Ecommerce Website Security: Five Steps to Increase Conversions and Reduce Risk

Retail businesses should take these five ecommerce website security steps to increase conversions and reduce the risk of cyber-attack.

As global online retail spending continues to increase, more and more businesses are moving away from traditional bricks and mortar stores and towards ecommerce. This is especially true in the UK, which has the highest retail ecommerce sales as a percentage of total retail sales of anywhere in the world.

There are a number of factors that go into a successful ecommerce website: user experience, good branding, and website performance are all extremely important. Mobile has become a critical ecommerce channel, and retailers are focusing on providing the best mobile experience in order to dominate the market.

But another key aspect is ecommerce website security. Strong ecommerce website security can lead to lower bounce rates and higher conversions, and the opposite is also true. Issues with latency and the rise of sophisticated DDoS attacks can pose a threat to conversion rates as well as ecommerce site performance and availability.

In addition to this, a successful cyber-attack on your ecommerce website can significantly damage consumer confidence and brand perception. So how can you increase conversions whilst also reducing risk? Follow our five ecommerce website security tips to find out how you can maximise your online sales.

Five Ecommerce Website Security Steps

In order to increase conversions and reduce risk, we see these five ecommerce website security steps as being fundamental best practice worthy of consideration by all online retailers.

  • Install an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate that secures the connection between your website and a browser should be a prerequisite for any ecommerce website, but you’d be surprised how many retailers fail to carry out this fundamental security measure. Install an SSL certificate to keep customer data protected, and give visitors confidence that they can make safe payments on your website.
  • Use a web application firewall. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks present a unique challenge to online retailers, flooding their web servers with requests that grind websites to a halt. A web application firewall will guard your ecommerce website against malicious entry, protecting you from DDoS attacks causing service disruption.
  • Select a next generation antivirus with low resource footprint. According to research carried out by Google in 2017, 53% of mobile users give up within three seconds of waiting for a mobile page to load. This could be bad news for your ecommerce website security, as antivirus software has a reputation for taking up resources. However, the latest antivirus technology is lightweight and not resource intensive, improving website performance and enhancing user experience.
  • Implement password best practices. Your employees are expected to set complex passwords and update them regularly. Why should visitors to your website be any different? Ensure that your customers can’t get away with ‘password1’ and reduce the risk of their accounts being hacked, along with the resultant loss of confidential personal data.
  • Build an effective human firewall. A 2018 study by Kroll found that 88% of UK data breaches were caused by human error, not cyber-attacks. To change security behaviour, employees need to know what to do, care enough to improve and then do what’s right when it matters. To help your employees to be more engaged in being the human firewall, educate them constantly and in new and exciting ways, create a learning environment tied to their everyday jobs, and deliver it through an engaging model.

Increase Conversions and Reduce Risk

Today’s political and economic instability, combined with an increasingly aggressive and competitive retail landscape, make it incumbent upon businesses to maximise every available revenue stream. The ongoing rise of online retailing coupled with continued evolution and growing prevalence of cybercrime highlights the importance of robust ecommerce website security; to ignore it is to risk downtime, data breach and reduced performance that will reduce conversions and damage your brand reputation.

To discover more about minimising risk and maximising revenue in your retail business, download a copy of our Minimising IT Risk in Retail report.

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