7 Simple Steps to Secure Magento Website

Magento is open-source software, hackers know of its source code and how it functions and can easily take advantage of that fact.
If you are worried about the security of your Magento security in this big bad world of cybercrime, you are at the correct place.
So, don’t worry, we have you covered!
Several websites and blogs suggest a long complex list to tackle and prevent any cyber-attack.
Here we have converted the entire sea of information into 7 simple steps that cover various security aspects that you need to take care of.

1. Upgrade and update

The most basic and necessary step to prevent any security lapse is to make sure you own the latest version of Magento and that you upgrade it as soon as a new version is available.
The reason for this is simple. Each version of Magento contains certain loopholes that were overlooked by the programmers.
As soon as these are identified, a quick reaction is made to write a script to counter and fix the security issues. These scripts are released in the form of security patches in a new release of Magento.
In case a new version is released, and you don’t upgrade your Magento it gives hackers a good chance to use this fact to their advantage to launch an attack to steal information or cause harm in any other way possible.
Upgrading the newest version provides all previous as well as the latest security patches. In addition, each new version provides newly made features, error fixes, bug and vulnerability removals, performance enhancements.
The following commands can be used:

a. RHEL/CentOS

yum upgrade

b. Debian/Ubuntu 

apt-get update 

apt-get upgrade


2. Making the server environment safe

Server environment security is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of increasing security and gives way to cyber-attacks.
Unencrypted data can be intercepted easily and expose valuable information like client’s personal and financial details. FTP password guessing is a common method to hack a website.
Hence, it is very important to check on your host provider and make sure no unnecessary software is running on the server.
All the server ports must never be open for access at the same time as it increases the attack surface multifold.
All protocols in use must be secure. HTTPS, SSL, and SFTP must be made use of, to send and receive critical information in an encrypted fashion to prevent its interception at any point during the transfer.
An SSL certificate can be procured from a reliable source and then configured on the Magento store. To do this, go to the system configuration menu and click Use Secure URLs.

3. Extensions and email loopholes

7 Simple Steps to Secure Magento Website
Extensions are usually used to fully utilize the functionality of Magento, but in many cases the developers of the third-party extensions include certain code in their extensions which is used to steal critical information, making it absolutely necessary to assess the source code of the extension and make sure it is from a reliable source.
Go through the reviews and rating of the extension or first test it in a development environment and scan it using your system’s antivirus before integrating it with Magento. Extensions like ET IP Security, Mega Firewall and Spam Killer are few of the reliable and reputed extensions that can be used.
Also, while choosing an extension, make sure it gets frequent upgrades and is not outdated.
Apart from extensions, it is essential to make sure the email linked to your Magento account is a secure one as if that is broken into, all your data is exposed.

4. Strengthening the logic procedure

Passwords are the basic entry point for any user into a confidential system and the key to having a great password is an amalgamation of various factors.
These certain tips help to create a strong password that is hard to decipher and keeps password-based attacks at bay.
Don’t ever use the same password that has already been used on another website. Create a random and customized password policy for yourself.
Frequently change your password and make it a combination of both upper and lower cases, alphabets, numbers as well as special characters. APG, PWGen, or KeePass can be used to generate complex passwords for your account.
Two Factor Policy should be implemented to make sure to further strengthen the login procedure which combines the password authentication with another information that the user needs to provide to gain access to the account.
This extra information may be a onetime password sent to a registered number or any other unique information.
Enable Captcha to ensure the response is a human response and not automated. You can set it to each login attempt or when multiple login attempts are made and customize your Captcha according to your needs.

5. Admin and path related measures

Never leave the path to the admin panel the default one, customize it to foil any brute force attempts made by the attackers to find the path.
Make sure that the newly assigned URL address is hard to guess. After changing the URL, make sure to clear a cache and run a test wherein the old URL returns a 404 error page when accessed.
You can also go one step further by configuring the admin security settings by introducing a secret key to the URL or by creating passwords that are case sensitive or limit factors like admin sessions, password validation periods and the number of login attempts to make the system more robust and secure.
Directory indexing can be disabled to hide distinct paths through which domain files are stored. It prevents cyber crooks from accessing your Magento-powered website’s core files directly.

6. Backing up, scans and firewalls

Despite various preventive measures it is imperative to have a good backup in place for Magento to minimize the damage caused by an attack.
An easy restoration can take place if data is backed up as regularly as possible, it may be on a daily or an hourly basis.
Be sure to have an offline copy of data in the sandbox or in the cloud, that can be used or else at least make sure your backup isn’t on the same server as the website for obvious reasons.
There is a reliable extension available that help in backing up data. There are many online backup providers as well as some hosts that provide backup strategies.
One other way to protect your Magento store is by using Firewalls. Firewalls like WAF (Web Application Firewall) or System/ Network firewall can be used. SUCURI can also be used to monitor and protect your Magento store.
Review and observe activities to narrow down any suspicious activities like multiple failed login attempts or logins from remote locations, etc.
Your site must be periodically scanned and reviewed using a web security scanner to look for loopholes and vulnerabilities that can be taken advantage of. Magento scan tool can also be used to implement various security checks, malware detection, etc.

7. Extended Precautions

Apart from the regular precautions, certain extra measures can be taken to reduce the chances of attacks and attackers prying on the information.
Depending on the service being provided, the countries to which the service is not dedicated can be altogether blocked to prevent unwanted traffic or attacks from those regions.
Users should be provided with the minimum necessary access permissions to prevent any of them taking undue advantage of their privileges.
Congratulations on reaching the end of the article. You can now heave a sigh of relief if all the above points are checked off your to-do list, and if not, go ahead and finish them off to make sure your store has highest possible security, and thank us later!


Navrajvir Singh
Navrajvir Singhhttp://www.raletta.in
Entrepreneur. Strategist. Think Tank.

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