Published On: Mon, Dec 19th, 2016

Protect Your Ecommerce Site and Cybersecurity This Holiday Season

The holiday season is an exciting time as families come together, the weather turns cold and our towns are filled with colorful lights; not to mention that the holidays are a boon for e-commerce sites everywhere. In fact, nearly half of holiday shopping will be done online this year.

But while giddy shoppers fill their virtual carts with your products and goodies, an ill-boding force threatens your yuletide cheer: Hackers! It’s sad but true. The holidays are a popular time for online theft and cybercrime. Thankfully, we’ve put together a list of tips to protect your customers and your business this winter.

Secure Your Payment Systems: If you want to run a safe and secure e-commerce site you will need to start with your payment system. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates encrypt data in transit, including credit card payments, and authenticates your site’s identity. Customers know to look for the HTTPS in the address bar. If your business doesn’t have this, you could lose out on sales to smart shoppers. Boost your security credibility with trust badges from the BBB, McAfee and other reliable companies. Lastly, make sure your business meets the requirements form payment card industry compliance.

Know the Signs of Fraud: Fraud, almost by definition, can be hard to detect. Still, no scam is perfect and a careful eye can often detect the differences in behavior between legitimate consumers and malicious hackers or bots. Be sure to flag multiple failed login attempts, leery purchasing habits and multiple cards used from the same IP address. Bottom line, monitor your site regularly and make sure your ecommerce host is too. Work with your provider to set up automated system alerts for suspicious activity.

photo/ Gerd Altmann via pixabay

Block DDoS Attacks: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are big news lately as they can paralyze your business with a flood of phony web requests, crashing your operations and blocking legitimate users from visiting your site. Consider working with your internet service provider to redirect or thwart bogus traffic to keep your website up and operational.

Require Strong Passwords: Passwords are a customer’s first defense against data leak and fraud. Yet too many users create weak and vulnerable passwords. While it may be annoying, encourage your customers to use stronger passphrases to safeguard their account and personal information. Be sure to remind them that reusing a password is bad protocol and could result in hacked accounts across the web.

Use a Trusted Enterprise Ecommerce Platform: Building your online store using an enterprise ecommerce service platform will help you improve your security features and troubleshoot problems if necessary. A good ecommerce provider will constantly and consistently monitor your store for security issues and catch them before they become problems.

Handle Sensitive Data with Care: Saving credit card data allows for customers to make quicker and more convenient checkouts, but companies should never store all the data required to complete a transaction, such as the expiration data and CVV. Due to the high level of risk, the Payment Card Industry strictly forbids storing all this data. If you need to keep information for one-click checkouts, refunds or recurring billing, only save the minimal amount of data necessary. Also, look into tokenization and end-to-end encryption to store this sensitive data with care.

Educate Your Employees: Finally, it’s important to educate you employees about cybersecurity best practices. All too often, business and customer information is leaked or stolen due to employee negligence. This is bad news for your enterprise e-commerce site which may face backlash for not protecting your (and your customers’) most valuable information.

Follow these tips to improve your cybersecurity and you can be sure you customers and your business will have a happy holiday season. Season’s wishes!

Author: Marry Clark

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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