Magento is the most well-known e-commerce platform owing to its open source nature, modular architecture and flexibility. Earlier this year, a popular e-commerce survey reported that Magento enjoys over 26% presence, the largest chunk, in the e-commerce pie.
Having a number of credentials from renowned players to boast of, Magento even rolled out an enterprise version that comes with security enhancements. However, are these elementary security features enough when you are dealing with a crucial aspect: Your customer’s hard earned money?
It has been observed that e-commerce website are number one prospective victims of hackers and cybercrime as they deal with financial transactions. Magento, being quite popular, is also under significant threat of hacking attacks. Despite Magento coming with inbuilt security features, businesses (from their end) should not leave any loopholes that provide a path for hackers to creep in and steal customer database, cause spamming and extract secure keys and passwords.
If you are wondering if : As an e-commerce store owner, what best security practises you can implement to safeguard yourself against these hackers – we round up 10 highly effective tips that will help you enhance your Magento security.Because after all, when you are using an open source platform for your e-commerce endeavours, a little bit of caution always helps.
First and foremost, it is imperative that you investigate if your security has already been compromised. And if something already looks suspicious, you must do it ASAP. The first 5 tips on our list will help you have a better insight into where your e-commerce website stands in terms of security:
Safeguarding your store if the hackers already got you
1) Look into web root folder for suspicious files
Web root and folders just above are the favourite places for hackers to plant exploit files and web shells. You must check it thoroughly for any suspicious looking files. If you find one, figure out what it was used for and if (we hope not) you are certain it was used for malicious purposes, get rid of it.
2) Investigate Magento’s core files
If you are working with smart magento developers you would know that they do not modify core framework files in order to change functionalities or add new features. Ideally, the install should not have core modifications. However cyber criminals will modify these core files to steal customer intelligence.
Therefore you must look for modifications and investigate each one of them thoroughly.
An added advantage to this “best practise” is that you will know of poorly implemented customizations.
Also Check: Things You Need to Know to Start an eCommerce Store
3) Check Magento’s frontend script injection points
4) Audit admin users
Admin users are the number one source of hackers gaining re-access to your installation if they have accessed it before. They act as a backdoor. You must look for usernames that look suspicious as you can’t recognize them, and remove those. As an additional measure, you must double check the known ones and ensure that their linked email address is correct. Hackers might change emails of valid admins and trigger reset password emails in order to have control.
Also See: 18 effective ways to boost your ecommerce store sales
5) Check crontab
Now this is something that hackers use to ensure that their hack remains intact once you have removed it. Cron is an ongoing scheduled task on your server. They are usually used by hackers to post harvested information on their server and generate reports of activity on your site.
We now come to the next 5 tips that help you safeguard your Magento store against future attacks.
Preventing future attacks
1) Latest is the best
Despite contrary opinion which is usually just a hearsay, do implement the latest Magento version available in the market. There is a good reason for newer versions to be built. And in case of Magento, latest is definitely the best. Magento, with every new version, fixes security issues found in its predecessors. Therefore, you must test and implement the latest release that is out.
Moreover you must apply all officially released security patches. For every service you use, subscribe to the official security patch newsletter so that you don’t miss out.
2) Cloud hosting
Cloud hosting is being put in practise by major companies. You must try it out too. It gives a greater ROI, requires no installation and has a smoother customer support. But the primary goodie that you must be thinking about is the security that Cloud hosting lets you enjoy. Initially, you might like the idea of shared hosting from a monetary perspective, but an investment in cloud hosting will be thanked by your future self when your business expands.
Shared hosting means that you are compromising on Magento security. The other option, dedicated hosting, is a hassle prone path altogether, in cases where traffic increases.
Research shows that for Magento, cloud hosting is the best as it provides stability while saving the business owner from being redundant. Moreover you enjoy robust security with ample resources for your magento website.
Also Read: 12 Best Payment Gateways for eCommerce Websites
3) Changing default admin login URL
As mentioned earlier, Admin user accounts are the best fonts for hackers to use as “backdoor entry”. The default admin URL in magento is /admin. It advised that you change it to something unique in order to prevent brute force style (Hacking software’s that guess username and password combinations) attacks. An unchanged admin path makes it easy for cyber criminals to carry out their hacking activities.
However, do remember not to change the ‘Admin base URL” settings in the admin section of system configuration which will prevent you from accessing the admin panel altogether.
4) FIM installation (branch labs)
This is quite a tech savvy and effective approach. The File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) software takes a snapshot of your current code base and regularly matches it against what is being run in production. A regular report is sent on what files are changed. If there are any unexpected changes or some change looks suspicious, it is an alarm.
5) Implementing secure password practises
You must have been familiar with these tips ever since you first made your first email account. (Or every time you make a new digital account anywhere). A password that is not unique is an invitation for hackers to crack it. Ideal ones are minimum 15 characters long and combination of upper/lower case, punctuation and numbers. This ensures that a hacking software will take years to find a match meaning that your password is hack-proof.
We know, for the sake of remembering, you use identical passwords in various accounts. Over 15% users do that, according to a report (we doubt more). But when you are selecting a password for your Magento account, making it unique is not an option. It is a compulsion. If you have similar passwords, you stand a risk of losing all your accounts at once.
Moreover, one must avoid saving passwords on their computer and hackers might attack the PC to steal secure codes.
Also See: 12 Best WordPress Themes for eCommerce Store Websites
Wrapping it up:
As you are empowered with tips and best practises, we are sure you will make good use of these measures and safeguard your Magento store (and your customers) against hackers.
However, it doesn’t pain to have an active Backup Plan for (god forbid!!) if for any reason your Magento e-commerce store gets hacked. Ensuring continuity of your services if of prime importance. A wise move is to check with your hosting provider if they have a backup strategy.
Another noteworthy aspect is that of Magento security reviews. Magento developers may not be security experts. For a security expert, the intricacies of Magento site security is important. Therefore it is advised that you get your site checked for loopholes and security gaps by a professional.