You’ve spent a lot of time and effort to build out the perfect store, from custom design to personalized app integrations. Maintaining everything is now at the forefront of your mind. Experienced eCommerce merchants understand this is a highly choreographed routine. There are many moving parts and pieces which are vital to having a successful business.

However, this online tapestry can sometimes unravel with the removal of a single thread. If all the vital sections went missing, your anxiety wouldn’t be the only thing that spikes. Your bounce rates and abandoned carts would as well. Having a data security strategy, or the practice of protecting the sensitive and valuable company and consumer data, may sound complicated, but there are some simple steps you can take to keep your store secure.

Online Threats Are Always Present

This year, the international policing agency, Interpol has seen an “alarming increase” in the number of cyberattacks. And cybercrime had already seen a dramatic rise the year before. In 2019, ransomware attacks, where a company’s site or data is held for ransom, were up 500%.

A total of 68% of small businesses were forced offline for a limited time due to cybercrime, with 37% of these businesses suffering financial losses. Around 10% of companies hit by cybercrime had to shut down as a result. Finally, some studies show it can cost up to $200,000 to recover from a cyber attack.

Ecommerce Platforms are Good at Sales; Bad at Saving

While cybercrime can result in data loss, there are other risks. Human error and complications with third-party apps can also result in data loss and deletion. According to the 2020 Data Protection Survey Report, 25% of respondents have lost essential data at some point. Out of those online businesses, eight percent never recovered from this loss.

Interestingly enough, 60% of small businesses never backed up their site before implementing a data protection strategy. Another nine percent of companies trusted their eCommerce platform’s cloud-based storage to protect them. The problem, however, is that cloud-based storage is limited, and eCommerce platforms do not provide full website backups. Merchants are responsible for store security, which includes backups and recovery.

It may feel overwhelming but here’s the silver lining: there are steps an eCommerce store can take to protect themselves from a data disaster. And most you could put in place today.

The Ins and Outs of Data Protection

Having a strong password, enabling Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), access control, and having a backup and recovery strategy are all tools you can use to set up a strong defense. Let’s go through them one by one.

To reduce the likelihood of being hacked, you need to have a strong password. Make the password longer than 12 characters with a mix of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using consecutive numbers and letters on a keyboard, such as “12345” and “qwerty.” Around 16% of accounts are hacked using password spraying, which is when a hacker compares commonly used passwords against a user account name.

Consider using a password creator, such as 1Password, to create and track your passwords. These apps auto-generate complicated passwords for your accounts that are stored in a “vault.” You then access this vault using a password. Once you have access to the vault, you can autofill passwords. This way, you only have one password to remember instead of several.

For added security, enable 2FA when offered. When using 2FA, you will be asked to authorize access to your account on another device, such as a laptop or smartphone, when you try to log into your account. This added step makes your account less appealing to hackers as they need that device to access your account.

Another data security method is having an access control strategy. Provide access to specific sets of data to specific people. Only authorize data access to certain individuals or groups of individuals based on their roles. For example, only allow one or two people to have broad editing capabilities on blogs. This way, if a non-editor blog writer is hacked, the hacker will not be able to edit or change your blog.

Backups 101

The failsafe is having some form of a backup strategy, so you can get your store fully operational again. There are pros and cons to each method. It’s possible to manually create a data backup and recovery strategy. This process involves downloading individual comma-separated value (CSV) files every time the eCommerce store changes. Such store files include products, orders, customers, web pages, inventories, and themes. Some store data, however, cannot be downloaded as a CSV file, such as images and blog content. This data set will need to be kept as separate backup files. Every time you face data loss, you can manually re-upload and rebuild everything.

If manually backing up your store sounds tedious, time-consuming, and expensive, there is an easier way, using an automated third-party solution. Rewind provides automated backups of your Shopify store on a secure platform. Recovery is quick and easy. Rewind also offers 2FA for added security of your store data.

With Rewind, whenever you update or add anything to your Shopify store, the Rewind app will capture that information into your Rewind backup file. If your store loses data, you will have a snapshot of your store stored within Rewind. With the app, you will be able to recover the data and get your store up and running again in a short amount of time.

At the end of the day having a data protection strategy should be your key takeaway. Online shopping is quickly becoming the norm for many people. Safeguarding all the data in your store will help keep your business healthy and your buyers happy.

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