Cybersecurity: The Numerous Challenges for E-commerce Sites

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Switzerland is experiencing a considerable increase in online shopping: Last year, Swiss online purchases totalled 9.5 billion Swiss francs, an increase of 10% over the previous year*. In the era of information and digitalisation, e-commerce is a real opportunity for companies. Having visibility on the Internet is almost mandatory!

E-commerce sites are hosting more and more sensitive data, which is being targeted by hackers. Cybersecurity issues are therefore increasingly important for companies.

E-commerce Challenges

Today’s consumers are paying attention to several factors that can be decisive for your e-commerce site. On the one hand, consumers have expectations regarding the general ergonomics of your site, it must be user-friendly and hold values. On the other hand, consumers like to be able to identify with a brand: the feeling of belonging is not to be neglected. Promote your commitments.

When customers visit your website, offer the best possible experience by meeting their expectations. In the digital age where everything “goes fast”, potential buyers demand high levels of availability from the websites they visit. This translates into a record time for page loading. It is essential to have a loading time of less than 3 seconds in order not to lose the interest of your customers or prospects: indeed, a majority of buyers abandon a basket when the loading time is too long.

In addition to fast loading times, good uptime also means that your site has to support variable load rates. Occasional events such as sales, private sales or Black Friday are likely to generate more visitors, and therefore a high traffic load. You must be prepared so that your site is always operational. With the help of a cloud expert, you can develop a strategy to anticipate these scale-ups! It is recommended that you perform tests to determine the maximum peak traffic your site can handle and how to improve it.

In addition, there is data protection. E-commerce sites host data considered highly sensitive: banking information, personal and work addresses, which are of great interest to hackers. You must be able to protect your customers: your image is at stake! Data security issues can lead to significant and hard-to-repair damage to your company’s image. Good security on your platform reassures your customers and contributes to increased loyalty. The implementation of the new secure payment, which is now mandatory, is a guarantee of quality for your customers.

Keep in mind: The overall design of your site (intended for the user experience) and computer security are at the heart of all consumer concerns.

Best practices to protect your e-commerce site against cyber attacks

The challenges that your website must face are related to the security of your platform, as this is a subject that is becoming increasingly important. Here are some good practices to put in place in order to protect yourself against cyber-attacks.

The first choice to make is that of the cloud expert: opt for a service provider with whom you will be able to establish a relationship of trust, because the security implications are collective. Finally, security and e-business are compatible. Contact your web host for information on all the threats to which e-merchants are exposed. They should be able to give you all the necessary information.

Once the choice of a service provider is made, implement security solutions. The installation of a WAF (web application firewall) is strongly recommended. The WAF is placed upstream from your website (backended) and its purpose is to do virtual patching: blocking suspicious traffic using HTTPS request analysis. The WAF therefore examines all requests made on your server before they reach your website. The purpose is to verify that the application meets the firewall standards. If it does not, it is directly rejected. The WAF is therefore one of the best solutions to protect you against cyber-attacks.

Once your site is operational, you should inquire about banking data processing. This is ultra-sensitive data that hackers are interested in. As a result, safety regulations are very strict. Refer to the PCI DSS standard which is designed to help organisations proactively protect customer data. Each e-commerce site has the obligation to declare that it follows this standard. Be careful! Otherwise, you are liable to a fine and the permanent closure of your site.

Finally, as access time is a key issue for your e-commerce site, you can set up a CDN (Content Delivery Network). This is useful if your site is present abroad. In theory, the installation of a CDN allows you to bring your content closer to the end user, and thus reduce the loading time of your site’s pages. It contributes to the improvement of user experience. In practice, it’s all about putting data in the public cloud, close to your end users.

Therefore, to set up a CDN, it is preferable to go through an actor of the public cloud that has servers all over the world. You have the freedom to choose the content made available, so you are not obliged to have your sensitive data hosted abroad on the public cloud.

Today, having a nice e-commerce store front no longer suffices as a selling point. The subject of IT security is an unavoidable one, as consumers have growing expectations regarding the security of e-commerce platforms. In order to remain efficient, set up an e-commerce strategy with your Cloud expert. Also, keep up to date with the latest standards so that you can remain proactive. Indeed, a secure platform no longer means “being invincible” but rather “being vigilant”!

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