Ecommerce Website Security: Is Your Site Safe? One of the biggest concerns for online shoppers revolves around credit card security, and lack of it can not only be a nightmare for the buyer, but also for the merchant. What is even more frightening is that often times, website security starts at the design, and if your ecommerce website designer is inexperienced with the latest ecommerce safety measures, the overall security of your site could be compromised. Information is most typically hacked in two ways; a username and password where credit card information is stored are stolen, or an area where data is stored is compromised. Los Angeles web design agency ATAK Interactive breaks down the ways you can help make your site more secure. Examine Your Risk The first step to gaining a secure site is to perform a detailed risk assessment. Here you identify threats, vulnerabilities, and also countermeasures to take if an attack occurs. Having a professional take an in-depth look at your system and how it operates can save you a lot of headache in the long run and design a plan for the future. Use Secure Socket Layers Secure socket layers, or SSL, are a foundation of secure ecommerce. Basically, the browser sends a message to the server, and the server replies with a digital certificate. If the browser recognizes the certificate and determines it is secure, it will send back verification and allow the user to continue through to completing the purchase. This is standard practice in the design of every ecommerce website, and you should never host your website without an SSL option. VeriSign and Geotrust are two major providers of SSL. Visa and Mastercard took this a step further and developed secure electronic transaction or SET. SET allows for the transaction to be processed without the buyer’s credit card information being seen or stored by the merchant. Implement Effective Preventative Solutions Preventing a security breach is much easier than trying to recover from one, so take the necessary steps to ensure that your software patches are up to date and that you have network compliance solutions in place that will keep users infected with a virus off of your server. It is also wise to configure your mail servers to block or remove email that contains attachments that are commonly used to spread viruses. Install A Firewall Firewalls are typically part of a hosting company’s package for ecommerce, but you should also install a firewall on your company’s end for double protection. This software is relatively inexpensive and provides protection to your own system if the host’s firewall is hacked. Invest In 128-Bit Security While 40-bit security was the standard for a long time and still exists on many ecommerce websites, 128-bit is the best way to protect yours. The two differ in the length of the encryption key that is produced when information is transmitted, therefore making 128-bit much more difficult to hack entirely. Although 40-bit may be enticing because of its lower price, it is always best to invest more to protect your business. Ensure Pci Dss Compliance The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS, compliance responsibilities mostly fall on your payment gateway and merchant account, but it is up to you to make sure that both are PCI DSS compliant. These guidelines are set forth by major credit card companies and dictate stringent security guidelines based on the size of the business. Check that every part of the transaction process is up to date on following these guidelines for optimum security. Unfortunately hackers are staying up to speed with new emerging security measures and no website is ever completely safe. However, by implementing a combination of various actions to protect the integrity of your ecommerce website you are better armed to protect yourself and your customers. ATAK Interactive‘s ecommerce web development team is highly experienced with ecommerce security and are on the cutting edge of new technologies that will protect your site as soon as its initial design. Making the investment to protect your business now can pay off in the long-term as it is much easier to prevent now than to remedy a disaster later. Author Details Josh Goodman, the author here takes a note of the increasing concern of Ecommerce Web Development agencies over Ecommerce Website security. In this article, he throws some light on how Los Angeles Web design companies take countermeasures to make the Ecommerce sites more secure.