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Magento Security Tips to Keep Your Ecommerce Store Safe & Secure

October 22, 2021

12 Min Read
Magento Security Tips

Magento has now become a significant force in the ecommerce industry, because of its regular updates and features.

According to Datanyze Ecommerce Platforms Market Share Report, 12,708 ecommerce websites in Alexa top 1 million are using Magento (out of 467 technologies) that have a 14.31% share, a significant chunk of ecommerce pie. Therefore, if you are planning to launch an ecommerce store in 2020, you should check out Magento.

The best advantage of using Magento for ecommerce stores is the out-of-the-box security of the platform. Unlike other platforms where security is an add-on (or worse, an afterthought!), for Magento, security is built right into the core of the ecommerce platform.

Security has remained the primary concern for all ecommerce store owners. In essence, the customer information amassed by even small ecommerce stores is often worth a lot to criminals.

What is Magento Security

Magento is one of the most popular ecommerce platform that provides built-in security features that assist in reducing security hazards such as data leaks, information theft, unlawful transactions, and other malware attacks. When it comes to Magento security ensure you have applied all modern practices like trusted themes, extension, and hosting.

Thus, regardless of their size and operational history, it clearly shows that if anyone is thinking about starting an ecommerce store in 2020, their first choice is Magento. However, most of these ecommerce merchants rarely know that Magento offers splendid security practices out-of-the-box.

  1. Magento 1.x EOL & It’s Importance
  2. Magento Security Checklist: How to Secure Your Magento Store in 2020?
    1. Use the latest Magento version
    2. Use two-factor authentication
    3. Set a custom path for the admin panel
    4. Acquire an encrypted connection (SSL/HTTPS)
    5. Use Secure FTP
    6. Have an active backup plan
    7. Disable directory indexing
    8. Be wise with your Magento password
    9. Eliminate email loopholes
    10. Invest in a sound hosting plan
    11. Prevent MySQL injection
    12. Get a Magento security review done
    13. Get in touch with the Magento Community
  3. Append a Security Key to Magento Admin Panel
  4. Top Magento security extensions
  5. How Cloudways helps you to secure your Magento server/store
  6. FAQs
  7. Conclusion

Magento 1.x EOL – Does It Really Matters?

Yes, it does! Magento announced last year that they won’t be providing any further security Magento patches and updates. In any case, if you are still using Magento 1 then it’s going to be a nightmare in the long term. The reason behind this is pretty clear Magento 1 won’t be entertaining with any security patches that can prevent their store from any unwanted attacks like DDoS or any payment gateway security issues.

Therefore, be smart enough and try to figure out the best possible way to migrate your Magento 1 store to Magento 2.

Magento 1 EOL - GIFSource: GIPHY

It is evident that wherever there are shops, there are thieves. And, ecommerce has its fair share of crooks. These cybercriminals are always on the prowl to find a coding weakness in ecommerce stores so that they can wiggle-in.

Usually, these harmful elements invade websites to conduct suspicious activities like:

  • Spamming
  • Phishing
  • Stealing user data and much more…

Even though Magento 2 gets patched regularly, there are many Magento security patches and best practices that website administrators can follow to bar others from ruining their efforts. But remember Magento 1 EOL is about to end, make sure you have a secure Magento 2 ready to keep on scaling your online business.

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Magento Security Checklist: How to Secure Your Magento Store in 2020?

By following the checklist given below, you can prevent (and to some extent, fix) Magento security issues. Check out some Magento security tips to keep your ecommerce store safe from hackers:

Use The Latest Magento Version

Many times, you will be told that the most recent Magento version is not the best. This is because people think that the latest version of Magento is not properly secure. While this is true, but developers usually fix previous Magento security patches issues in the new releases. Hence, it is essential to stay informed about the latest Magento patches version. Once a stable release is out, you should perform the Magento testing before its implementation.

Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Magento 2 platform offers an excellent Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) extension, which provides a layer of stealth or a surreptitious movement. It only allows trusted devices to access Magento 2 backend by using four different types of authenticators.

The built-in Magento Two Factor Authentication extension allows you to enhance your Magento admin login security by using the password and a security code from your smartphone. Ensure that you only share the code with authorized users to access the Magento 2 admin panel.

Also, there are a few other Magento extensions that offer Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) so you don’t have to worry about password-related Magento security risks anymore.

Set a Custom Path For the Admin Panel

You access your Magento admin panel by going to my-site.com/admin. However, it is effortless for hackers to get to your Magento admin login page and start a brute force attack.

You can prevent this by /admin with a customized term (e.g., “Store Door”). It also prevents hackers from getting to your Magento admin login page even if they somehow get hold of your password. You can change your Magento admin path by editing the local.xml file in Magento 1 and env.php file in Magento 2.

Acquire an Encrypted Connection (SSL/HTTPS)

Whenever you send data, like your login details, across an unencrypted connection, there are risks of that data being intercepted. This interception can give assailants a peep into your credentials. To eliminate these issues, you must use a secure Magento connection.

In Magento, you can get a secure HTTPS/SSL URL by merely checking the tab “Use Secure URLs” in the system configuration menu. It is also one of the critical elements in making your Magento website compliant with the PCI data security standard and in securing your online transactions.

To obtain an SSL certificate, try Let’s Encrypt to get started. It will also help you in becoming PCI compliant.

Use Secure FTP

One of the most commonly used methods to hack a site is by guessing or intercepting FTP passwords. To prevent this from happening with you, you should use secure passwords and use SFTP (Secured File Transfer Protocol) that uses a private key file for decryption or authenticating a user. Importantly, SFTP access is already available on Cloudways.

Have an Active Backup Plan

It is a great practice that you take strict preventive measures for Magento security, it is equally essential to have a functioning backup plan. This includes having an hourly offsite backup plan and downloadable backups. If for any reason, your website gets hacked or even if it crashes, a backup plan will ensure that you don’t get any interruption in service.

You can prevent data loss by storing website backup file(s) on an off-site location or by arranging for backups through an online backup provider. Data backup results in minimal data loss.

It is always wise to check with your hosting provider if it has a backup strategy. We, at Cloudways, take serious steps to ensure timely and sufficient backups.

Disable Directory Indexing

Disabling directory indexing is another way to improve your Magento store security. Once you have disabled the directory indexing option, you can hide various paths through which the files of your domain are stored.

It prevents cyber crooks from accessing your Magento-powered website’s core files. However, they can still access your data if they already know the full path of your data.

Be Wise With Your Magento Password

A password is a key to your Magento store. That’s why you need to pay particular care while deciding a password. Meanwhile creating a password, use one that has a mix of upper and lower case alphabets, numbers, and special characters like ?, >, etc. (Use a password management service if you have a problem remembering a difficult one.) 

Furthermore, never use your Magento passwords for logging into any other website. It is better to keep it Magento password separate from the rest of the applications to make it difficult for hackers to find your password.

Eliminate Email Loopholes

Magento provides its users with a great password recovery option through the pre-configured email address. If that email ID gets hacked, your whole Magento store becomes vulnerable. You need to make sure that the email address you use for Magento is not publicly known, and it is protected with two-factor authentication.

Invest in a Sound Hosting Plan

We believe that shared hosting is not a good option for any ecommerce business. Typically, for Magento startups, shared hosting seems like a good option, however, investing in shared hosting means you are compromising on Magento store security.

Dedicated hosting can be an option too, but it may prove to be insufficient for your needs as you will be restricted to a single server. It limits your resources, and if there is a sudden spike in your Magento store traffic, the website will crash.

On the contrary, a managed Magento hosting provider can be your best choice—one that guarantees robust security with frequent patches at the server level.

Remember, the dime-a-dozen hosting plans promise features that they can’t deliver (at least, not on low prices). Stay away from such plans, as they do not have a clue about Magento security issues.

Prevent MySQL Injection

Magento provides excellent support to outmaneuver any MySQL injection attack with its newer versions and patches, it is not always an ideal approach to rely only on them. We suggest that you add web application firewalls such as NAXSI to keep your site and your customers safe. You can also apply Magento 2 security patches provided by the official developers.

Get a Magento Security Review Done

Magento developers are not necessarily security experts. Yes, many of them are good at coding, but only a few know the intricacies of Magento site security. That’s why once (or perhaps, twice) a year, you should get your website analyzed for apparent loopholes and security shortcomings. 

This includes carrying out a complete Magento 2 security scan of the site, plugins, and installed extensions.  If there are any loopholes, bugs, or security flaws, get Magento 2 security patches through reliable security firms. If correctly done, these reviews help in further hardening your Magento security.

Get in Touch with the Magento Community

Magento has a thriving community of techies who are always there to assist you in the time of need. You can search and post queries regarding any security issues of Magento or its features. The Magento Community members also release security reports on various versions of Magento, so look out for those as well.

Append a Security Key to Magento Admin Panel

In Magento 2 ecommerce platform, you can easily append a secret key to URLs. The key will allow only those who have access to the admin panel while keeping eavesdroppers/hackers at bay.

Moreover, you can enhance Magento 2 security even further by adding keyboard inactivity time as a measure. This will expire the session and enable the admin to access the admin panel again. 

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Top Magento 2 Security Extensions 

Security extensions are quite helpful that also offer various features that look after the different dynamics to ensure Magento store security. Here’s the list of some of the important Magento 2 security extensions that you should choose for your online stores.

Magento 2 Security Extension by Mageplaza

Mageplaza security extension

This Magento 2 security extension helps in preventing the break-in attempts to your online store from hackers. A big shoutout to an effective warning detection system that helps to protect your valued information completely.

It protects the data of both customers and the website which is a good practice of any Magento store owner. If your website got hacked, your customers will hesitate to visit your store again. Thus, This module helps you check for all warnings of possible security risks as well as trace the IP which exploits your information.

Two-Factor Authentication for Magento 2 by Aitoc

Two factor authenticator for Magento 2

Your Magento store contains valuable information about your customers that you don’t want to lose at any cost. But with this Magento 2 security extension, you don’t have to worry! This Security extension from Aitoc will help you solve all these problems. It offers you to protect your store from external threats and keep the customer’s trust sustainable for your Magento 2 store.

Security Suite for Magento 2 by Amasty

Security Suite for Magento 2

This Magento 2 Security extension is very simple to install and configure. By using this Magento security you can protect your store’s data from external threats. Moreover, it helps your store increase the security shield and take full control of the site. It allows you to create an additional security code with the help of Google Authenticator. And the ability to add reliable IP addresses in the whitelist and able to sign up the admin panel securely.

Authorize.net CIM for Magento 2 by MageDelight

Magento Security by Authorize.net CIM

By using this extension merchants can easily connect to the Authorize.Net Payment Gateway. It provides the complex infrastructure and necessary security components to ensure fast, reliable and secure Magento transmission of transaction data. 

This extension comes with the manifolds of security features implemented that helps to save the customer payment methods. Besides, it supports Accept.js and authorize CIM API support for SOAP and XML both.

Watchlog Pro for Magento 2 by WYOMIND

Magento 2 Security - Watchlog PRO

This Magento 2 security extension by Wyomind is the best choice to protect your website from attacks where hackers are trying to hack the admin area. Using this extension will help your website increase security as well as you will have decent knowledge to resolve the security issues.

It enables the following of the traffic on the admin panel and the ability to block IPs on the backend and frontend automatically or manually. Lastly, it also shows the login history with proper status.

Note: For Magento security along with these extensions, one must also look for secure payment options.

How Hosting Creates an Impact on Store Security

So the above-discussed tricks and hacks were related to developers that can be looked after by them. But, you can stop here, no one guarantees the store security no matter what. You can always go to the best possible solutions. In this case, hosting also plays an important role to ensure your Magento store security.

So here’s one the ideal managed Magento hosting – Cloudways that helps store owners, agencies and developers to host their Magento stores without any worries.

Let’s have a quick look at how it helps in making Magento 2 store secure.

Dedicated Firewall

All the Magento servers that are hosted on Cloudways are protected by OS-level firewalls that filter out malicious traffic and keep out the unwanted attacks. So with this, you get the double layer of security one with Magento 2 security patches and second with Cloudways on your dedicated Magento servers.

So, you don’t have any worries related to your Magento server.

1-Click Free SSL Installation

Our built-in Let’s Encrypt SSL improves website security with a trusted certificate. On top of that, you can configure within 1-click and fulfills all your HTTPS requirements for free. With Cloudways you can configure let’s SSL certificate on your Magento app and custom Magento 2 SSL certificate as well.

SSL Management

IP Whitelisting

Cloudways allows you to create a whitelist of IPs. It makes it easy to collaborate with networks or various regions with unrestricted access to SSH and SFTP. For example, if you’re traveling somewhere and you are unable to access your Magento server, you can easily whitelist that IP within a few clicks. Again, these security approaches are to provide maximum security to the Magento server.

IP whitelisting

Two-Factor Authentication

Cloudways covers you with an extra security layer to protect your account and the Magento server. TFA is easy and effective to secure your Cloudways account that keeps your server safe from any intruder.

Two factor authentication

Magento App & Server Backup

Cloudways offers you to manage on-demand and automated backups that are created at an offsite location. Most importantly, if you ever need those backups you can restore them at any time you want.

Magento App & Server Backup

Security FAQs

How do I know if a Magento patch is installed?

You can find it by the list in the app/etc/ directory. You can scan your site with “Magereport” to see if a patch is installed or not. OR you can use any other third-party tool as well. 

How to Secure your Magento store? 

Try to implement the best delivered by the experts. Use the pro-tips that have been mentioned by Magento to keep your store secure from any kind of uncertainty.

Can Magento be hacked?

Magento is a very stable and a secure platform with some of the best security features available. And there’s really less probability for Magento application to get hacked. Over 250,000 businesses choose the Magento platform to run their ecommerce sites. It is still possible that a Magento site can get hacked or compromised if other parts not properly get secure for the Magento application.

What is Magento security scan tool?

Magento has rolled out a new security scan tool that enables Magento merchants to regularly monitor their sites and receive updates regarding known security risks, malware, and unauthorized access.

What is Magento 1.x EOL?

Magento will end on June 1, 2020. It means there will be no security patches and updates available for the Magento 1.x versions.

Move to Cloudways Managed Magento Hosting

There is no doubt that Magento is a robust ecommerce development solution, however, it comes with a lot of complex issues. Even though we have tried to give you the ultimate Magento security checklist, there are many complexities which you will face regularly.

That’s why we recommend that you move to Cloudways Managed Magento Cloud Hosting Platform. It ensures foolproof security for your servers and blazing fast performance with 99.99% uptime. Cloudways offers an Apache-NGINX hosting stack with a Varnish HTTP accelerator and includes Memcached and optional Redis caching systems.

Have we missed any Magento security tips and tricks? Please mention it in the comments section below. We will get back to you soon.

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Fayyaz Khattak

Fayyaz, a passionate Motorbike tourist, works as a Team Lead — Magento Community at Cloudways - A Managed Magento Hosting Platform. His objective is to learn & share about PHP & Magento Development in Community. You can contact him at [email protected]

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