How to Protect Your Online Store and Customer’s Data

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We live in the age of online shopping. Businesses need to have a web presence, and many organizations have been able to push themselves to their greatest levels of success simply by investing in their online store. 

Just as online shopping has created opportunities for businesses, it also comes with its challenges. 

Customers might be happy to use eCommerce stores every day — but in doing so, they bank on businesses to keep their data and sensitive information safe. 

This is a responsibility that you need to take extremely seriously if you run an online store. It isn’t just a matter of doing the right thing ethically — good cybersecurity is a requirement for building trust with customers and protecting your business. 

Suffering cybercrime against the eCommerce business is a huge problem for your customers, but it can also be massively damaging for you.

“Cybersecurity breaches can result in various financial losses for businesses,” says Brian Dosal, writing for Compuquip. “These include the cost of mitigating the breach, such as hiring experts to investigate and repair the damage, notifying customers, and settling legal claims.”

Cybercrime is constantly growing in terms of its sophistication and complexity. Cybercriminals are far more than a single hacker spending hours trying to guess your passwords — they are well-funded operations that seek out weaknesses in companies and exploit them. 

That means the onus is on your business to do everything possible to protect your online store as well as your customers’ data. 

Understanding eCommerce security

Investing in eCommerce security has become essential for every business. 

The threat of cyber-attacks is ever-present — according to Checkpoint, 2023 has seen an 8% surge in global weekly attacks. The problem is not only here to stay — it is actually getting worse for businesses.

So, understanding eCommerce security is absolutely essential. 

Robust cybersecurity involves taking a holistic approach to the problem. Laying the groundwork with processes and strategies, training staff and providing the resources they need to combat cybercrime, and taking a policy of continuous learning to help the company adapt to the fast-changing nature of cybercrime. 

Common cyberthreats to eCommerce sites

Whether it’s starting an online course business or running an online store, eCommerce businesses are increasingly finding themselves targeted by a broad range of sophisticated threats. Given this ongoing challenge, one of the most important ways for companies to protect themselves is by having a good understanding of the most common threats they will face.

Phishing is one of the most famous types of cybercrime, but it is also one of the most effective. It relies on social engineering techniques to trick an individual into sharing sensitive information, such as login credentials or credit card details. 

We’ve all seen suspicious emails come into our inbox and written them off as scams, but many phishing attacks are far more targeted and sophisticated. They may come from spoofed email accounts and look exactly like the genuine article. 

Malware is also a major problem for eCommerce sites, with criminals constantly finding new ways to infect websites and compromise transactions. And, of course, related software attacks like ransomware, where a virus locks you out of your system and won’t allow access to your systems and data without paying, are becoming increasingly prevalent.

How to protect your eCommerce business

Ensure secure hosting

One major factor that plays a key role in your eCommerce cybersecurity, is your choices when it comes to web hosting. 

You might think that your web hosting is just something that goes on in the background, but actually, it is hugely important to the way that you set up your defenses.

Quality hosting can make all the difference in keeping your website safe from hackers and cybercriminals. Key factors like encryption and server security are influenced by the care that your hosting provider takes. 

It can be a great idea to work with a managed web hosting provider, as they will take care of all the details such as regular updates and patching. Lack of updating is still one of the major causes of cybercrime, so this is something worth having. 

Implement SSL or TLS encryption

One of the most fundamental steps for securing an eCommerce site is implementing SSL or TLS encryption. This encrypts all data exchanged between your customer’s browser and your website, so it is going to protect important information like login credentials and payment details. 

SSL provides site authentication, so customers know they are connected to your real website, not a fake duplicate. Enable HTTPS across your entire website and use the latest TLS 1.2 or higher protocol. 

TLS provides stronger security than outdated versions like SSL 3.0. SSL certificates must be issued from a trusted certificate authority like Let’s Encrypt or DigiCert. 

While SSL comes at an additional cost, it is essential for safeguarding your site and customers’ private data in transit. Investing in SSL reflects a commitment to security that customers will appreciate.

Sort out your PCI compliance

All companies that process, store, or transmit payment card data must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This encompasses requirements like encrypting cardholder data, restricting access on a need-to-know basis, implementing unique IDs, testing security systems, and maintaining an information security policy.

Adhering to PCI DSS protects sensitive data and reduces fraud and breaches. Use network segmentation and multifactor access controls to secure systems with card data. Run quarterly vulnerability scans and annual penetration testing. Assign an internal security assessor to monitor and document compliance. Stay updated on PCI DSS, as requirements evolve.

Non-compliance can lead to steep fines and revocation of payment privileges. For eCommerce merchants, safeguarding cardholder data through proper PCI DSS controls is a prerequisite to doing business online.


eCommerce businesses face a constant threat of cyberattacks, and failing to prioritize cybersecurity can have disastrous consequences. By understanding common threats and taking the necessary steps to secure their websites, companies can protect themselves and their customers from falling victim to cybercrime.

Regularly review and update your security systems, stay informed about the latest threats and countermeasures, and foster a security-first culture within your organization. Again, the cost of a security breach can be far greater than the investment in robust, proactive security.