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Magento Security Tips to Keep Your Ecommerce Store Safe & Secure

October 24, 2019

7 Min Read
Magento Security Tips
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Magento has now become a major 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 has a 14.31% share, a significant chunk of ecommerce pie. So if you are planning to launch an ecommerce store in 2019, you should definitely check out Magento.

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

Security is and has remained the primary concern for all ecommerce store owners because of a simple fact – the customer information amassed by even small ecommerce stores is often worth a lot to criminals.

Thus, regardless of their size and operational history, it clearly shows that if anyone is thinking about starting an ecommerce store in 2019, their first choice is Magento. However, most of these ecommerce merchants rarely known that Magento offers splendid security practices out-of-the-box.

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

Even though Magento gets patched on a regular basis, there are many Magento security best practices that website administrators can follow to bar others from ruining their efforts.

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Magento Security Checklist: How to Secure Your Magento Store in 2019?

A secure ecommerce website is a trusted ecommerce website. Trust plays an important part when you have an online store. By following this checklist, you can prevent (and to some extent, fix) Magento security issues. Here are a few Magento security tips to keep your ecommerce store safe from hackers:

  • Use the latest Magento version
  • Use two-factor authentication
  • Set a custom path for the admin panel
  • Acquire an encrypted connection (SSL/HTTPS)
  • Use Secure FTP
  • Have an active backup plan
  • Disable directory indexing
  • Be wise with your Magento password
  • Eliminate e-mail loopholes
  • Invest in a sound hosting plan
  • Prevent MySQL injection
  • Get a Magento security review done
  • Get in touch with the Magento Community
  • Append a Security Key to Magento Admin Panel

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 issues in the new releases. Hence, it is essential to stay informed about the latest Magento version. Once a stable release is out, Magento testing should be done before its implementation.

Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

In today’s world, a secure Magento password is sadly not enough. To discourage attacks, it is best that you use two-factor authentication for your Magento site security.

Magento 2 platform offers an excellent Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) extension which provides a layer of stealth. 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 gives you an opportunity to enhance your Magento admin login security by using the password and a security code from your smartphone. Keep it in mind that you only share the code with authorized users to access the Magento admin panel.

Also, there are a few other Magento extensions that deliver Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) so that 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, it is essential that you use a secure 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 certification, 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, it’s essential that you use secure passwords and use SFTP (Secured File Transfer Protocol) that uses a private key file for decryption or authenticating a user.

SFTP access is already available on Cloudways.

Have an Active Backup Plan

Although it is great 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 (and sometimes, no) 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 what the full path of your files is.

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. While 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 of 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 so to make it difficult for hackers to find your password.

Eliminate E-mail Loopholes

Magento provides its users with a great password recovering facility through the pre-configured email address. But 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 a cheap hosting solution 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 traffic, the website will crash.

On the contrary, Managed Magento Hosting Platforms 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

Although 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 doing a complete Magento 2 security scan of the website, plugins, and extensions installed.  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 admin lock. For more information visit the Magento ecommerce tutorial on admin panel security.

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 on a regular basis.

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 Apache-Nginx hosting stack with  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 given below.

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Fayyaz Khattak

Fayyaz is a Magento Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed Magento Hosting Platform. His objective is to learn & share about PHP & Magento Development in Community. Fayyaz is a food lover and enjoys driving. You can email him at m.fayyaz@cloudways.com

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