If there is one thing that can damage your website’s reputation in a heartbeat it is a security breach that compromises your customer’s personal data and that is why it so essential to be proactive in ensuring you do what you can to avoid that nightmare scenario occurring in the first place.
Doing your research and choosing a suitable payment gateway would be a good starting point, and here are some essential eCommerce data security practices that need to be on your priority list.
The more data you collect, the larger the task you face in keeping it secure, which is why it makes sense to adopt a policy where you only collect data that is of use and value to you in the first place.
Think carefully about the level of sensitive customer data you want to be trusted with.
2Credit card data
Storing credit card data is a convenience factor that returning customers might appreciate, but not if that highly sensitive information is compromised.
Is a faster checkout worth the risk of a damaged reputation and penalties if hackers gain access to this stored data?
3Encryption is critical
You really can’t expect to provide the right layers of security and give shoppers confidence if you don’t invest in encryption solutions such as the use of SSL certification and if your site displays that vital HTTPS in the address it will make a big difference.
4Keep up to date with compliance
If you are handling money and sensitive personal data you have to ensure that your website meets current PCI DSS compliance levels.
This is the recognized industry standard and compliance shows you take security seriously.
5Regularly update security protocols
Hackers are very adept at exploiting security loopholes they discover and it is always a race between them and the developers in keeping them away from accessing your site data.
That is why you need to update your software regularly and make sure that security patches are actioned as soon as possible.
6Get customers to play their part
Although the onus is clearly on you to keep customer’s data safe you can also call on on them to make your job a bit easier.
Insist on strong passwords when a customer sets up their account with you so that it is as hard as possible for hackers to succeed.
7Chain of command
The harsh reality is that about a third of security breaches are likely to be implemented from inside your own organization.
Insider attacks are commonplace and growing in number, which is why you have to establish robust control measures that allow you to have full control over who has access to sensitive data and what they can do with it.
Great security starts from within and access controls are essential.
If you can manage to cover all of these important aspects of data security it should help you to avoid the nightmare scenario where you have to explain to a customer that their personal data has been breached.