The first few months of a business’ life are critical to its long-term success. Before a cash flow is established, any stroke of bad luck might prove to be its death knell.
With all the diverse threats that online businesses face, ecommerce sites can be particularly vulnerable at this stage. Here are three vital steps to take to make sure your site is safe in the early days of running your business.
- Standard Measures
There are two elements that will top every list of security musts and going live without either is catastrophically unwise.
The first is an SSL certificate; not only will this prevent communications between your website and your customers’ web browsers from being intercepted, spied on, or tampered with, it will also advertise this fact by changing your site’s address from an http address to an https address. This is one of the clearest signals that a site is secure so it’s one many online shoppers will keep their eyes peeled for.
The other is a firewall—a piece of software that acts as a gatekeeper monitoring the incoming and outgoing packets of data and screening out anything potentially harmful. Both these measures are required by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which you must meet to enact transactions using major credit cards.
- System Architecture
It might seem like an odd suggestion, but just having a tightly designed system where sensitive data isn’t retained for any longer than it’s needed and is always moved and stored directly wherever it needs to be to reduce any potential opportunities for it to be seized by cybercriminals is actually a great way to improve security.
Obviously this can be difficult to implement if you’re not any kind of expert. If your site and systems are professionally designed then this shouldn’t be an issue but if your setup is more jury-rigged you’ll be best off getting someone in the know to take a look for you.
- Penetration Testing
This is a form of security testing where you have security experts like the team at Nettitude attempt to break into your systems and access critical information. In doing so they expose weaknesses in your security measures—which real criminals could exploit—and then suggest ways you could compensate for them.
Just like the other steps we’ve recommended, regular security testing is required by the PCI DSS, and because of the fast rate of change in information technology you’ll need to stay on top of this if you want to ensure your ecommerce site is safe.