Automating Your Business

Security Automation Best Practices for Online Retailers

By Matt Shealy posted Sat October 02, 2021 09:03 AM


Online retail may be the norm, but it’s still an intricate technology operation that’s susceptible to attack.

The average cost of a single incident in the payment card industry (PCI) is $86,500 – that’s just for small and medium-sized businesses.

If you run an online retail store, you’ll always be a prime target for cyberattacks because of the wealth of personal and financial data you possess. In the event of a security breach, you lose that data and customer trust, which can be hugely damaging for your business.

It’s no wonder 77% of businesses have installed new security products and 69% of them increased their security staff.

But cyberattackers aren’t backing down either. They’re constantly honing their skills and discovering new vulnerabilities to exploit. That explains why online retailer fraud is set to hit $130 billion over the next three years.

Large online storefronts and retailers have their in-house IT teams or consultants. The same may not be said for startups or SMBs bootstrapping on tight budgets.

With the new trends toward automating malware and threat software, hackers can target large and small businesses alike instead of targeting one at a time.

To stay ahead, you need to be aware of the types of attacks to look out for, get the appropriate fraud tools, and apply security automation for your online retail business. This way, you’ll safeguard it from fraudsters and hackers and secure your customers’ data.

Let’s look at some of the best practices you can follow to automate your online store’s security.

How Cybersecurity Automation Protects Online Retailers

Your online retail store offers unlimited opportunities to grow your sales, but online fraud and cybercrime are also at an all-time high. Your store is essentially a portal to promote your products and brand but also to get customer data and feedback.

Here are some security automation techniques and technologies you can use to keep your site, customers, and data as safe as possible.

Multi-layer Security

Squeeze in extra security layers to fortify your site’s security. You can use multi-factor or two-factor authentication. In this case, the user enters their login credentials, and then receives an email or text message on their device for further actions.

This technique blocks fraudsters as it requires more than just login information to access the legitimate user’s account. However, there’s still a chance that hackers could breach your MFA setup.

Secure Server Layer (SSL) Certificate

An SSL certificate encrypts (makes unreadable) the confidential data that is shared over the web. It ensures the information only gets to the intended recipient.

Data sent over SSL pass through multiple devices before reaching the destination server. Without SSL certificate encryption, any device between you and the destination server can access confidential data. Hackers know this and are always on the lookout to benefit from exposed data as a means of accessing the customer's search history, shopping information, and more.

Browser Fingerprinting

Browser fingerprinting is a means of capturing data about the browser being used to access a website. Information such as screen resolution, plugins, browser version, tor browser and language can all be used to “fingerprint” each unique browser configuration.

Online retailers are constantly fighting the incoming onslaught of cyber criminals trying to access sensitive customer data.  By being able to identify suspicious browser attributes, retailers can block access to cyber criminals as it's discussed here on browser fingerprinting.

Strong Firewalls

You can bar untrusted networks and regulate the website traffic flow using strong firewalls.

Firewalls use selective permeability to allow trusted traffic and block unpermitted traffic from accessing your online retail store. They also keep out bad bots, spam, and different types of threats and attacks.

Antimalware Tools

Antimalware tools detect and block malicious software hidden on your site or that would otherwise want to infiltrate it.

These tools come with scanners powered by machine learning and collective intelligence. They’re capable of cleaning different types of malware including malicious redirects, Pharma attacks, and more.

PCI-DSS Compliance

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) is a compliance requirement for online retailers. It provides guidelines for secure processing, storage, and transmission of payment card data to protect you and your customers against fraud.

PCI-DSS comprises 12 control objectives that protect the payments ecosystem. Online retailers are required to comply with it to protect all credit card data. These standards are also applicable for online retailers who accept alternate payment options such as Paypal, Apple Pay and cryptocurrency. More and more retailers are accepting Bitcoin as payment given the increase in it's popularity due to the rise of Bitcoin's value. Retailers need to find reputable crypto payment processors who can securely accept payment and instantly convert those payments to fiat to avoid any loss in value.

Don't Overlook Security

Growth in online retail businesses has improved online transactions and attracted cybercriminals in equal measures. By automating your store’s security, you can protect your business against cybercrimes, safeguard your customers’ data, and maintain their trust in your brand.