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15 Sep 2023

How to Protect Your Customers’ Data | Shipa Delivery

Ecommerce Security: How to Protect Your Customers’ Dat


The significant rise in recent years in online transactions has, alas, also led to an increased risk of cyber threats and data breaches.    Never has there been a greater need for vigilance and awareness of the obligation upon businesses to keep customers safe from cyber threats and data breaches. That’s why, in this brief article, we’re highlighting several ways to minimize your enterprise’s online vulnerability and ensure robust cybersecurity measures.  

Cybersecurity—A Concern for All 

Consider the evidence. At least 607 data breaches were recorded in the first half of 2023, compromising 466,078,044 records. The biggest data breach in this period was recorded by Twitter, with more than 200 million accounts published online by a hacker.

In the previous year, 2022, at least 1,063 security incidents were publicly disclosed, accounting for 480,014,323 breached records. Included in the list of companies suffering data breaches that year were American Airlines, Ford Motor Company, and Microsoft. Yes, Microsoft!

So, now you are asking yourself, if Microsoft can’t guard itself against hackers, how can I adequately protect my business from cyber-attacks?

Bear in mind, however, that hackers the world over are engaged in efforts to breach the security of big tech companies to win respect and accolades from their peers. Your business is unlikely to become such a large target, although all companies are at risk and need to be ultra-vigilant.

The Importance of Ecommerce Security

What is ecommerce security? Let us define the term.

Ecommerce security refers to the protective measures and protocols put in place to safeguard customer data during online transactions. 

Maintaining robust security not only protects customers from potential financial loss and identity theft but also fosters trust and confidence in online shopping platforms. 

How to Protect Customer Data

Let’s move on now, to explore some tried and tested ecommerce security best practices.  

1. Implement Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificates

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates a website's identity and encrypts the data transmitted between the user's browser and the ecommerce website. 

Implementing an SSL certificate ensures that sensitive information remains confidential.

Displaying trust indicators such as padlock icons and "https" in the website URL instills confidence in customers and demonstrates a commitment to data security.

2. Use Strong Authentication Mechanisms

Implementing strong authentication mechanisms, such as two-factor authentication, adds an extra layer of security to customer accounts. By requiring users to provide additional verification, such as a temporary code sent to their mobile devices, the risk of unauthorized access is substantially reduced.

3. Update and Patch Your Systems Regularly ###

Keeping ecommerce platforms and associated software up to date is essential to minimize security vulnerabilities. Hackers often exploit weaknesses in outdated software to gain unauthorized access to systems. Regularly updating and patching systems and software helps protect against known vulnerabilities and strengthens overall security.

4. Partner with Secure Payment Gateways

Partnerships with reputable payment gateways that prioritize security are crucial for ecommerce businesses. Choose payment processors that comply with industry standards, such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).  PCI certification is regarded as the most secure way to safeguard sensitive data and information. Robust security measures will reduce the risk of financial fraud and help you build trust with your customers.

5. Partner with a Trusted Last-Mile Delivery Company

Since you will likely be sharing your customers’ data with a last-mile delivery company, ensure that your delivery partner has a proven cybersecurity track record. Last-mile companies are a prime target for hackers, so the one that you choose should be strictly committed to data protection and be able to demonstrate to your satisfaction the safeguards it has in place.

How to Boost Your Cybersecurity

You can significantly increase the protection of your computer systems and networks against malicious attacks by implementing the following ecommerce security best practices:

1. Educate Your Employees

According to a study by Verizon, 82 percent of data breaches in 2022 involved a human element. It is essential, therefore, to train your employees on the latest cybersecurity measures and ensure they understand the importance of data protection. Emphasize to them the significance of strong passwords, phishing awareness, and proper handling of customer data. 

2. Educate Your Customers

Educate your customers about safe online practices, such as not sharing passwords, being cautious of suspicious emails, and regularly reviewing account activity.

3. Conduct Regular Security Audits

Regular security audits help you to identify potential vulnerabilities in your ecommerce infrastructure. Conducting audits, either internally or with the help of third-party cybersecurity experts, will help you to address any security weaknesses, thus reducing the risk of data breaches.

4. Encrypt Stored Data

In addition to securing data during transmission, encrypting stored data provides an extra layer of protection. Implement robust encryption algorithms to safeguard sensitive customer information stored on servers. Encryption ensures that even if unauthorized individuals gain access to the data, they cannot decipher it without the encryption keys.

5. Implement Real-Time Monitoring Systems

Automated alerts and intrusion detection systems help identify potential security breaches promptly. Establish an incident response plan to mitigate any security incidents swiftly and minimize potential damage.

Cybersecurity: Essential for Trust from Your Customers

Clear and concise privacy policies are essential in building your customers’ trust. It’s also critical to be transparent in communicating how customer data is collected, stored, and used. 

Most importantly, be vigilant and deploy as many resources as possible to maintain a high level of protection for your business and its customers. 

Given that any breach of cybersecurity, no matter how small and insignificant, can do untold damage to customer confidence, this is one element of ecommerce (and indeed, of commerce generally), that no enterprise can afford to take lightly.