Security is essential for eCommerce sites. The attention recent security breaches received makes that undeniably clear.
Follow these 6 tips to increase your site's security and better protect your data and your customers' information.
1. Safeguard User Account Data
Security doesn’t end at just securely storing and processing credit cards. It's crucial to protect user account data (inclusion passwords and email addresses) so they're not vulnerable to theft. Because many users reuse usernames and passwords across many websites, a single breach could mean the loss of their entire digital identity.
2. Don't Store Payment Data
We've said this before, but just so you know we're serious: Don't store customer payment data. Pass that responsibility to third-party security companies like Stripe or Paypal. Not only is security their specialty, it shifts accountability for any breaches to the third party.
3. Choose Effective Passwords
Security is not just for data – it's important for administrators and other business users to practice strong password policies. Use longer passwords and avoid dictionary words and common passwords to increase your password's effectiveness and reduce the opportunity for breaches.
4. Prevent Social Engineering Attacks
Securing data electronically is not always enough - attackers may attempt to circumvent electronic security measures with social engineering. Social engineering is a non-technical con that attempts to manipulate individuals who hold or control access to sensitive information (often customer service staff or IT personnel), with the intention to use that protected information as part of a larger scheme.
Social engineers may pose as legitimate customers who lost their information (such as a password) or even high-level company executives with authority to request the secure information.
Guard against this avenue of attack by training your customer service staff to spot suspicious requests and stand their ground on company procedure. A robust data-access policy (that is followed at all levels) and education about the sensitivity of the data in question are some of the most effective defenses against this type of attack.
5. Use Permission Levels
Another way to limit the effect of a breach is to use permission levels for administrative users. If an account is compromised, you've limited the damage to only the things that particular account can access.
6. Create a Damage Control Plan
No business wants to suffer a security breach, but it's important to have a damage control plan in place. Planning ahead can also minimize damage if a breach does occur.