Ecommerce Cybersecurity 101


Online retailers are highly attractive targets for cyber criminals thanks to the wealth of customer data and financial records they store. Breaches are increasingly commonplace, and threats are more complex every day. For affected retailers, the consequences can range from minor reputation damage to complete business closure. Ecommerce Cybersecurity is something that all ecommerce sites need to take seriously to protect themselves and their customers. 

So, what can you do to protect your online store, and how concerned should you be about the risk of attack?

Why Cybersecurity is so Important in Ecommerce

Robust cybersecurity is vital to ensure business continuity for your ecommerce store. A cyber attack can take your entire site offline in the blink of an eye, and the downtime involved can be extensive. 

Beyond business operations, online retailers also have a responsibility to protect customers’ payment data, login credentials, and personal information from malicious actors. In many jurisdictions, this duty is a matter of legal compliance.  

To put these risks into context, here is a snapshot of how cyber attacks currently impact the ecommerce industry:

Ecommerce Cybersecurity Best Practices

Protect your store and your customers from potential cyber attacks with the following best practices. 

Ensure Your Tech Stack is Secure

As an online retailer, your business operations are heavily reliant on external solution providers. From your ecommerce platform, to your payments provider, ensure you work exclusively with trustworthy partners that encrypt and store customer data safely.

Assess Data Storage

Data storage and security is now subject to compliance regulations in most sectors, and for good reason. Don’t store or hold on to any customer information that you don’t need, and ensure the data you do store is encrypted, backed up, and kept separate from your main network.

Don’t Ignore Software Updates

Those annoying updates that pop up on your laptop? They often contain important security patches to rectify weaknesses in the software, and shouldn’t be postponed. Automate these updates across all company devices (you can schedule them for outside of business hours) to eliminate security gaps.  

Prioritize Password Management

Enforce good password hygiene for both employees and customers. Set minimum password lengths, with a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and characters. Enforce multi-factor authentication where possible, and use a secure password manager for employee access to company resources.   

Proactively Defend and Monitor 

Make use of protective measures such as antivirus software and firewalls across all company devices. These forms of defense will go a long way to repel would-be attackers, but they are not infallible. Combine cybersecurity software with proactive monitoring to detect and eliminate threats before they escalate.


Security-conscious customers will look to your URL to check it contains HTTPS rather than HTTP. The former indicates a secure connection with data encryption, and the presence of an SSL certificate. All sites that process customer information or payments should have this layer of security in place.   

Conduct Employee Training

Perform regular employee training on cybersecurity best practices and implement clear policies around company device usage. Ensure employees are aware they shouldn’t open suspicious links or attachments, or share sensitive information with unknown recipients. In the event of a suspected breach, employees should have a clear escalation process to flag suspicious activity.

Don’t Put Your Ecommerce Business at Risk of Cyber Attack

Sophisticated attacks are easy to fall for, and hard to recover from. As an online retailer, your cybersecurity is directly impacted by the tech stack you use, which is why it’s so important to work with trusted solution providers. At Searchspring, we prioritize our customers’ security. Get in touch to learn more about our search, merchandising, and personalization platform built exclusively for ecommerce. 

Special thanks to our friends at Searchspring for their insights on this topic.
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Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify, where he helps brands to identify, navigate and accelerate growth online and in-store.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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