How to Improve Your Magento Store Security

Magento is one of the largest and most trusted open-source eCommerce platforms. But along with its functionality, the fact that it is so popular makes a common target for malicious attacks.

Even though Magento has built-in security features that help you keep your website safe you can always take some additional steps to secure your store. Here are some of the best ways you can improve your Magento website security and keep your customers’ information safe.

1. Regular Updates

Like all eCommerce software, Magento works best when you use the latest version and keep up with patch releases. This guarantees your store is up-to-date with the latest threats and has adequate protection. Regular Magento updates provide feature upgrades, bug fixes, and critical security updates to create a secure environment for your store. If you ignore or delay these patches, you compromise your Magento store security and endanger your customers’ data.

With this in mind, make sure you only use trusted and verified extensions that have a track record of dependability. All extensions have to be updated like your Magento store when new versions come out.

Updates should be applied responsibly as extensions and themes can give attackers a way into your store’s most critical areas or simply break your site. Working with a developer who can audit the code of these extensions and themes can minimize these dangers. Always test new applications in a development environment before deploying them to your live store and create backups of your site files and databases to prevent data corruption or security breaches.

2. Additional Protection

Using Two-Factor authentication extensions provides an additional layer of protection for your Magento store. It allows you to authorize access to the store only for trusted devices. This extra level of security to your admin panel login makes it harder for hackers to intercept messages and hack into accounts. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) secures your Magento backend and mitigates most password-related Magento security risks.

In addition to two-factor authentication, you can also restrict the Magento administrator login page to specific IP addresses you have whitelisted.

3. SSL Connection

Sending data over unencrypted connections leaves it exceptionally vulnerable to interception by third parties. A great deal of Magento eCommerce stores have their passwords guessed or intercepted. This is why it is crucial to have a properly implemented SSL certificate as it will help you secure sensitive information such as credit card data, customer details, and login credentials, among other types. You can purchase an SSL certificate from any verified Certificate Authority and install it through SiteWorx. Once the SSL certificate is in place, you can configure your Magento installation to require the secure resources on certain pages, forcing the pages to be loaded over HTTPS. Installing a free certificate from a site like Letsencrypt.org is also an option. You can choose the digital certificate you need in order to enable HTTPS (SSL/TLS) for your Magento store for free.

An encrypted connection is a must. Requiring HTTPS/SSL for all your login and checkout pages is necessary so you don’t run the risk of being intercepted by a hacker.

4. Limited access points

You can use different methods to access your Magento site files and database. Depending on your intended task, you can use SSH, or web hosting control panel. Don’t reuse the same password for all methods. Creating and remembering a unique, strong password for each method is not the most efficient way to do it. Opt for Public-key cryptography instead. In addition, try to use connection methods like SSH, SFTP, or SCP for additional security.

You don’t want your administrator login page to be easy to locate as this makes your Magento store more vulnerable to brute force attacks. A great deal of brute force attacks use scripts specifically designed to check the /admin path for your login page. Obscure the path to the Magento Administrator Panel to prevent intrusions. This will not make your store immune to brute force attacks, but it will deflect the attacks relying on those scripts.

Keep in mind that you can have different administrative users but not all of them have to be given access to all administrative areas of the website. Limit access to certain tools and features on a per-admin basis and always keep user accounts for all persons separate. This limits their roles, and if an account is compromised less damage can be done.  It also makes it easier to trace which account got compromised and do damage control.

5. Regular Backups

Backup of your Magento files and database should be performed on a regular basis. This allows you to minimize the amount of damage that an attack can cause. All backups should be kept on a different server than the one that hosts your Magento store. Ideally, you should keep a copy on your local computer as well as on a separate USB external hard-drive.

The most important part of your Magento store is your webstore configuration file. It holds your most critical database information, including your username, password, and table prefixes. If they gain access to it, all of your clients’ data are in danger, including their emails, passwords, credit card data (if you store them within your Magento instance, which shouldn’t be done in the first place), addresses. As a means of prevention verify that your folders’ permissions and webserver’s configuration are correctly set i.e files including configuration credentials and code files can’t be accessed directly from the internet browser.

For added security, also restrict permissions on any other files containing sensitive information, such as login credentials.

6. Password Policy

One simple way to improve your Magento store security is to implement your own password policy with certain requirements. The best practices for a password policy include:

  • Use password managers, such as LastPass, BitWarden, 1Password, etc.
  • Use only unique passwords
  • Establish complexity requirements
  • Change your password regularly
  • Do not reuse passwords

No Magento store is 100% secure but by implementing the security improvements we described above, you will significantly decrease the amount of vulnerabilities that can be exploited.

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