If you’re a new or developing business in the e-commerce sector, congratulations! Online selling and shopping are seeing perennial growth; one study of overall global market trends predicts that e-commerce will overtake a whopping 22 percent of all global sales by 2023, up from the 12.2 percent it commanded just five years prior in 2018. However, all that progress comes with its risks as well, and security tools in e-commerce will only become more important as the industry grows.
For businesses looking to maintain a competitive advantage, it’s essential to shore up your cyberdefenses. Without the right protection in place, one attack could be the difference between becoming the next Amazon or Alibaba—or falling by the wayside.
Top 5 E-commerce Security Software and Cybersecurity Tools
The cybersecurity threats facing e-commerce businesses vary widely. On the one hand, e-commerce businesses face all the challenges that normal businesses face, with all the risks related to malware, social engineering, and other common attacks anyone online can fall victim to. On the other hand, there are also dangers that target e-commerce in particular, like DDoS attacks.
To keep yourself safe, you need to implement a robust cybersecurity framework, complete with various different systems and practices at all levels of your company.
The five top tools you can use are:
- Firewalls and web filtering
- Access management
- Patch management
- Vulnerability assessment
- Penetration testing
We’ll drill the details in the sections below. And, as you’ll see, the best tools or solutions often combine more than one (or all) of these services into one seamless package.
Tool #1: Firewalls and Web Filters
One of the first and most basic cyberdefenses that all businesses need is a secure firewall. This is especially true for the e-commerce industry, where you always want to court increases in traffic (and ideally purchases). A firewall is the first line of defense that screens all incoming and outgoing data related to the traffic you host.
Firewalls get their names from physical walls in buildings that insulate rooms and stop the spread of fire within a structure. But a better physical analog is a wide net. The firewall catches any incoming data that might be dangerous, such as malware and phishing attempts.
Then, the best way to bolster that defense is to install an even finer net. Not every piece of information that passes through a firewall is necessarily safe; you need to proactively filter all the things that do pass through to make sure you’re not missing an insidious or well-hidden threat. Services like Cisco’s Umbrella do just that.
Tool #2: Access Management Systems
Another element of effective cybersecurity architecture is an airtight account and access management system. Every important function and resource should be protected with an authentication system at the very least. But simply requiring credentials like a username and password is a far cry from secure password management.
In fact, passwords themselves are not enough to keep your most valuable data safe.
According to guidelines established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), password management should include:
- Passphrases – Rather than simple strings of letters and numbers, passphrases utilize multiple words, as well as spaces. This makes them much harder to guess.
- Hashing – No matter how weak or strong a password is, it shouldn’t be stored as plain text. Instead, they need to be encrypted and translated into incredibly complex strings of numbers illegible (and unguessable) to humans.
- MFA – And, moving beyond passwords altogether, users should need to activate a second kind of authenticating factor to access accounts. Common examples include a second device owned by the user that one-time access codes are sent to.
Controlling access is one of the most important aspects of overall e-commerce cybersecurity. To that end, utilize training to ensure your entire staff uses strong passwords, regularly updates them, and takes advantage of MFA.
Tool #3: Patch Management Reports
Compliance with regulatory guidelines is one of the most important parts of cybersecurity. Some form of compliance is standard for most companies, of all sizes and across all sectors.
- Firms contracting with the department of defense have CMMC
- Businesses in healthcare and its adjacent fields all need to worry about HIPAA
- Anyone doing business with the bulk power systems needs NERC CIP compliance
When it comes to e-commerce, the biggest hurdle to jump is compliance with PCI-DSS.
But compliance is far more than a field of bureaucratic red tape you need to navigate to operate legally. The controls and safeguards required, ensure uniform expectations so that customers and clients can know what to expect, safety-wise, when dealing with a compliant business.
The best tool to ensure you’re fully compliant? Robust patch management services, including regular reports detailing all hardware, software, and practices needed to comply.
Tool #4: Vulnerability Assessment Scans
Compliance isn’t the end of cybersecurity management; it’s just a starting point.
Some of the most useful e-commerce security software deals with in-depth analysis of all vulnerabilities and possible threats that could impact your safety. That includes detailed cataloguing and analysis of all resources, assets, and systems that make up your network.
The most important elements to monitor include:
- All hardware and software
- Servers and cloud services
- Accounts and information
The ultimate goal of vulnerability assessment is creating a robust data set of all actual and potential risks. That means weaknesses and gaps in your existing infrastructure that cybercriminals could turn into entry points. But it also means any and all areas that are likely to develop into weaknesses over time. Vulnerability analysis lets you get ahead of the problem.
Tool #5: Penetration Tests
Taking the last tool one step further, there’s only one way to truly understand the depth and breadth of your vulnerabilities. You need to test them out in real time.
Enter penetration testing, also known as pen testing.
Pen testing is a revolutionary field in cybersecurity. It’s a form of ethical hacking that simulates what exactly an attack would look like. There are two main kinds of pen tests:
- External – Also called “black hat,” these tests force the simulated hacker to start from scratch, without any privileged knowledge about your network. This gives you a fuller picture of the entire process and how quickly a hacker could penetrate your systems.
- Internal – Also called “white hat,” these attacks begin from a privileged position “inside” your network. The attacker begins with some information, such as login credentials or network details. The aim is to study what the attacker will do once inside.
This kind of analysis lets you see first hand the exact moves a cybercriminal trying to attack your network would make. Knowing their potential plan enables you to counteract it and patch up any potential weaknesses they’d target.
Professional Cybersecurity Made Simple
What’s the best and most useful tool of all? One that simplifies security into an all-in-one solution. RSI Security’s robust threat and vulnerability management services do just that, combining all of the tools above to maximize efficiency.
Plus, beyond those five tools, our suite of threat and vulnerability services also includes:
- Website application security management
- Internet of things (IoT) security
- Cloud security assessment
- Risk rating report
- And more!
Our team of experts has over a decade of experience providing top-tier cybersecurity solutions to companies of all shapes and sizes. To see what leveraging all available security tools in e-commerce can do for your business, contact RSI Security today.