In 2013, 110 million of Target’s customer credit card numbers were stolen, and data was compromised. This was not the only breach that has happened yet. Verizon and Adobe had to face the same fate.

Unfortunately, as technology gets more complex, it doesn’t only facilitates businesses but the hackers as well. This can be seen from the fact that data breaches are on the rise. 16 data breaches have occurred at different retailers since 2017. In fact, a report by Shape Security highlights some concerning statistics that is 80 to 90 percent of visitors on a retail e-commerce website are hackers with stolen data, which is alarming.

A data breach does not only harm customers financially; it comes as a big blow to the business in terms of finances, reputation and loss of customers. Once hurt, customers are likely to switch to competitors. Hence, if you are operating an e-commerce business, then security is of utmost importance. Some of the e-commerce security measures include choosing a reliable e-commerce platform and using HTTPs. A good example is that of the leather skin shop. The site is protected by HTTPs, which immediately increases the confidence of new customers.

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You need to have the basics no matter what, but what will differentiate you is if you go an extra mile. Here is how you can make your e-commerce store more secure:

Tip 1 – Use SSL Certificates

SSL or secure socket layer certificates are used to protect transactions between two destinations. According to Rick Andrews, technical director at Symantec, customers take a big leap of faith when they visit your website. Hence, it is important to use these certificates to authenticate the identity of your business and encrypt the data in transit,” Andrews says. “This protects your company and your customers from getting their financial or important information stolen.”

Apart from the safety, SSL certificates also help in search engine rankings because Google prefers sites that are protected. Moreover, Google only allows a website to run a campaign if it has SSL certificates. So better be safe than sorry.  You will have to pay a few extra bucks, but it will save you from paying a greater compensation. It is not just the professional logo and design that gives a good vibe to customers about a site; it is also about their experience with the site, which includes factors such as speed and security.

Tip 2 – Use a Good Firewall

Sometimes, hackers get creative, and they try to block legitimate users from using services by flooding servers with a plethora of requests. These attacks are known as Denial of Service and Distributed denial of service. Both are somewhat same; the main issue is how to tackle them. One solution is that you can buy extra bandwidth, making it impossible for them to jam your servers. However, this is not an effective solution and is also heavy on the pocket. So, the best you can do is to get a firewall to keep those hackers out of your system.

Two types of firewalls can fight this: proxy firewall and application gateways. Application gateway basically serves as a checkpoint between two computers and it allows only authorized packets to enter. Proxy firewall, on the other hand, is more secure because it starts a new network for the incoming entries, which makes it harder for hackers to discover your network.

Tip 3 – Encrypt All Communications

An e-commerce site is not only dealing with customers but also business partners, which is why you need to secure all ends. One whiff of a loophole and hackers will sneak in. Encrypt all communications, especially the ones that involve credit cards. Also, make sure that you don’t share any sensitive data over emails because sensitive information in plain text can be easily hacked. If you have to share them absolutely, then consider encrypting emails as well because why risk it?

Tip 4 – Avoid Collecting Unnecessary Data

You cannot give out what you don’t have to try to collect as little data as possible because the more data you collect, the more you dish it out for hackers. Even with credit cards, use secure tunnels for checkout so that even your servers cannot get access to sensitive data.

Tip 5 – Up Your Maintenance Game

The best way to keep your site secure at all times is to keep a tab for loopholes all the time. So, regularly test your site for any vulnerability. Many credit card companies keep the condition of regular maintenance before doing business with retailers.  However, meeting the bare minimum criteria is not enough; you should be ready to go the extra mile for your customers’ safety.

Checking your website regularly manually can be time-consuming. However, there are a lot of tools available in the market that let you automate this process. Some good tools include Siteguarding, which monitors your website 24/7. It also automatically removes any malware that it encounters. Probably is yet another excellent software that helps you in monitoring your website. The best part about it is that not tells you that there is an issue, but also shows you how to fix them.

Tip 6 – Use multi-layer security

By adding layers of security you make it harder for hackers to crack your website. You add layers by deploying two-factor authentication. Two-Factor authentication combines the standard procedure of entering username and password along with a code that is sent to either email or SMS. This ensures that only a user can access the site even if the username and password have been compromised.

When you build a brand, customers trust you and rely on you to keep the entire procedure secure and free from hackers. Any breach hurts the brand reputation, which takes years to build and especially in this era when consumers can state their opinions publicly on social a negative news spreads like wildfire. Thus, investing in security may not give tangible returns that you can measure, but surely comes with a host of intangible benefits that keeps your business wheel turning.