Safeguarding Your E-commerce Site: Tips and Strategies for Security

tips and strategies to secure e-commerce website

Nobody is perfect but your e-commerce store can be (well, to some extent)!

Between collecting customers’ personal information and processing payments, e-commerce sites have become an easy target for hackers.

In 2021, the global e-commerce fraud detection and prevention market was at $36.7 billion. This figure is likely to cross the $100 billion mark by 2027, highlighting the importance of e-commerce website security.

E-commerce fraud detection and prevention market size

A breach can not only reduce customers’ trust in your company but can also permanently damage your brand’s reputation. That’s why e-commerce website security should be your top priority.

E-commerce website security is not something that is nice to have. But it is something that you should have. We will discuss the following topics in this blog:

  • Why is E-commerce security important?
  • Most common attacks on e-commerce websites
  • E-commerce website security tips
  • Real-Life Examples of Data Breaches
  • E-commerce website security compliance

Why is E-commerce Security Important?

E-commerce websites are known for handling customer information, like payment mode data, personal details, and more. A security breach within the e-commerce website can compromise sensitive user data, causing financial loss for both businesses and customers.

By ensuring the security of their websites, e-commerce companies can protect customer data and loyalty. Furthermore, by law, e-commerce companies are required to protect their customer's sensitive data. Failure to do so can result in severe complications and penalties.

Most Common Attacks on E-commerce Websites

Common Attacks on E-commerce Websites

Did you know that your e-commerce website can be attacked in multiple ways? Below are five of the most common security breaches sites often face:

1. SQL Injections

SQL is a standard coding language that is used to access databases. It can be used to execute commands and manipulate databases.

Unfortunately, SQL injections have become a common threat for e-commerce websites. The attackers use rouge commands to access the sensitive data stored in the database.

Three common types of SQL injections are:

  • In-brand SQL Injections: It is simple and the most common SQL injection attack. It uses a similar language that you use to communicate with your database to gain administrative rights. Likewise, it launches an attack using the same channel that it does to gather attack results. So, if you don’t protect your information, the hacker can easily hijack it with the same code that you use.
  • Inferential SQL Injections: Here, the attacker sends data packets to the server and then lets them observe the server’s response. This process gives the attacker insight into the server structure. While this SQL injection is executed slowly, it can be equally harmful as the first one.
  • Out-of-Band SQL Injections: Certain features need to be enabled on the server used by the web app to carry out this injection. This whole thing depends on your website’s server capacity to create HTTP or DNS requests. It ultimately transfers the data to the attacking party.

2. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

XSS is a client-side code injection attack on the website. It injects code into web pages to execute harmful scripts into the web browser. In simple terms, your legitimate website becomes a center for malicious scripts.

XSS attacks become most effective when used with message boards, forums, or web pages. What’s more? This attack can quickly deface your website, changing the content and redirecting your site traffic to another website. Thus, you must secure e-commerce website against XSS attacks.

3. Malware Infections

Another common way hackers can attack your e-commerce website is via malware like viruses, worms, spyware, and more. These infections can steal customer data, erase them, or even infect website visitors.

You can apply ransomware prevention tips to safeguard your website. Or you can use cyber security software to strengthen the security of your website.

4. DDoS and DoS

DDoS and DoS are the most common and annoying attacks that most e-commerce websites have faced. While both attacks are executed with the same goal, they are still different.

  • DoS Attack: This attack spams your e-commerce website with illegitimate traffic, intending to shut it down. As a result, your website becomes slow, and regular users fail to access it.
  • DDoS Attack: This attack uses multiple devices to clog up your website. The group of devices is infected with malware to further damage your e-commerce website.

5. Brute Force Tactic

Hackers make this last-resort attack via botnet to gain your administrative details and shut down your website. It is nothing but an advanced-level password hack, which you can easily combat via captcha challenges, complex passwords, and 2FA. You must also encourage your customers to change their passwords every two to three months.

E-commerce Website Security Tips

E-commerce security tips

After gaining knowledge about common security threats, you might be thinking about how to protect the e-commerce website. Don’t worry anymore.

We have compiled a list of 7 e-commerce best practices to help you safeguard your website:

1. Choose a Secure Web Host

Your e-commerce website needs a secure web host and platform for optimal protection. Although many e-commerce website builders offer a certain level of built-in security measures, all hosts and platforms are not the same.

So, you need to check different web hosts and e-commerce platforms to find what’s right for you. Make sure your selected platform and host combination offers complete protection against common threats.

In addition, you can get an SSL certificate to encrypt the data between your user’s web browser and website. All e-commerce websites under the Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standard require an SSL certificate.

2. Regular SQL Checks

Since SQL injections on the website can be made in any user input form, you need to regularly check for this kind of vulnerability.

Depending on your choice of platform, you can select from different software options to monitor and safeguard your website from SQL injections. Or you can use free site scanners to daily check your website’s security and secure possible threats before someone takes advantage of them.

3. Let Experts Handle Data Processing

Do you know what’s the best way to avoid losing customer data? By not having any. Avoid keeping your users' data unless absolutely necessary.

Just like many e-commerce websites, you can also use encrypted third-party checkout methods to process payments. Go for popular payment gateways because they have a reputation for not leaking sensitive user data.

Your selected payment method must be compatible with the platform and web host. The idea is to provide a safe e-commerce platform to users that they can use without any worry.

4. Keep Your Website Updated and Patched

Website software updates come out regularly and they often include essential security patches. That’s why you need to analyze the updates closely. In case updates are not automatic, you should pay extra attention to updating them manually.

5. Monitor the Downloaded and Integrated Items

It feels great to download and integrate plugins to the e-commerce website directly. But you should monitor the downloaded and integrated items because hackers can use these add-ons to implant malware into your website.

Certain times, malware attacks via plugins are not intentional. Your site can even be attacked if the plugins are not completely optimized with your software.

6. Regularly Backup Your Website Data

It’s true that regularly backing up website data will not stop security breaches but it reduces the degree of damage done. It is one of the common e-commerce security best practices used by many website owners.

Each time you make an update to your website, back up it. If not daily, you should back up your website data twice every week. Set up automatic backups so you don’t have to perform the process manually.

Popular web hosts and builders offer built-in website backup features. You can choose such hosts and platforms to avoid the hard work.

7. Use Website Application Firewall

Website Application Firewall takes your e-commerce website’s security to the next level by protecting it from XSS, SQL injection attacks, and forgery requests. In addition, it protects your website from hacking attempts and reduces the risk of DoS and DDoS attacks.

You can choose from several web application firewall vendors. But you must choose one that rightly fits your budget and requirements.

Real-Life Examples of Data Breaches

Whether it's a small firm with limited resources or a large enterprise with unlimited resources, data breaches can hit businesses of any size. In fact, some of the world’s biggest brands have been negatively impacted by data breaches:


customer contact information exposed - Adidas

In 2018, the US website of this global shoe company was impacted with customer contact information exposed. The incident negatively impacted Adidas, making thousands of people lose their trust in the brand.


data breach incident - Mercari

Mercari, a popular Japanese e-commerce company disclosed a major data breach incident in 2021 due to exposure from the Codecov supply-chain attack. The attack lasted for 2 months during which, the legitimate Codecov Bash Uploader tool was modified to exfiltrate environment variables.


 largest data breach - Target

In 2013, Target’s e-commerce store was affected by one of the largest data breaches where the cyber attack impacted millions of customers. Hackers successfully stole customers’ payment card information like credit and debit card numbers along with expiration dates and CVV codes.


major data breach - Tesla

Electric vehicle, Tesla, suffered a major data breach because two of its former employees leaked sensitive personal data to a foreign media outlet.

The leaked information included customers’ sensitive information like their names, phone numbers, employment records, social security numbers, and payment details. In fact, the company’s production secrets and complaints about Tesla’s Full Self-Driving features were also leaked.

E-commerce Website Security Compliance

 E-commerce Website Security Compliance

Every e-commerce company is required to meet legal and industry standards to protect their customer’s information. While these standards do not guarantee a secure platform, they help maintain a certain level of protection.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)

As per PCI-DSS, any e-commerce business responsible for credit card transactions should meet its standards. From storage to checkout, the PCI-DSS regulations play an essential role in protecting the customers’ credit card information.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR, a European Union regulation is designed to protect all EU citizens' personal information. Businesses that exist outside Europe and sell products to European customers must also follow this regulation.

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

Similar to GDPR, the CCPA act also states the same but it is specific to the state of California only. It is one of the strictest standards in the United States.

How Can Protonshub Help You?

As you are aware of the possible e-commerce security threats and solutions, you can keep your online shop and customers’ data safe. Following secure e-commerce practices will help you protect your business from threats even before they break in.

Securing your e-commerce store is a promise to customers that their sensitive information is safe with you and no third-party platform can steal it.

To get your e-commerce store app developed, you can reach out to Protonshub Technologies, a top mobile & web app development company. We specialize in creating custom app development solutions that can help your brand grow and stay ahead of your competition.

Don’t stay behind. Unlock your potential with Protonshub Technologies!

Frequently Asked Questions

E-commerce security refers to protecting online stores and customers’ data from unwanted access or attacks. By bulletproofing the security of your e-commerce store, you can ensure that third-party attackers cannot update or delete anything from your e-commerce site without your permission.

Five common security concerns for e-commerce stores are SQL injections, brute force attacks, DoS and DDoS attacks, credit card fraud, and bad bots.

The top ways to protect an e-commerce store are using a store password, updating the site & plugins regularly, choosing strong hosting, implementing SSL certificates, taking regular backups, setting access roles, creating unpredictable admin names, preventing SQL injections, and more.

Security of an e-commerce store is essential because if you don’t do it, you can lose the credibility of your website. Even hackers can update, add, or delete anything from your website without your permission and your customers can sue you for losing their sensitive information.

When taken proper steps, e-commerce websites are safe for usage. Each day, hundreds of websites become the target of hacking only because they fail to follow security practices correctly. So, if you have an e-commerce site, you must follow the regulations, have a secure hosting plan, and ensure regular backups for better protection.
Tushar Pal

Tushar Pal

"President and Co-Founder"

Tushar Pal is a captivating wordsmith who weaves intricate narratives and thought-provoking tales. With a passion for exploring the depths of human emotion and the complexities of the human experience, he effortlessly guides readers through richly textured worlds that linger in the mind long after the final page is turned.