Essential Magento Security Tips to Protect Your Ecommerce Website

Posted by Mariya

Do you remember the infamous Magecart attacks which made headlines back in 2018? That was the point when people started talking about Magento security tips. However, it was probably neglected because Magento is not as popular as other CMS like WordPress and Shopify. After all, its market share accounts for only about 0.8% of all known websites or 1.2% of all business websites.

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Despite its relatively small market share, this CMS is extremely popular among well-known brands like Coca-Cola, Ford, Land Rover, Nestle Nespresso, and several others that use this platform. E-commerce annual sales from Magento sites in 2020 accounted for over $224 billion US Dollars.

The reason for its popularity is the high degree of customisation that this platform allows. This enables ecommerce website designers to create stores that resonate with the brand’s identity. If that sounds interesting and you want to start using Magento or already use this platform, then here are some Magento security tips you need to know.

1: Use the Right Hosting

Unlike Shopify, Magento is a self-hosted platform, which means it does not provide you with a hosting plan, and you will have to get your own. Since most businesses use Magento to host their online stores, you should ideally use dedicated servers. A dedicated server is solely meant to host your website and none other. This is far more secure than opting for shared hosting or VPS hosting in which the web hosting service provider arbitrarily allocates resources to customers.

When you are done setting up a Magento website, you will probably hire an ecommerce digital marketing agency to update the content of the design. 

Some of these other websites could be managed by careless website owners with unsecure sites that pose a threat to yours, while others could be attackers pretending to be customers with an ulterior motive. For example, they could load the server with malware and take control of other sites on the server or create a backdoor to steal data. Since you never get to decide who shares the server with you, it could be extremely dangerous, and the best solution is to use dedicated servers from a reliable service provider. Of course, you can also have your server if you have the resources and expertise to manage it.

2: Activate HTTPS the Right Way

Does your website run on HTTP or HTTPS? If you have not moved to HTTPS yet, then it is time to purchase an SSL certificate that is appropriate for your website. An SSL activates the HTTPS protocol and encrypts the server-client communication through a cryptographic suite. However, the coverage it provides depends on the type of SSL you choose.

In the case of a Standard or Domain Validated SSL, it is only limited to the primary domain. This leaves the subdomains unsecure. Since Magento users are into e-commerce, they are likely to use multiple subdomains for login, payment, cart, etc. So, it is always better to opt for a Wildcard SSL certificate like Comodo wildcard, RapidSSL wildcard, GeoTrust Wildcard SSL, etc. that encrypts the primary domain and its first-level subdomains.

3: Ensure Secure Access

When you are done setting up a Magento website, you will probably hire an ecommerce digital marketing agency to update the content or the design. In doing so, remember that your website’s backend must always be accessed through a secure system. To ensure a secure desktop environment, you need an operating system that is genuine along with an effective antivirus, malware scanner, and other security essentials. So, if you have a remote team, make it a point to limit administrative rights only to those who follow these guidelines and are under your control.

4: Set Strong Password Rules

This might seem like the most obvious of all the Magento security tips listed in this article, but you’d be amazed at how much trouble this can prevent. Studies indicate that over 81% of data breaches occur due to weak passwords, and as a website owner, you can change this by setting strong password rules. A strong password would be eight or more characters long, has mixed cases, numbers, and special characters. Also, setting mandatory password resets every two months is recommended. Additionally, try to restrict the use of three previous passwords as this could prevent password reuse which frequently leads to password spraying attacks.

5: Use Multi-factor Authentication

Sometimes, just using a strong password is not enough, and you need an additional layer of security. Multi-factor authentication solves many problems during such times because it combines a memory-based password and a time-based OTP. So, even if a brute force attacker manages to crack the memory-based password, the attacker won’t be able to log in without the time-sensitive password sent to the user’s mobile or email. In fact, according to Microsoft, 99.9% of attacks on accounts can be foiled by deploying multi-factor authentication. This is extremely easy to do and can be done for free using the Google Authenticator on your website.

6: Update your Magento, OS, and other Applications

Updates are very important because they contain security patches that make the application secure. Magento rolls them out every time a bug is detected so that the users and their sites remain secure. Similarly, your OS and other applications also release updates that you must install regularly. The best way to go about it is by automating it through the ‘auto-install updates’ option, which almost every application and OS offers.

7: Regular Backups

A great way to minimise the damage caused by ransomware attacks is through scheduled automated backups stored on a pen drive or hard drive that is not connected to your IT infrastructure. This works well because ransomware attacks encrypt data files and lock out the business owner until the ransom is paid. During such times, a backup stored on a device that is not connected to the attacked infrastructure can be very useful.

Final Takeaway

We have shared some of the most valuable Magento security tips, but it does not end there. Every day, thousands of malwares are being introduced, and new attack vectors are being identified. So, it would help if you kept up with the latest tools and techniques to fight them in the best manner possible.