How to Secure Magento Stores from Hackers

E-Commerce websites are prone to hacking due to the nature of information they store. This can be payment information shared by the end-users to complete a sale. Even if a website isn’t directly initiating the payment transactions, it can be used to rerouting a customer to a fake page before transmitting to the payment processor. A site that is vulnerable can have negative consequences for both merchants and customers. While merchants can face a threat of lawsuits, loss of merchandise, etc., a customer might suffer identity theft or financial loss.

Though Magento is a secured platform, there is no single way to eliminate all the security risks. If you want to safeguard your website from hackers, you need to take into account multiple factors like Magento customization, hosting, system integration’s, etc., to maintain a secure environment. In this post, we will take you through step-by-step instructions to keep your Magento website safe:

1) Start Right

The first step towards starting everything right is to analyze if you are working with reliable solution integrators and hosting providers. Evaluate if they have an ideal approach to secure the websites for their clients according to industry standards and that they test their code regularly. If you are starting a Magento website, consider HTTPs as it is more secure and qualifies as a good ranking factor on Google.

2) Protect The Environment

Make sure the operating system of the server is secure and use only SSH/SFTP/HTTPs protocol when managing files. Use only limited privileges and minimum required permissions for database account and a given task. Also, keep your password secure, strong and unique. At the same time, monitor issues reported for software components when installing Magento, including PHP, operating system, Memcached, MySQL database, and other components. Besides, use advanced Magento customization techniques such as automatic deployment process for data transfer, limiting access to the Magento Admin, using two-factor authorization for Admin logins, and reviewing your servers for “development leftovers.” Some more tips to secure server environment:

  1. Magento has .htacess files, which can help protect the data on a system while using Apache, a web server. You need to ensure that all the directories and system files are well protected from any malicious activities.
  2. Give access to the cron.php file only to trustworthy users. What you can do is restrict the access of all the IP addresses no longer need access to the cron.php file by executing the right command as set by system cron.
  3. Avoid installing extensions on a production server directly by either blocking or removing access to the /downloader directory.
  4. When you log in to the admin panel use two-factor authorization to harden the security. You can do this by using extensions that offer additional security passcode usually sent to your phone or email.
  5. Ensure that no unprotected files including inaccessible log files, database dumps, directories visible to the public, PHP files, etc., are left for the hackers to attack.
  6. Install a firewall that can track the traffic arriving on your website, and that can discover suspicious patterns used by the hackers.

Tips to secure the admin desktop environment

  1. Update your antivirus software and avoid clicking links that look suspicious.
  2. Ensure the pc used to access the admin panel of Magento is secure.
  3. Create a strong, unique password and change it periodically.
  4. Avoid saving FTP passwords in programs as they are more prone to hacking.
  5. Delete accounts of employees who you no longer need.

Tip to secure server applications

  1. Ensure that all the applications that run on the servers are safeguarded using proper configuration.
  2. Do not run other software on your Magento site’s server as it may cause vulnerabilities. If you are looking to install software, install them on a different server or create a virtual machine.
  3. Ensure the software you are using is updated regularly and apply security patches wherever needed.

3) Protect Magento

Right from installing to password management and security-related configuration settings to ongoing maintenance, everything is included in protecting the Magento environment. Here are step-by-step instructions for protecting your Magento site:

  1. Begin by installing the latest version of Magento to ensure all the loopholes of previous versions are recovered. If you already are using a Magento website, ensure it is updated.
  2. Instead of using the default “admin” URL, create a custom, unique Admin URL to reduce exposure to hackers who may try to break into your website.
  3. Block access to your website for any testing, staging or even development frameworks as these systems can use to attack the production environment later on.
  4. Make sure you are permitting the right files, including core Magento and directory files.
  5. Again, the password for the Magento admin panel should be unique and strong. Also, consider changing it frequently.
  6. Use Magento’s settings to configure security on your site such as password options, captcha, etc.

Precautions

  1. Protecting your Magento website should be prioritized on your end. So, install extensions only from reliable sources, and avoid installations from Torrents or other unreliable sources. Before installing these extensions, ensure that they are checked for security issues.
  2. Do not click on malicious links that might cause security issues on your website. Also, do not open emails that are too good to be true. Similarly, do not disclose login credentials to anyone, irrespective of how close the person asking for the information is to you.

Create a Backup PLan

Though you have tried every possible way to protect your website from hackers, it is still necessary to create regular backups of your site, including hourly offsite backups. This security measure is essential in case the website gets hacked, or data gets deleted. Ensure that your database is automatically backed up using an external location. You can contact your hosting provider and ask if they can deploy a professional database backup solution.

After a website is compromised, the priority of a website owner is to save the data and information stored on the platform, which can only be ensured by using backup plans. Using the data stored safely on another server, you can quickly get your website up and be running in a couple of hours.

Check Security Regularly

Even though you feel your website is secure and safe, it is crucial that you carry out periodic checkups to ensure it is safe and that there are no signs of attack. You can hire a Magento developer who can check unauthorized Admin users and the Admin Actions Log to find if there is anything suspicious.

Use automated log review tools to get a report on any security threat. Besides, you can work with your hosting providers to implement an IDS on your network to ensure the integrity of your website is maintained as well as monitor FTP and SSH regularly.

End-Note

Indubitably, Magento is a robust platform that offers maximum security to its users. The community of developers regularly updates it to avoid any loopholes or to seize any hacking opportunities. However, it is equally vital for website owners to practice best security measures to prevent any vulnerability.

In the end, the fault is of the website owners if a website gets attacked. Use the above tips to avoid any hacking activities.