security

If you look at the statistics surrounding issues around online security, it may come as a shock to you. Statistics indicate that hackers will attack every 39 seconds.  Hackers create an estimated 300,000 new malware every single day.  We can expect to lose up to $2.1 trillion by the end of 2019 due to cybercrime. In the US alone, the cybersecurity budget is almost at the 15-billion-dollar mark.  It is, therefore, essential that anyone who is operating in the digital space takes necessary measures to safeguard their platforms.  We will explore ten payment security measures you must implement when you are operating on the e-commerce platform.

1. Install an SSL Certificate

You can never be too sure about who can access your information anytime you are on the internet.  Cyber intruders use brute force, MiTM attacks to gain access, thus leading to loss of data.  A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is one way of improving security as it secures online travelling information between the server and the browser. You will find many options available in the market coming in at different price points.  However, you need to compare features and prices before selecting an SSL certificate. Even if you opt for a SAN SSL certificate, make sure it has the relevant basic features to help protect your website.

2. Pick the Right Processor

When you are operating on the online platform, you must have a processor who will allow you to collect credit card payments. It is critical you pick the right one. Some of the factors you need to consider are whether they comply with the necessary standards like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). The processor must also have very strong customer support and implements measures such as vulnerability assessment and a refund in case of any fraud.

3. Limit Access

You must be careful about who you give access to your online platform. It is vital to note that many leaks tend to come from those within the organization. Limit the number of people who can make changes to your online store and set different roles and responsibilities for each person. When any individual with access leaves the organization, make sure you block access to your site.

4. Encrypt and Tokenize

Encrypting refers to the process where you convert data into an encoded message that only the intended recipient will understand. Anyone who attempts to access the information will need a private key, making it a handy tool when you are working with very sensitive data such as credit or debit card information, login details.

Tokenizing will allow you to transform data into a combination of random characters, which will make no sense to anyone in case of a breach. It is a very effective way of minimizing the amount of data that you will store when operating on the online platform.

5. PCI-DSS Compliance

You must adhere to the rules and regulations of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. It is an industry requirement for anyone who collects, stores or handles any customer data. It is essential for ensuring protection when handling payments or any other kind of information from cyber-attacks.

6. Regularly Update Your Operating Systems

You must keep up with updating your software so that you lessen your vulnerability to any of the viruses or methods hackers will use. Developers work hard to ensure that they roll out the latest software featuring the most recent security measures. It therefore only makes sense that you take advantage of any updates because hackers are also working twice as hard to gain access to your side.

7. The Right Password Is Critical

Statistics indicate that up to 80% of online attacks are attributable to stolen or weak passwords. You must, therefore, ensure that the password is strong. Your passwords should have at least eight characters with a combination of upper and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Never share your password and avoid using the same one for any site that requires a login. Install a password manager and avoid the use of personal details such as birthdays, anniversaries, among others.

8. Watch Out for Any Suspicious Activities

It is essential that you are very keen about the activities that go on your online platform. Some activities should immediately arouse your suspicion.  Such include the use of multiple credit cards from one IP address or account. Also look out for too many orders within a very short time frame using one credit card, and large orders requiring fast shipping, among others.

9. Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication will make it very difficult for anyone to get access to your online store. It offers an additional layer of security and is simple and cost-effective to implement.  The system will require the customer to confirm their identity using two different factors. The first would ideally be the user’s password, and the second step in the authentication process could be a security token or fingerprint that only they know the answer to. Your customers will like the fact that you are taking their data security seriously and will only be too eager to give you the necessary information for the two-factor authentication.

10. Only Collect Necessary Information and Use A Third-Party to Store It

It is essential that when you are collecting customer information, you only take what is necessary. Some online stores have had security issues by asking their customers to store their credentials or payment details for a faster checkout process the next time around.  You can also avoid the risk of hacking by having a third party store the data for you. Third-party payment processors such as authorize.net and PayPal can handle customer data for you. Such platforms, due to the nature of their job, have the right security measures to ensure the safety of the data.

 Final Thoughts

When you are operating on the e-commerce platform, you must take the necessary measures to customer data.  It starts with fundamental steps, such as having the right password and limiting access to your platform. You must also install an SSL certificate and ensure PCI DSS compliance. Your customers trust you with their information, and you must do all you can to protect it.

Riya Sander is a Digital Strategist, having 5+ years of experience in the field of Internet Marketing. She is a social media geek, a complete foodie and enjoys trying varied cuisines. A perfect day for her consists of reading her favorite author with a hot cuppa coffee.

Payment security stock photo by wk1003mike/Shutterstock