What Should Penetration Testing for Ecommerce Websites Do?

Running an eCommerce website involves a lot of work. Although all the effort is worthwhile in the event of good sales figures, as the site owner, you have plenty of responsibilities. You need to make sure that the site works and reads well, has no broken links and provides a smooth path from homepage to checkout. Big brands including Walmart have spent billions on online stores.

Given the amount of sensitive, private data that goes through the majority of online retailers’ websites, security should be a priority. Penetration Testing, known in IT circles as ‘Pen Testing,’ is the best possible means of gauging whether a website can be hacked into with ease. It can be done in many different ways, using either manual or automated method.

Insecure Gateways

The main task involved in pen testing is checking if hackers are unable to get into your account. This is done by taking two steps:

  • Gathering information about what kinds of data that potential hackers may want. Typically, this includes bank card details, names, and addresses – whatever hackers can gain some financial value from
  • Finding vulnerabilities in the website being tested. These could be insecure gateways, a lack of encryption of sensitive data or a login facility that can be easily manipulated

For an eCommerce site, no stone should be left unturned. Check every product page, the checkout pages, homepage and blog post. Even your comments sections and review plugins should be tested thoroughly, as you can never be too careful about who is using them and what is being posted.

Calling the Experts

Calling on cyber security experts to do penetration testing for you can save your business a potentially time-consuming job. However, regardless of how it has been carried out, there are a few preventative measures your company can take after your testing has finished.

One step is to set up two-step or even three-step authentication – recent standards for eCommerce were set late last year. For the shopping cart, ask for more than just a username and password – a security question and verification code sent to the customer’s smartphone are good examples of what can be done.

Learning from the lessons of the penetration testing results is a must. Act on every flaw that is found, as failure to do so will give hackers a point of entry into your website. If exploited, a security flaw could hit the bank balances of your customers and, ultimately, your business.

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