Tips to Protect E-Commerce Website’s Availability and Security
Act now before you regret later
The growth of E-commerce business has skyrocketed over the last few years, and the momentum continues to swing upwards. Online transactions have become an integral part of our lives these days, thanks to the growing acceptance of E-commerce as a convenient alternative to the traditional shopping experience. Even an hour of downtime due to a website outage or a malicious attack can have significant impact on a retailer’s reputation and revenue, especially during the holidays, a time which the National Retail Federation says can add up to 40 percent of an online retailer’s annual revenue. With some large e-commerce sites earning millions each day during the holiday season, even a few minutes of downtime can lead to financial losses in the tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention customer frustration. Approximately half of all Fortune 500 companies experience at least 1.6 hours of downtime each week1. This equates to about 80 hours of downtime per year. According to Forrester Research, the hourly cost of downtime for a typical company can range from $10,000 to $1 million. And the impact to a business’ reputation can be equally as damaging.
Protect Your E-Commerce Business from Potential Security Threats
Though it can be extremely challenging to protect your E-commerce business from potential security threats, certain best practices can be implemented to safeguard the integrity of your online store and the confidentiality of your customer data. The number of e-commerce platforms available today is daunting. When selecting your platform, focus on safety over flash. If they don’t have a firm plan on how to protect your customers, move on. Similarly, there are so many choices for web hosting that it’s difficult to decide. Focus on both reliability and security when selecting your host. A provider that’s always down will drive away customers just as surely as one that is susceptible to hackers. Don’t store sensitive data as there is no reason to store thousands of records on your customers, especially credit card numbers, expiration dates and card verification value codes. Also, while it is the responsibility of the retailer to keep customer information safe on the back-end, you can help customers help themselves by requiring a minimum number of characters and the use of symbols or numbers.
Users need education on the laws and policies that affect customer data. So educate your clients, as well as your workforce, about your information security practices. Let them know how you are protecting customers’ credit card information and what they should do from their end to keep the financial information secure.
Right Choice of Software and Hosting Platform
As an E-commerce business owner, you must ensure that all the customer data are being handled in a safe and secure manner. Security is not free, but it’s cheaper than getting hacked. The optimum solution is one which takes into account the right choice of software and hosting platform and keeping everything up to date and secure. Also make sure you keep your files backed up so you are ready for the worse case scenario. But also good old manual processes and common sense actions like changing common logins will also help you secure your e-commerce website.