The exponential growth of the e-commerce industry has inspired many entrepreneurs to take the online route to a broader market. Indeed, going online opens more avenues for growth, and with the proper awareness, it can lead to an exponential growth of your business. WordPress is one of the preferred platforms for having a website. But a question that arises is whether WordPress is a secure platform. The average cost of a data breach could exceed US$ 150 million this year. Various queries may result in your mind. Are there any limits in the functionality, and how can a free platform be secure? In this article, we will delve deep into the processes we need to adapt to keep our e-commerce website free from any data breach.
Check your web host
A lot depends on your web host. Your website must not take too much time to load; else, it could lead to visitors moving away to your competition. Moreover, always check the security procedures of the web host. Always request the IT policy of the web host before signing up with them. Also, check whether they utilize strong passwords and have stringent access controls. Businesses must opt for a dedicated server, though it may cost a bit more. You may undertake a periodic audit of the networks to ensure that there were no data breaches.
Install an SSL certificate
All e-commerce websites must abide by the PCI-DSS that requires you to have stringent security procedures in place. It requires businesses to buy an SSL certificate and install on server. The website must communicate using the HTTPS protocol that encrypts the communication between the webserver of the e-commerce site and the web browser of the visitor. If you are searching for a cheap solution then, a cheap one is available with SSL2BUY, and you may choose one based on your requirements.
Use strong passwords
The access to the back end must be restricted, and the users must be provided with strong passwords. The passwords must adhere to global best practices. It will help to stave off the brute force attacks from hackers. If the users find it challenging to select a password, they may take the help of a password manager. It will create a unique password that is strong too. The password manager can also help them to store passwords to multiple applications together at one place. The password must be changed at frequent intervals. A password manager can send out alerts to notify users to change their passwords.
Update the site periodically
It is essential to update the software to the latest version. It helps to remove the vulnerabilities, if any, in the earlier versions. You must update WordPress as well as the themes to the latest versions. The premium themes are the ones that come with more updates than the free ones. It is suggested to use only the paid themes for your e-commerce site. The plugins must also be updated to the latest version. In WordPress, you also get notifications when an update is available.
Backup the website regularly
It helps to take a regular backup of the site, especially in the unfortunate event of a successful data breach. It would help if you had a detailed description of the backup policy of your website. Given that you are running an e-commerce website, and the site’s size would be considerable. Several WordPress plugins will help you take regular backups and store them in the cloud. If you feel that it is still unsafe, you can keep a copy of the backup files with you.
Do not store unnecessary information
The hackers are after the confidential information of your customers. It serves in your interest to not store any useless information of customers. Also, bear in mind that you should not store the financial information of your customers. It could lead to severe repercussions in the unfortunate event of a data breach. It is best to store only the necessary information, like user credentials and the customer’s address. Instead of having to log in to the website using a password, an OTP can be used that is a safer option.
Check the audit logs regularly
Always ensure that only authorized personnel have access to the back end of your WordPress website. One way to ensure this is to check the audit logs periodically. It will help you to find out whether there was any unauthorized or forced access to the back end. Ideally, you must undertake an audit of the website at regular intervals, preferably every three months. You may also use some online scanners to check for any vulnerabilities on the site. There are several applications like Scanurl, UpGuard, etc. that you can use.
Use a secure payment gateway
Your payment module must be secure, and you must use a secure payment gateway. The customers will not prefer to do business with your site if you deploy a weaker payment gateway that is liable to be hacked easily. Globally, at least 23% of shoppers use their credit cards, while 12% use their debit cards as their preferred mode of payment. The general practice is to request the CVV for the debit or credit card entered by the user. It is not suggested to use an in-house solution as the payment gateways provide a safe way to conduct transactions on your site.
Your e-shop must be trustworthy enough to bring in more visitors, embark on the buyer’s journey and convert them into customers. The entire process requires a lot of effort, and the last thing you want is that your customer is abandoning the cart as they find your website insecure. You must buy an SSL certificate; else, the web browser may mark it as “Not Secure.” It is enough to drive away visitors from your website. There are several options in the market, and you may buy one that is based on your requirements.