January 24, 2023

Ecommerce Cybersecurity: How to Protect Your Online Business in 2023

Keep your online store secure and protect your customers' data! Leverage this guide to learn the key elements of ecommerce cybersecurity in 2023.
Ecommerce Cybersecurity: How to Protect Your Online Business in 2023
Ecommerce Cybersecurity: How to Protect Your Online Business in 2023

Ecommerce Cybersecurity: How to Protect Your Online Business in 2023

In today’s world, online businesses have become incredibly lucrative. Many small and large businesses are setting up ecommerce websites to market their products online. 

However, this success makes these ecommerce sites a major target for cyber attackers. 

According to The U.S National Cyber Security Alliance, 62% of cybersecurity attacks affect small businesses. 

With cybercrime and data theft skyrocketing in recent years, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overemphasized. It has become the best way to stay ahead of cyber attackers. 

Read on as we look at what ecommerce security is, the most common security threats in ecommerce, and cybersecurity tips to help protect your ecommerce business. 

Ecommerce cybersecurity meaning 

In simple terms, ecommerce cybersecurity refers to the practices and measures taken to protect businesses and customers from cyber threats and attacks. There are different types of cyber security including  Application security, Network security, Cloud security, Internet of Things (IoT) security, and so on.

Cybersecurity is important for your business because cyber attacks could lead to the loss of company and customer data as well as loss of revenue. This could also cost your business its reputation. 

According to data, 60% of small businesses are not able to sustain their business six months after a cyber attack. 

Factors of ecommerce security to consider:

Ecommerce security consists of various protocols, regulations, and standards. To gain your customer's trust, you need to follow these security standards: 

  • Integrity: This security standard ensures that no information given is altered. All information provided must remain consistent and accurate. 
  • Authenticity: Sellers and buyers must verify who they really are to guarantee safe online transactions. 
  • Non-repudiation: This security standard ensures that both buyers and sellers exchange information and cannot deny the legitimacy of a transaction. 
  • Confidentiality: Confidentiality ensures that only with proper authorization can sensitive data be accessed, altered, or used.
  • Privacy: Privacy ensures that customer data is protected from unauthorized parties.
  • Availability: Customers must be able to access an ecommerce site 24/7. 

Ecommerce cybersecurity vs Compliance 

Ecommerce security and compliance are similar but are different in their approach. 

While ecommerce cybersecurity focuses on creating technical controls to protect assets on your ecommerce website, compliance looks at third-party requirements like government policies and industry rules.

As an ecommerce business owner, you will have to adhere to one or more of these compliance standards. Here are a few of them: 

  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): This ensures that credit card information is transmitted and stored securely.
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO): The ISO is a body that creates guidelines to ensure the safety and quality of business operations among other aspects. For example, the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 covers data security. 
  • SOC (Service Organization Control): This ensures that financial and personal information is protected from unauthorized access. 

5 common ecommerce security threats to avoid 

Here are some common ways cyber attackers can hijack your ecommerce store: 

Financial fraud

Financial fraud involves stealing bank account credentials, credit card data, email addresses, user accounts, or IP addresses to impersonate users.

Cybercriminals can also intercept a transaction to trick cardholders into carrying out another transaction on a fake website. 


Malware is a code designed to damage your network, server, or computer. Cyber attackers distribute these codes via links or email attachments. When a user clicks on the link, the malware is activated and begins to steal personal data. If your device has been affected by malware, you can be locked out of important data.


Phishing is a type of social engineering attack that attempts to steal a victim's credentials. Attackers use text, emails, or phone calls to trick their victims into providing information like account numbers, passwords, etc. 


E-skimming is a cyber attack method that involves stealing personal and credit card information from ecommerce payment processing pages. Using phishing, XSS, and other methods, cyber attackers gain access to your website and hijack your customer’s payment information. 

Cross-site scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting or XSS involves putting malicious code into a webpage. This type of attack may not affect the owner of the site but can impact shoppers and expose them to other types of cyber attacks. 

10 cybersecurity tips to protect your online business 

A breach on your ecommerce website could lead to loss of data, and revenue and could affect your reputation. Thankfully, there are digital commerce security tips that can help you protect your ecommerce site: 

  1. Use strong and unique passwords
  2. Get SSL Certificate
  3. Use a secure hosting 
  4. Protect your online store with security plugins and anti-malware software
  5. Update your site regularly 
  6. Back up your data regularly 
  7. Add multi-factor authentication for extra security
  8. Opt for secure payment gateways
  9. Avoid storing sensitive data 
  10. Establish a cybersecurity program 

Use strong and unique passwords

A lot of business owners use weak passwords. According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report in 2020, a massive 37% of breaches used weak or stolen credentials. 

In other words, as a business owner, you need to ensure that you and your employees implement strong and unique passwords. Here are some password-creation guidelines to help you create unique passwords: 

  • Use lowercase, uppercase, numbers, and symbols to increase complexity and uniqueness.
  • Keep your passwords updated every few months.
  • Use different passwords for different services.
  • Don't disclose personal information like date of birth, home address, or identification number publicly. 
  • You can set limits to login attempts. This will prevent attackers from trying out multiple password guesses. 

Get SSL Certificate

The SSL Certificate is compulsory for all ecommerce businesses under PCI compliance. With the SSL certificate, you can select the best website requirements. A properly installed SSL will ensure that your data and that of users are kept safe by encrypting all information submitted on the site. A website with an SSL has a website URL that starts with HTTPS instead of HTTP. 

In addition, Google favors websites with HTTPS which ultimately improves your SEO. 

Use a secure hosting 

Your hosting provider will be responsible for storing all files on your website. It is important to choose a hosting provider that offers secure storage. When choosing a hosting provider, look out for features like DDoS protection, encryption methods, and SSL certificates. 

Protect your online store with security plugins and anti-malware software

Security tools like plugins and anti-malware software are a great addition to SSL. Security plugins like Wordfence and Keyy can enhance security by blocking networks that are not trusted, removing malware, and detecting bots. 

For example, Wordfence can identify and block requests that contain suspicious codes. 

Anti-malware software like Norton and AVG Antivirus are built to tackle more sophisticated malware attacks. 

Update your site regularly 

New security updates are developed periodically to repair any vulnerabilities and fix new problems. Updating your security software regularly will ensure your website stays protected from attackers that can leverage those vulnerabilities. 

You can turn on automatic updates on your website to ensure you are always updated on the latest releases. Pay attention to your plugins as well. 

Back up your data regularly 

Ensure you back up your website data regularly. This will help protect your site from corrupted data or any security issues. Keep in mind that some hosting providers provide automatic backups. However, you also want to download your backups periodically in case you experience a cyberattack. This will prevent you from losing all essential data. 

Add multi-factor authentication for extra security

Setting up multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a great strategy to improve cybersecurity. In fact, this can block almost all cyber threats. An MFA requires users to provide an OTP (One-time password), use their fingerprint, or answer a security question to authenticate their login attempt. 

Opt for secure payment gateways

Payment Gateways automate ecommerce transactions. It authorizes credit cards, collects the payment, and deposits it in your account. It is important to use payment gateways that are recognized and follow some security measures like Data encryption, Security Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, Tokenization, PCI DSS compliance, etc. 

Some well-recognized payment gateways include PayPal and Apple Pay

Avoid storing sensitive data 

Storing sensitive information on your website database can make it vulnerable to attack from cybercriminals. Avoid storing any confidential data. Instead, you can store them in storage devices like USB drives or external hard drives. 

Establish a cybersecurity program 

Training your employees on what a cyber attack is and how important it is to protect the business can reduce the possibility of cyberattacks. 

You should carry out cybersecurity training for new employees and also update training for existing employees.

Cybersecurity training programs should help employees identify possible cyber threats, create strong passwords, and observe safe browsing practices amongst other practices. 

Final thoughts 

Ecommerce sites can be vulnerable to different cyber-attacks which can lead to loss of company and customer data and a bad brand reputation. 

Implementing good ecommerce security measures will help you protect your ecommerce business and customers. 

We hope that the cybersecurity tips above help you avoid any potential cyber threats. 

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