The e-commerce landscape is growing at an extremely high pace these days. Unfortunately for entrepreneurs, technological progress contributes not only to the enhancement of their platforms. The evolution of cyber threats is inevitable as well. With the advancement of artificial intelligence, new phishing, and social engineering approaches, it’s vital to make sure that the platform you’re working with is 100% protected.
Since you’re reading this article, you’re eager to learn when Shopify is secure to work on in 2024. Given the fact that 28% of all cyber threats target small and medium-sized businesses, you need to do thorough research on this topic. Here we offer such an opportunity. Find out more about Shopify protection systems and their weak spots.
Why Security of Shopify Matter to Your Online Business?
Before we answer the question of “Is Shopify safe?”, let’s dwell on the very basics. Why should you be even concerned with this aspect? Our team managed to specify the following factors. They might entirely reshape your e-commerce business:
- B2C Relationship. Potential buyers become actual buyers only when they are sure nothing threatens them. They don’t want to suffer because of the potential sensitive data leakage. It might target their personal security directly;
- Your business confidence. When you sell goods online, you have to process a lot of transactions. Later you use this money for your business growth. If platform security isn’t guaranteed, you cannot be sure that your online store will get all its money. What’s more, do not underestimate the potency of ransomware. The lack of proper security measures against such fraudulent solutions leads to the leakage of data. This might result in both financial and reputational losses.
- B2B Relationship: Your suppliers are willing to cooperate with long-living and reliable partners. To vendors, the security of your e-shop means long-lasting business relationships.
Exploring Different Aspects of E-Commerce Platform Security
Shopify is one of the biggest developers of software solutions for online stores. Thus, concerns about its security are raised quite rarely. Nonetheless, this is no excuse to neglect the research on the Shopify security.
Considering that this platform is one of those that shape the current e-commerce landscape, cyber criminals won’t miss their opportunity. They will take advantage of Shopify security issues. But does Shopify even have any? Let’s find this and see how strengths prevail over weaknesses.
What are the Vulnerabilities of Shopify?
Obviously, Shopify wouldn’t have over 700,000 satisfied users and almost 5 million online stores if it had major security issues. Nevertheless, nothing is perfect and Shopify is no exception. Yet, we have to admit that there have been no major cybersecurity systems breakdowns in recent years.
According to the research by CVEdetails.com, Shopify has faced a minimum number of cybersecurity vulnerabilities over the period since 2020. To be more specific, the portal reports about one XSS occurrence in 2020 and one XSS occurrence in 2022. What does this mean?
Cross-site scripting, commonly known as XSS, represents a form of injection attack where harmful scripts are embedded into websites that are otherwise considered safe and trustworthy. These attacks happen when an attacker exploits a web application to transmit harmful code, typically as a client-side script, to an unsuspecting user. The vulnerabilities enabling these attacks are prevalent and arise whenever a web application incorporates user input into its output without properly checking or encoding that input.
Which Security Measures Does Shopify Apply?
The reason why Shopify remains one of the most competitive participants in the niche is that Shopify app security infrastructure strengths heavily prevail over weak spots (which are difficult to spot). To make this more clear for common understanding, our team estimated the following features:
- Payment Processing: The major difficulty for such platforms as Spotify is that they have to make payment secure for both buyers and sellers. And it does. Security standards don’t differ across the whole platform, regardless of the tariff plan activated. This means that store owners at all levels don’t have to install additional security apps. This is possible thanks to the PCI Compliance. Such payment processing giants as Visa and MasterCard utilize these standards as well.
- SSL Certificate: Customers of online stores based on Shopify won’t be notified about the lack of HTTPS encryption. This is because every Shopify store greatly values the inclusion of a complimentary 256-bit SSL certificate, primarily implemented to guarantee top-tier data security. This 256-bit encryption standard is among the most robust currently available. This encryption method is capable of generating an immense number of combinations, approximately 78 in total, offering superior protection.
- Server Fault Tolerance: Despite the great popularity of Shopify and its obviously busy traffic, our team couldn’t find any reports about server failures. This is possible thanks to the fact that the platform has a huge Content Delivery Network (CDN). This CDN is hosted by Fastly, which is considered one of the most effective and reliable providers of cloud computing services.
- Admin Security: When managing a store with a team, it's crucial to be vigilant about the levels of access permissions. To prevent potential malicious activities, it's advisable to create distinct accounts for each team member. Moreover, you have the option to grant specific accounts limited access to your Shopify admin, while keeping sensitive customer information restricted. This setup enables your team to efficiently handle orders and interact with customers, yet limits their ability to access or collect customer data.
- Risk Analysis Tools: Shopify prefers to prevent fraudulent activities by dealing with their damaging outcomes. Built-in risk analysis instruments heavily contribute to the successful completion of this mission. In simple words, these tools utilize the capabilities of machine learning in combination with human intelligence in order to block potentially meticulous orders.
Every order is checked on its billing address. What’s more, Shopify has created a base of known frauds and makes sure they won’t be able to place orders. Thanks to an extended base and efficient machine learning, all potentially harmful orders are suspended automatically.
- Bug Bounty Program: A bug bounty program is a structured initiative that organizations offer to external security researchers and ethical hackers. The purpose of this program is to encourage these individuals to identify and report vulnerabilities or security flaws in the organization's software, websites, systems, or applications.
The Shopify Whitehat Reward program is an innovative initiative that incentivizes hackers to discover and report any security flaws in Shopify's coding. This program enables Shopify to rapidly detect and rectify potential bugs or vulnerabilities, ensuring the highest level of security for its online stores.
- GDPR Compliance: GDPR refers to the General Data Protection Regulation. This is a special set of rules that defines standards aiming to ensure maximum security for user data. Shopify complies with the EU’s GDPR, meaning the security infrastructure was thoroughly tested by official regulators. Note, that despite having complied with GDPR, Shopify requires its stores to obtain their own security guards as well. This adds an extra level to customers’ confidence.
Overall Pros and Cons of Shopify
Shopify has become one of the most well-known names in the e-commerce industry not overnight. This level of success and popularity required not only strict compliance with diverse digital security standards but also the presence of other advantages for both buyers and sellers:
- User-friendliness: Entrepreneurs can launch their online stores without the need to hire highly experienced development teams. An online store can be created without specialized coding skills.
- Templates: As we already researched, design is one of the most important features for e-commerce businesses. With Shopify, sellers can utilize a diverse range of templates to make their websites consistent with specific themes of niches.
- Plugins and apps: With additional applications and plugins, you can extend the functionality of your online store. This will boost the customer experience and increase website conversion.
- Multiple payment methods: Payment processing must be not only secure but also diverse to suit the needs of different customers. Shopify enables processing through third-party platforms, which increases the overall transaction speed.
While Shopify poses virtually zero security concerns to both buyers and sellers, there are some general cons as well:
- Pricing: Your online store might not achieve certain goals without some premium plugins that might not fit your budget quite well.
- SEO: In order to use the full potential of this powerful promotion instrument, your Shopify-hosted store has to utilize some third-party applications.
So, our question at the beginning was: “Is Shopify safe?”. Our final assumption is yes, that Sopify is a secure platform to create your online store. This is a highly respectable provider of services that has ensured secure conditions for all participants for many years while facing minimum security vulnerabilities. With additional security measures, taken from your side, you can ensure premium digital safety for your online business.
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