A Complete Guide To Magento Security


When you dive into the realm of eСommerce, Magento is a name that frequently pops up, standing out as a cornerstone in the industry. But with great power comes great responsibility—specifically, the imperative need to lock down on security.

Now, you might be wondering, why all the fuss about security? First, it's about guarding your customers' trusty data and, in turn, their trust in you. A single slip-up can dent your business reputation, setting you back by miles. Plus, you don't want to find yourself in the rough waters of disrupted operations. Not to mention the labyrinth of data protection regulations. The article provides a thorough guide on protecting your store without going beyond affordable Magento development.


Common Vulnerabilities in Magento

Sadly, Magento isn't invulnerable. We're looking at threats like SQL Injections, cross-site scripting (XSS), and the sneaky cross-site request forgery (CSRF). Remote code execution and file inclusions lurk in the shadows, waiting to pounce. Let’s look at each one of them in greater detail:

1. SQL Injections

When we talk about SQL injections, we're pointing at the sneaky maneuvers hackers pull off to mess with your database. They slip malicious SQL statements into input fields, hoping to get past your defenses and tap into the database. If they break through, they can lay their hands on, alter, or even wipe out critical data. 

2. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

XSS is all about tricking your website into running malicious scripts. Bad actors cook up these scripts and sneak them onto web pages viewed by unsuspecting users. Once the trap is set and a user falls for it, their data can be snapped up, or they might be redirected to fake sites. 

3. Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

CSRF is one cunning beast. It ropes innocent users and tricks them into performing unwanted actions on a website where they're logged in. To put it in simpler terms, imagine being unknowingly nudged into pushing a button that sends all your savings to a stranger. In Magento's case, this could mean unknowingly changing your account settings or making unintended purchases.

4. Remote Code Execution

Remote Code Execution means attackers can run their code on your server. Once they're in, they can take over your website, snoop around, or cause outright havoc. Successful exploitation can grant attackers the same privileges as the application's system user. This could mean they have the keys to the kingdom and can manipulate or take down the entire system. Attackers can extract sensitive data, tamper with it, or even delete it altogether. Personal data, financial information, you name it – all of it's up for grabs. Apart from that, websites or online services can be taken offline or redirected, damaging reputation and having financial implications.

5. File Inclusions

File inclusions revolve around exploiting scripts that include files from external sources. Crafty hackers exploit these to run their own files, and when they do, it's game on for them. When exploited, file inclusion vulnerabilities can give attackers a foot in the door to carry out a range of malicious activities. They might pull off actions like:

  • Data theft or exposure of sensitive information.
  • Defacement of the website or altering its content.
  • Planting backdoors, ensuring they can drop in anytime.
  • Spreading malware to site visitors.


Essential Security Practices

It's a wild web world out there, but you can keep those cyber baddies at bay with the right moves. Let’s look at the measures that should be taken for your Magento store protection:

1. Regular Updates and Patches

Magento releases security patches with each update to fix bugs from earlier releases. By applying these patches regularly, you can avoid using previous versions' vulnerabilities. 

The CMS often issues security updates independently to fix identified bugs and improve the platform's general security. Applying these solutions as soon as possible is essential for safeguarding your store from any dangers. If you fail to address any holes as soon as they are found, hackers may utilize them to get unauthorized access to your site and customer data.

2. Two-Factor Authentication

At its core, 2FA is about doubling down on verifying a user's identity. So even if someone manages to learn or guess your password, they'd be hitting a brick wall without the magic number. After you punch in your password, 2FA insists on an additional verification step in the digital realm.

3. Strong Password Policies

Setting up robust password policies is the first basic security rule. It's not just about hashing out long, complicated passwords (though that helps!) but also mixing things up by changing them regularly. So make sure everyone in the team gets into the groove of creating and refreshing hard-to-crack passwords.

4. Secure Hosting Environment

Abandon the shared hosting; it often opens you up to the vulnerabilities of other websites on the same server. Instead, opt for dedicated hosting and make sure to throw in an SSL certificate, ensuring all data flowing in and out is encrypted and under wraps.

5. Backup Regularly

Unfortunately, things can go south even with the best precautions. That’s where backups come into play. Think of it as having a spare tire in your trunk. Setting up automated backups ensures you’re always ready to bounce back from a mishap. And remember, periodically test those backups— you don’t want to find out they're faulty when you're in a tight spot.

A Complete Guide To Magento Security

6. Limiting User Access

Sticking to role-based access ensures that team members only get their hands on what they genuinely need for their tasks. From time to time, check in and weed out any unnecessary privileges. And if you really want to lock things down, consider setting up VPNs or IP whitelists to further gate access.

7. Ensure a Unique Backend URL

Magento's standard admin URL is /admin, which is vulnerable to brute force assaults and is simple to guess. Bots and hackers will have a harder time finding and accessing the admin panel if the URL is unusual. To find security holes, several hacking tools look for common backend URLs. You're removing your shop off their radar by changing things around. Go to Stores > Configuration > Advanced > Admin > Admin Base URL in the admin panel to update the URL.

A Complete Guide To Magento Security

8. Use Firewall

You have a choice between two types of firewalls to protect your shop. Use a WAF (Web Application Firewall) to defend your online store from web security weaknesses like SQLi, XSS, Brute-force attacks, Bot, spam, malware, DD0S, etc. In turn, System/Network Firewall restricts all public access to your web server alone.  Modern firewalls are appealing because they are vigilant. They make sure that you are always one step ahead of those attempting to fool you by continuously monitoring, assessing, and responding to prospective threats.

8. Magento Security Extensions

Magento is already a robust platform. But with hackers constantly cooking up new ways to break in, so staying a step ahead is crucial. This is where security extensions come into play. Think of them as the alarm systems, security cameras, and watchdogs for your digital storefront. Here are some top Magento security extensions:

  • Magento Google ReCAPTCHA: Magento Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart, or CAPTCHA is, in essence, a cunning little exam that's simple for people but extremely challenging for robots. The development of Google ReCAPTCHA beyond those distorted letters, which occasionally caused more problems for people than for bots, is what makes it so beautiful. Now users only need to check the box that reads, "I'm not a robot."
A Complete Guide To Magento Security
  • MageFence: This extension is the full package. From real-time IP blocking and login session control to a comprehensive security scanner, MageFence is all about locking things down tight.
  • Watchlog PRO: If you're keen on keeping tabs on every move within your site, Watchlog PRO is your go-to. It lets you monitor all backend login attempts, ensuring you can swiftly snuff out any suspicious activity.
  • Amasty's Security Suite: This one's about patching up potential weak spots. With features like two-factor authentication and a robust activity log, Amasty makes sure you're not leaving any stone unturned in your security measures.
  • SUPEE: It might sound like soup, but it's far from it. SUPEE patches are periodic security enhancements rolled out by Magento itself. While not exactly an 'extension,' making a point to apply these patches as they drop can be a lifesaver.


What to Do If Magento Store Gets Compromised

If your Magento store has been compromised, acting swiftly and systematically is vital. First, take your store offline to stem any potential data breaches. Before you can patch things up, you need to know what you're dealing with. Check logs, scan for malware, and pinpoint the origin of the breach.

It's often a good idea to rope in a cybersecurity expert or a Magento specialist. They can help you navigate the storm and pinpoint the exact nature of the breach. Patch up any vulnerabilities once you've got a handle on the breach. This might mean updating your Magento software, applying security patches, or plugging holes in any third-party extensions. Assuming you've been backing up regularly, roll back your store to the most recent clean backup.

Consider this breach a wake-up call. It's time to beef up your store's defenses. Consider investing in security extensions, implementing a Web Application Firewall (WAF), adopting two-factor authentication, and taking other measures mentioned above.

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Deepak Prasad

Deepak Prasad

He is the founder of GoLinuxCloud and brings over a decade of expertise in Linux, Python, Go, Laravel, DevOps, Kubernetes, Git, Shell scripting, OpenShift, AWS, Networking, and Security. With extensive experience, he excels in various domains, from development to DevOps, Networking, and Security, ensuring robust and efficient solutions for diverse projects. You can connect with him on his LinkedIn profile.

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