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SEO 19 min read June 2, 2022

TOP Reasons Why Your B2B E-commerce Website Needs an SSL Certificate

TOP Reasons Why Your B2B E-commerce Website Needs an SSL Certificate
TOP Reasons Why Your B2B E-commerce Website Needs an SSL Certificate
Nick Jones
Nick Jones
Freelance writer
B2B eCommerce websites often face the wrath of cyberattacks. Take an example of Shopify. Considered one of the best platforms to create eCommerce online stores, Shopify met an internal data breach in 2020. Two rogue employees leaked the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of 200 merchants.

Nowadays there are many types of cyber-attacks that B2B eCommerce websites face:
  • Phishing attacks
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS)
  • SQL injections
  • Spamming
  • DDoS attacks
  • Malware attacks
  • Brute force attacks
Such attacks force B2B eCommerce website owners to take necessary security measures.
For example, VMWare Carbon Black 2020 Cybersecurity Outlook Report indicates that 77% of respondents purchased new security solutions. At the same time, 69% of respondents are already working on improving security.
So, investing high in security solutions is enough?

At its heart, every website security solution, whether it's eCommerce or any other type, is server-client interactions. Securing these interactions can help B2B eCommerce websites at this matter.

This is where an SSL certificate can help. It secures communication between a web server and a user’s device. So, the data exchange remains anonymous. However, there are several reasons to use such a security solution, which we will discuss here.

But first, let's understand what SSL certificates are.

What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) is a security protocol that allows the information to pass through a secure channel between two heterogeneous machines.

In other words, it acts as a middleman between users and website servers. So, users are not involved in secure communication, and the data transfer remains secure.

A padlock or green bar on the website URL is indicative of the SSL certification. It has several benefits for a B2B eCommerce website, like better user trust, enhanced security, secure transactions, and better search engine optimizations.

Active SSL certification has seen a year on the year growth rate of 25%. However, at the same time, several websites still lack SSL certification, leading to a risk of data breaches.

So, how does SSL work? It's like a set of locks and keys! The only pair of keys here are public and private keys.

How to Check the Validity of an SSL Domain Certificate

SSL Encryption: Lock & Key Story!

SSL protocols involve the merger of asymmetric and symmetric encryptions.

Asymmetric encryption is where the data is encrypted and decrypted by a different set of key pairs. On the other hand, symmetric encryptions use the same key for both encryption and decryption.

SSL certificates use both types of encryptions, where asymmetric encryptions establish a secure session between client and server. At the same time, symmetric encryptions enable safe data exchange within secure sessions.
Here is how exactly SSL secures your B2B eCommerce website:
A browser or server attempts to connect to your website at the user's request. Then, further browsers request the webserver to identify where the SSL certificate comes into play.
Next, the webserver sends the browser a copy of the SSL certificate as proof of identity.
The browser checks the SSL certificate, CA, which issues it, and whether it's trustworthy.
If the browser finds it trustworthy, it will send a message requesting a secure session to the webserver.
The web server then sends a digitally signed document to start the secure session with the browser. Exchange of encrypted data occurs between browser and server within this secured session.
There are many types of SSL certificates that you can install for your B2B eCommerce website like:

  • Domain Validation (DV) SSL certificates are one of the primary digital certifications which allow security for any domain owner. Certificate Authority (CA) validates only the domain of any certification requestor for DV SSL certification.

  • Organization Validation (OV) certificates provide a more extensive validation than DV certificates. CA verifies complete information or an organization before issuing an OV SSL certificate. It is a type of certificate that B2B eCommerce websites prefer due to the organization's validation.

  • Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates provide the highest trust for users and enable your B2B eCommerce business to infuse a sense of security among customers. CA uses a stricter vetting process to issue EV SSL Certificates and enables a green sticker on the address bar for your eCommerce websites.

  • Multi-Domain (MD) or Subject Alternative Names (SAN) SSL certificates help multiple secure domains. Organizations with numerous environments can secure them with a single SAN. It can help secure more than 250 at the same time.

  • Wildcard SSL certificates make it possible to secure multiple subdomains with a single digital certificate. This is especially beneficial if you have various subdomains for different departments like human resources, purchase, maintenance, customer care, etc.

How to Renew the SSL Certificate

Now that we know SSL, its types, and how it works. Let’s get into WHY you need it!

Top Reasons Why Your B2B eCommerce Website Needs SSL Certification

Ignoring security measures can be one of the worst mistakes a B2B eCommerce business can make. Especially when problems can be inherently imbibed in your source code, SSL certificates become necessary. How?

Read the points below to find all the answers!

  1. Open-source eCommerce platforms

Building a reliable and secure eCommerce platform for your B2B business is one of the primary goals. Hence, choosing an open-source platform that allows rapid development of the eCommerce website and free-to-use tools. However, there is one caveat to open source platforms like Magento, Opencart, Shopify, and others — vulnerabilities.

For example, in 2016, a malware attack targeted more than 6,700 online stores developed on Magento. So, how to ensure that your open-source platform is secure and there are no inherent vulnerabilities?
Here are a few practical tips to follow
Choose an open-source platform with a massive community to find answers to your security issues.
Have a dedicated website maintenance team that looks after security patches and regular platform updates.
Make sure that you test your website extensively, primarily features developed on the platform.
Update the platform regularly to ensure that security definitions are up-to-date. 
Use an SSL certificate to make sure all the interactions by users are secure.
Now, the question in your mind will be how SSL certificates help reduce security threats inherent in platforms like Magento or Shopify?

There are multiple ways in which cyber attackers exploit platform-based vulnerabilities. For example, they can use a web session to inject malicious codes or even leverage user input for cyberattacks. Fortunately, an SSL certificate does not allow cyberattackers to have visibility of the data in motion.

11 Terrible eCommerce Mistakes to Avoid

Data exchange happens between the server and browser, and during this transfer, attackers execute man-in-the-middle attacks. They try to extract information from data packets. However, SSL certificates make the information unreadable to attackers.

So, even if a hacker tries to execute a zero-day input validation attack, a secure session ensures that attackers only get a random string of numbers without public key access. A recent example of such an attack was the CVE-2022-24086 on Adobe Commerce and Magento platform.

It was a pre-authenticated flaw that attackers could execute arbitrary code through improper user input. So, they did not need user credentials to run the code. However, B2B eCommerce websites with SSL certification have an advantage over such attackers.

While overcoming the caveats of your open-source platform at the base of an eCommerce website is not the only benefit that SSL certificates offer. It also allows eCommerce businesses to provide better compliance with transactional standards.

2. Secure payments

ECommerce businesses must comply with different financial standards to ensure that transactions are secure. One of the critical standards that eCommerce businesses need to comply with is PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council). It is a standard that every eCommerce business needs to follow to store users’ financial credentials.

So, how does an SSL certificate enable secure payments?
SSL certificates provide a secure session between the user’s device and browser, which safeguards the financial transactions. Combine it with a hashing process, and you have a safe transaction that can only be broken through a brute force attack.
SSL, advantage
Hashing algorithms convert users’ data into a string of random alphanumeric string values. So, attackers can see random values instead of plain text data. Transactions are the result of conversions, and this is where you need Search Engine Optimization.

3. Improved SEO

The impact of eCommerce SEO is significant if optimized. Most B2B eCommerce businesses are looking to improve conversions, and an optimized SEO can help achieve it. However, if an eCommerce website does not have a secure website, it can impact the overall SEO.

For example, HTTPS certificate issues, HTTP code status, and redirects contribute to 6.05% of issues that affect SEO negatively.
HTTPS is one of the essential ranking factors for Google. The search engine giant considers four critical aspects of any website for indexing in the Search Engine Result pages:

  • Web core vitals
  • No intermediary interstitials
  • HTTPS security
  • Mobile-friendly website
Ensuring HTTPS security for your website will improve SEO and help achieve higher SERP rankings. HTTPS secures your website, but it also drives more traffic and conversions. However, your B2B eCommerce website will be in a blind spot without an all-in-one SEO platform. Because it's not just HTTPS that matters, and there are several technical SEO factors that you need to monitor.

Here you can leverage platforms like Serpstat, which provides SEO solutions to perform full-fledged site analysis, and improve security, traffic, and conversions.

On the screenshots below, you may see how the Serpstat Site Audit Tool works, for example. Carry out a comprehensive technical SEO audit, find and fix on-site issues, and boost your Google rankings using our service.
Beyond engagement, you need to consider customer relations for higher conversion and association.
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4. Enhanced CRM

You may ask what an SSL certificate has to do with customer relations? When it comes to CRM, trust is a critical factor. Conversions are challenging if a customer does not trust your B2B eCommerce platform.

It is vital to acknowledge CRM for a B2B business is different from a B2C company. Most B2B clients are businesses that want technology expertise or solution. Another exciting aspect is how your B2B client can be a B2C company catering to end customers.

So, trust becomes a critical factor in conversions. If your B2B client does not trust your eCommerce website, it can make or break sales goals. SSL Certificate secures your website and CRM by protecting customer support, HR, and CRM subdomains.

Though, installing different certificates for each subdomain can prove costly. Fortunately, you can buy a wildcard SSL at a low price like a cheap wildcard SSL certificate from leading CAs in case of securing multiple subdomains.

So, here are your reasons to choose SSL certification for B2B eCommerce websites. However, the story does not end here. There are a few steps left that ensure a smooth transition towards HTTPS.

How to Move to HTTPS in 12 Hours Without Losing Organic Traffic

Moving SEO to HTTPS

Transitioning to HTTPS for your eCommerce SEO has five significant stages: 
✔️ Connecting the SEO certificate.

✔️ Validating the SSL performance.

✔️ 301 redirect configuration.

✔️ Updating the sitemap.

✔️ Adding a link to the new sitemap in the robots.txt file.

✔️ Updating data in the search console according to the new sitemap.

✔️ HTTPS protocol configuration.
HTTPS
The first step is to add an SSL certificate to your website. Once done, you will have to test the performance of SSL certification to ensure security.

Next, one crucial aspect is redirecting your HTTP site to the HTTPS site. Also known as the redirect 301, you can execute it by adding .htacces to the command line.

Further, you need to update the sitemap according to the HTTPS site and add a link to robot.txt. It allows Google to index new HTTPS sites instead of an HTTP site.

Lastly, configure HTTPS protocols for your B2B eCommerce website for enhanced security. HTTPS protocol will be an indicator for Google that your website is a reliable source for user search.

Detailed Instructions for Redirects: When and How to Use Them

Conclusion

As B2B eCommerce websites look to integrate new innovative features like Artificial Intelligence, AR/VR, and others, third-party integrations increase. As a result, data security challenges will also increase for most B2B businesses with higher integrations. This is where SSL certification can help. Installing such digital certificates means better security, trust, and enhanced SEO. 

So, find the most suitable SSL certificate for your B2B website and install one to improve overall security performance.

That's it!
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