Anyone who is running a profitable e-commerce site and has heard stories of SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS) and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks should learn more about security site needs with e-commerce. While it’s true that the main reason e-commerce sites fall victim to hackers is that their server or application software is out of date, businesses still need to take a few extra precautions to protect customer data and prevent extortion from criminals.
By taking simple measures such as destroying unneeded customer data and updating your operating system and software packages, you can close most of the holes in your website’s security, and by signing up for a few extra security services, you can prevent some of the more aggressive attacks that target profitable business websites. Aside from brute-force attacks on user passwords, criminals use three common methods to thwart security measures: SQL injection, XSS and DDoS attacks. To prevent these types of attacks, you need to install additional security packages.
Simple Ways to Prevent Most E-Commerce Attacks
According to the website, CIO, the first step to secure your e-commerce site is to install all available software updates on your server. Most of these updates are handled automatically on a Windows server, and in Linux, your package manager or update manager takes care of all security patches and software dependencies when you install updates. For managed site hosting, your Web host takes care of all software and security updates for you, but because you have to trust the host to keep your site secure, be sure to choose a reputable company.
Another simple precaution to take is to erase all unneeded customer data to prevent criminals from getting their hands on it. This step is one of the responsibilities of being an e-commerce site owner, and you must decide what information to keep for marketing and what information to delete. Web security experts recommend keeping only a small amount of payment information for completing charge-backs and refunds. Storing customer phone numbers, email addresses and other sensitive data puts your customers at risk, and if you do hold on to this information, you must protect it with multiple security layers.
Advanced Protection Against Fraud, Blackmail and Theft
To prevent SQL injection, XSS and DDoS attacks, install an application-level firewall and send all your traffic through a cloud-based DDoS protection service. A Web application firewall (WAF) is a piece of hardware or additional software package that scans all website traffic for known forms of malicious activity, such as worms, probes, DDoS, XSS and SQL injection attacks. It eliminates the need for a programmer to carefully scan all of your site’s application code for vulnerabilities, although using insecure code for an e-commerce site is not recommended, even with a WAF.
Another step you can take to prevent DDoS attacks is to run all your site traffic through a protection service. DDoS attacks are one of the nastiest types of attacks on e-commerce sites, and they can prevent your site from operating for several days. Criminals use these attacks to extort money from e-commerce businesses.
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If you run an e-commerce site, you should make every effort to follow the recommendations of the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI DSS), which outline the best ways to prevent fraud and stolen data. With these tools, you can meet all your security site needs with e-commerce.