you want is to be in a situation where you have to begin again from scratch.
6. Make sure your e-commerce app is secure.
A lot of developers will say that they can build you a mobile app for your website. And a mobile app can make it simpler for your customers to buy more products.
Here’s the snag: Your mobile app may not be as safe as you’d like, especially if it’s poorly coded or otherwise flawed.
Again, this is a place to avoid penny-pinching. Invest money in the creation of an in-house app. Insist on partnering with professionals who can show you how they’re securing and encrypting all the incoming and outgoing data.
7. Stay on top of patches.
No matter what type of e-commerce software you use, you can expect to get updates on new patches.
Rather than ignore those updates, take the time to keep your system protected. Each new patch you install could prevent plenty of headaches and expenses.
Along with this suggestion, keep track of any integrations or programs your employees install. Those items need to be current as well.
Additionally, they should be vetted by you or another team member to ensure they don’t open your company to risks.
You can’t grow your e-commerce brand without engaged employees and thrilled buyers. And one surefire way to keep everyone satisfied is with a secure, safe e-commerce site.