Magento is one of the leading eCommerce platforms. That makes it an enticing target for hackers, so Magento security is of utmost importance.
Attacks can lead to disrupted operations, compromised customer information and leaked financial data. When this happens, the credibility and reputation of your business can take a serious dive, and no company can afford that.
With security breaches remaining a constant threat, it’s important for Magento users to learn how to properly defend their websites against malicious intent.
Here’s what you can do to increase Magento security and keep your website protected:
1. Immediately Update to Magento’s Latest Version
Magento rolls out new versions of its software frequently, which include general maintenance and bug patches, along with security fixes that address newly discovered weaknesses.
Although there is a belief out there that immediately updating to newer versions of software can sometimes be more annoying than helpful, with Magento this is not the case. Patch notes are available with every new release, so if you do have any doubts, you can see for yourself what changes are being made.
But at the same time, the helpful patch notes that Magento releases with its updates publicly point out the fixes it made in previous flaws. This essentially highlights where hackers can successfully exploit outdated webstores, meaning it’s extremely important to update yours.
2. Secure Password Usage is Essential for Magento security
Passwords can be, and often are, guessed. Once that’s done, websites are at the complete mercy of whoever managed to figure their way in.
One of the easiest ways to combat this is by simply following proper password practices.
1· Create a Strong Complex Password: One that uses the alphabet in both lower-case and upper-case letters, along with numbers and special characters like question marks, dashes, and exclamation points. To make your password harder to obtain, it’s also advised that you avoid using dates, dictionary words, and any information that’s relevant to yourself—like favorite places or pet names.
2· Make Sure your Password is Unique: Having the same password for multiple logins may be a little more convenient to remember, but it can also have incredible ramifications. Think about it, using an identical password in multiple places means it has more chances of being found out, and if it is discovered, then the finder can now access each of your individual accounts.
3· Do Not Save your Password on your Computer: There are various types of malware roaming around the internet, and if they infect your computer they have the chance to unearth your stored passwords. To keep your Ecommerce store safe, it’s best to retype than take risks.
4· Periodically Change your Password: The last step you can take to keep your would-be password predators guessing is to change yours on a regular basis. Even if your password is discovered and your website is compromised without your knowledge, with consistent changes the old password will become obsolete and lock out any infiltrators before long.
3. Implement Two-Factor Authentication
Even when following the rules above, no password is truly uncrackable. Brute force password guesses and phishing attempts give hackers the means to breach a website with a little luck.
Therefore, it’s best to couple a strong password with two-factor authentication (2FA) to create the strongest protection possible for your online business.
There are multiple extensions available in the Magento marketplace that will bring 2FA to your webstore, so take the time to browse around and find an extension that can provide the features your website needs.
4. Use an Encrypted SSL Connection
Creating a secure shopping experience for your Ecommerce store is imperative when earning the trust and confidence of your customers. To ensure the data being sent to and from your Magento website is protected, use a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encrypted connection.
This is very important as unencrypted connections are vulnerable to data interception, which can lead to the theft of information such as the log-in credentials of you and your customers.
SSL can be quickly applied to your website through Magento’s URL settings found in the admin panel. Afterward, your website will display the iconic green padlock symbol in your browser, showing every visitor to your webstore that it is safely encrypted.
5. Utilize Firewall to Stop MySQL Injection
MySQL injection attempts are most frequently made against online retailers. When successful, they allow attackers to access and tamper with the data of your webstore; meaning they can disclose or destroy customer data, alter balances, void transactions, and more.
While Magento does take steps to prevent MySQL injection, you can better protect your website by implementing a firewall application to defend websites against such attacks.
6. Change your Admin Panel URL
When hackers are able to access your admin page, they’ll have a much easier time launching brute force attacks to figure out your password.
By default, the standard URL of your store’s admin panel on Magento is yourdomain.com/admin. If unchanged, this makes it very simple for anyone to get into your admin panel login page. They will still need to determine your password once there to actually access your website’s operations, but in the interest of safety it’s best to prevent them from getting that far in the first place.
Change the /admin of your website’s URL into a unique term to make your panel much more difficult to find. If you need assistance doing so, you can look here for Magento’s guide on creating a custom path to your store’s admin URL.
7. Backup your Website Frequently
Even when you’ve taken all the proper precautions, a website is never completely safe from hackers. If your website’s defenses are unfortunately breached, then it pays to have a backup plan.
Backups allow you to easily restore your website to a previous version, essentially turning back the clock to a time before your webstore was compromised. To ensure you have backups available to you when you need them most, practice the use of both cloud stored and hard disk backups.
Not to mention, aside from restoring your website after an attack, backups are invaluable in the case of accidental errors such as the deletion of critical files, or configuration problems with newly installed extensions.
Always Stay Alert
Magento is a fantastic platform for building a thriving webstore, with its support team consistently working on maintenance and security updates to keep its users safe. But even with this net of support, webstore owners must remain vigilant in their efforts to keep their online businesses operating safely and smoothly.
Follow the tips above to help fend off those who would do you and your customers harm, and remember to stay current on the best security practices for your website as they arise. Like the old saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry”.