If you are a business owner who is serious about online security, this is probably the very first question you asked yourself: Is Shopify secure?
Short answer: Yes, it is.
But there is more to it.
Now, you have two options.:
If you take the blue pill, the story ends, and you can go on with your Shopify business activities trusting that it is all taken care of.
If you take the red pill, you stay in this post, and we show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Remember, all we’re offering is the truth-from Shopify security checkout to how your business could still fall victim to some fraud scheme.
A Quick Look at Shopify
So you took the red pill. Great!
Follow us and find out everything there is to know about the security of your site and, very importantly, answer the question: “Is Shopify Secure?”
Shopify is today the leading SAAS platform in the world. There’s a reason it’s our platform of choice, and we will always recommend it to our clients. Its powerful API offers enhanced solutions to your business needs.
But with great power comes great responsibility, which makes us wonder if, with this size and so many clients, how safe can Shopify be.
But before getting into that, let’s look at the challenges that eCommerce sites, in general, have to deal with in terms of security.
Security Challenges Ecommerce Sites Face
Let’s establish what makes an eCommerce site secure. We will then face these challenges with what Shopify has to say and in the light of our own experience.
We find that there are five critical things to look at when dealing with eCommerce security.
Credit card data
Payment security is the foremost challenge online stores have to deal with. There are people out there who still fear putting up their credit card info. Most people get at least a bit uptight.
If a client were to be a victim of credit card fraud while using your website, not only will you lose that client forever, but you can get in trouble. Many websites have had to close due to legal issues related to credit card scams.
It is one thing if you lose a client’s info, but when there is missing money, that is a whole different story.
Your website also personal information from your clients. Data such as name, email, password, and products ordered usually go into a database. As a business owner, you must make sure that this information is securely stored away from hackers. Also, ask yourself if your storing of customer information is in line with your country’s laws.
Check what laws you must comply with when it comes to data protection. For example, GDPR is an EU regulation that applies to any business in the world processing the personal data of EU citizens or residents, even if you do not live in any EU country.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) reported that 38% of scam types for the first seven months of 2020 were online purchasing. However, note that these are reports made to BBB from shoppers scammed by bogus stores.
But what about the other way around? Can you, as a store owner, get scammed by fake shoppers? Yes, you can, and it is more common than you probably think.
Cybercriminals and fraudsters are constantly hard at work, and whenever they find an easy target, they will hit it fast and hard. If they can create fraudulent orders or process fraudulent chargebacks undetected, they will, and you will be losing money quickly before you even notice, putting you in red for weeks.
You absolutely need to have measures in place to avoid these types of scams, or your store will be at high risk.
If someone were to access your store’s admin page, they would control everything in your store. Therefore, store owners should pay special attention to the admin area of their website. If you start growing and increasing sales online, you can be sure that you will be a target of hacking attempts-it comes with the territory.
SSL is an essential standard nowadays. That tiny lock to the left of the address bar tells your visitors that your website is secure and that they can make payments securely. The SSL certificate not only encrypts payment info on the way to the servers but also stops malicious external scripts from attacking your website and your customers.
Is Shopify secure?: Their Response
Shopify is always on the lookout for innovation and knows that store security is at the forefront of business owners and shoppers. So let’s take a look at how they respond to the five security points listed above.
Credit Card Data
Some payment gateways do not capture credit card information on your server. But some others require your store’s credit card data to touch the server. In this case, you need a secure and PCI-compliant server to help your customers shop without worrying about security.
Shopify has been compliant with a Level 1 PCI DSS since 2011. This means that they are up to date with the highest security standards of server compliance. So from the moment you start building your website and even before you begin setting up payments and receiving a dollar, your store gets the fully secure payment processing.
So, technically you do not need to worry about credit card security. However, these security patches could easily be made insecure when adding code. This is why Shopify limits how much the checkout process can be customized.
Undoubtedly, customer data is quite safe in the Shopify environment thanks to the measures they have implemented to secure it. They limit the number of login attempts to avoid data leaking.
By default, all Shopify merchants can operate anywhere in the world. The platform has GDPR-compliant features built into it. This includes technical measures to protect your customers’ personal data and means to offer them transparency in how this data is processed.
As Shopify clearly states, complying with GDPR and local laws to protect your customers’ data ultimately depends on you as a merchant. If you have questions about your obligations concerning GDPR, consult with a lawyer familiar with data protection laws.
Shopify has some indicators in place to help you investigate an order that looks suspicious. This fraud analysis includes indicators such as AVS checks, whether the client typed the correct CVS, or if the client tried to use more than one credit card.
Green, red, and gray indicators help highlight shopping behaviors as potentially risky or not. If the system detects suspicious activity, it will flag it with a warning symbol next to the order number. You get the option to verify, cancel, or refund the order.
Do note that this applies to Shopify plans and higher or if you are using Shopify Payments on any plan.
You can also install apps from the Shopify App Store to help mark indicators of potential fraud.
Shopify provides an organization admin but is only available for the Shopify Plus plan. With this feature, merchants can send out staff accounts with different access levels. Once this is done, all members in the organization can be required to use two-step authentication.
This makes the access process safer against brute force attacks.
All Shopify stores automatically get a Secure Sockets Layer certification and at no additional cost. Take a look at how your store receives the protection it needs with an SSL certificate here.
The Most Common Shopify Security Issues
First and foremost, we have to clarify that these mistakes are not associated with the Shopify platform nor any of the back-end solutions it provides to address these issues. Instead, they are usually the result of merchants or developers making honest mistakes.
Many people do not know this, but a hacker can access your store through an app server. It is not the app’s fault but, if there were a security patch violated in an app you have granted private access to, well, you can see how dire that could be.
When you grant API access to an app, the good news is that this access goes to customer data, but not credit card data.
This is more common than we dare to admit. When a store has insecure staff and admin passwords, they risk a brute force attack breaking the gate. The password is often related to the username, does not have a variety of symbols, or is used for other platforms.
Shopify addresses this through the two-step authentication described earlier. If a phisher were to guess your password successfully, they would still have to use a unique two-factor code. However, keep in mind that a site is only as strong as its password.
Have your staff use a combination of letters, numbers, caps, and symbols. They should not use this password anywhere else. A password should never be shared via electronic means.
Last year, Shopify disclosed a security incident caused by two rogue members of their support team. These individuals engaged in a plot to obtain customer transactional records of less than 200 merchants.
Shopify contacted the FBI for corresponding legal action against the schemers. The platforms that were breached by the employees gave them access to customer data. Shopify clarified through an incident update that this incident was not a result of a platform vulnerability, and there were no Shopify security issues on credit card data.
Is Shopify Secure? Our Experience
We have been Shopify experts for almost ten years now, and we have not seen any major security issues concerning the platform. There is no major core problem to report which is impressive and speaks loud about Shopify’s commitment to the security of your store.
We have seen through the years that one of the reasons why merchants migrate to Shopify has to do with how secure the platform is and all the security measures it takes to prevent attacks.
Weighted reasons that Prove that Shopify is Secure and Legit
To this point, we don’t feel we need to convince you of how legit Shopify is. As Shopify experts, we can vouch for our experience and the testimonies of others. Here are some reasons of weight that tell you how authentic and safe the platform is.
- The implementation of several security features such as Fraud Protect, Two-way authentication, Certified Level 1 PCI Compliant, and automatic SSL certificate.
- Shopify has been around for over 15 years and has quickly become a benchmark in eCommerce. Operating this much time without any significant issues is a feat.
- Shopify is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, which gives access to its financial information and operations.
- All shopping plans include a free SSL certificate for all the pages on your website.
- Customer service is highly responsive and good at solving any issue that may arise with your store.
We are here to help
Now that you know how secure your eCommerce site is with Shopify, you may still want to check on potential breaches that might be putting you at risk and keep all your ducks in a row. There still are actions to take and updates to take care of.
Your business is to sell and connect with people-we can take over the rest. In Contra Collective, we not only do store security, but we also cover everything from the very start of your store, and we keep things running like a Swiss watch. If you are a seasoned merchant but need a Shopify Expert to help you kill it in the industry, we got you.
Get in touch with us and share your eCommerce dream with us. We specialize in making those real.