Magento Security: Securing Against Cyber Threats

Magento Security: Securing Against Cyber Threats

According to the Magento Security Report by Astra, 62% of Magento stores have a minimum of one vulnerability. Keeping the Magento website safe is a complicated task requiring comprehensive measures and often professional help from Magento agencies, like Onilab, for example.

In some cases, businesses may also need to hire a software outsourcing company that specializes in cybersecurity to further strengthen their Magento site against potential threats.

In the article, we've gathered some of the most common Magento security threats and the best solutions to avoid them.

Magento-Specific Security Threats

You need to comprehend the essence of Magento security problems if you want to safeguard your website from them. Now, let's examine the security risks that Magento stores are susceptible to.

XSS Attacks

XSS attacks exploit vulnerabilities in web applications by injecting malicious scripts into web pages. When unsuspecting users access these compromised pages, the embedded scripts execute, potentially capturing sensitive user data or altering the content displayed. The danger of these attacks lies in their ability to propagate, as once a user's system is compromised, it can be used to target others.

Remote Code Execution

Remote Code Execution is one of the most formidable threats. It allows cybercriminals to execute arbitrary code on the targeted server remotely. The ramifications can range from data theft to a complete server takeover. This attack challenges a system's integrity and confidentiality, making immediate remedial actions imperative.

Admin URL Disclosure

Magento's default setup includes a well-known administrative endpoint. If store owners neglect to change this default setting, they inadvertently make it easier for attackers to locate and target the system's administrative interface. Modifying this URL is a fundamental step in hardening a Magento setup.

Unauthorized Data Exposure

Security misconfigurations or system vulnerabilities can lead to unintended data disclosures. This unauthorized exposure of data can lead to identity theft, financial fraud, or even reputation damage to businesses.

Brute Force Attacks

In a brute force scenario, attackers systematically attempt all possible combinations to gain unauthorized access. Though this method might seem rudimentary, with the computational power available today, even complex passwords can eventually be deciphered, emphasizing the importance of multi-factor authentication.

Silent Card Capture

This stealthy attack focuses on intercepting credit card details during eCommerce transactions. As customers remain oblivious to this data skimming, it poses a considerable risk, especially to eCommerce platforms. Ensuring secure and encrypted transactions is paramount to counter this threat.

SQL Injection

A particularly menacing attack, SQL Injection, manipulates vulnerabilities in input validation. Attackers input malicious SQL code, which, when executed, can access or manipulate database information. Such breaches can lead to data theft or even data corruption. Employing parameterized queries and regular vulnerability assessments can help mitigate this risk.

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

CSRF attacks are insidious in nature. Cybercriminals trick users into unknowingly submitting unauthorized requests to web applications where they're already authenticated. This can lead to unintended actions like changing account settings or initiating transactions. Implementing token-based authentication can mitigate such risks.

Fake Magento Extensions

These deceptive extensions, though appearing legitimate, harbor malicious code. Upon integration, they can introduce system vulnerabilities or function as trojan horses, granting attackers unauthorized access or siphoning off valuable data. It underscores the importance of sourcing extensions from reputable providers and regularly auditing them.

Magento Security Measures

Don't feel frustrated seeing all these potential issues. With the correct precautions, you can keep those online criminals away. Let's examine the safety measures that need to be taken to prevent any malicious actions and eliminate vulnerabilities in your store.

Timely Updates and Patches

Every time Magento updates, security patches are released to address problems from previous versions. Regularly installing these fixes will prevent you from exploiting flaws in earlier versions.

Performance enhancements like improved database optimization, faster page loads, and smoother navigation frequently accompany each Magento upgrade.

In between updates, the CMS also releases security patches to address detected problems and boost the platform's overall security. It's critical to use these measures as soon as possible to protect your shop from any threats. If you don't plug any gaps as soon as they're discovered, hackers could use them to access your website and consumer data without authorization.

Regular Password Updates

The first fundamental cybersecurity principle is to establish strong password restrictions. In line with enhancing security measures, conducting a thorough Magento security audit is essential for identifying and addressing potential vulnerabilities in your eCommerce platform. Make sure it is complicated, has numbers, special symbols, higher and lower case letters, etc.

It's important to routinely change your passwords in addition to creating long, complex ones. Using a password manager can help you generate strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts and securely store them, making it easier to maintain good password hygiene without the hassle of remembering multiple complex passwords. You've undoubtedly used a variety of devices to log in over time, and you might even have shared your password with coworkers. Changing your password frequently ensures that, in the unlikely event that someone stealthily obtains it, they won't have much success.

Using Two-Factor Authentication

At its core, 2FA introduces a second layer of authentication beyond just the traditional username and password. This means even if an attacker cracks the password, they would still need another piece of evidence to gain access.

Most 2FA methods are dynamic. Whether it's a one-time code sent via SMS or generated through an app, the second authentication factor changes each time, making it extremely difficult for cybercriminals to intercept or replicate.

Ensuring Secure Hosting

Secure hosting is the bedrock upon which the safety of a Magento store rests. A compromised hosting environment can negate even the most stringent eCommerce security measures. Robust hosting setups offer firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and continuous monitoring to fend off direct threats like DDoS attacks and malware. Given the sensitive data processed by Magento, it's vital that transmissions are encrypted and stored data is shielded from unauthorized breaches.

Beyond just security, top-tier hosting guarantees optimal store performance, which is essential for sales and diminishing vulnerabilities. It's equally crucial for hosting environments to stay updated, promptly applying patches to known vulnerabilities.

Regular Backups

In the dynamic realm of eCommerce, data serves as both a valuable asset and a potential vulnerability. Regular backups safeguard against disruptions, from unexpected server crashes to software glitches, ensuring swift system restoration and minimal operational downtime. They act as a defense against data loss from both inadvertent human errors and malicious threats like ransomware.

In the face of cyberattacks, having backups allows businesses to bounce back without succumbing to extortion, preserving their reputation and customer trust. With frequent platform updates, backups offer a means of version control, enabling reversion to stable versions if new updates introduce vulnerabilities. Additionally, they aid in regulatory compliance and facilitate safe testing environments.

Screenshot taken on the official Mageplaza website

Unique URL

Everybody, including hackers, is aware of the default admin URL for Magento, which is /admin. Bots and hackers will have a harder time finding and accessing the admin panel if the URL is unusual. To find security holes, hacking tools look for common backend URLs. You're removing your store from their watch list by changing things around. Go to Stores > Configuration > Advanced > Admin > Admin Base URL in the admin panel to update the URL.

Screenshot taken on the official Mageplaza website


According to Astra, 49% of Magento portals don’t use SSL, which puts them in danger.
SSL is a cryptographic protocol aimed at securing communications over a computer network. Its main goal is to ensure data privacy and data integrity between two communicating applications.

HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol used for transferring data between a user's web browser and a website. When you see "https://" in a web address instead of "http://", it means that the browser and the dedicated server connection is encrypted using SSL/TLS (Transport Layer Security, the successor to SSL).

Visitors are reassured that their data is secure thanks to the well-known padlock image and "https://" prefix. It serves as a symbol of legitimacy in the sometimes shady world of technology. Additionally, SSL encryption guarantees the security of information that is transmitted in a coded language, such as credit card numbers, addresses, and passwords.

Applying Firewall

You have a choice between two types of firewalls to protect your website. Use a web application firewall to defend your online store against web security weaknesses like SQLi, XSS, Brute-force attacks, Bot, spam, malware, DD0S, etc. In turn, the System/Network Firewall restricts all public access to your web server alone.

Firewalls make sure that you're always one step ahead of those attempting to outsmart you by continuously monitoring, evaluating, and responding to possible threats. In addition, firewalls have analytics that provide information on traffic patterns, threat landscapes, and other things.

Content Security Policy (CSP)

Content Security Policy (CSP) is a computer security standard introduced to prevent cross-site scripting (XSS) and other code injection attacks. It allows website administrators to specify which sources of content are permitted to load on a webpage. This helps prevent attackers from adding malicious content to web pages. CSP is typically implemented through an HTTP header called "Content-Security-Policy". When browsers see this header, they will enforce the rules specified within it.

Leveraging Security Extensions

Don’t take too much responsibility; you can delegate to security tools and extensions:

Magento Google ReCAPTCHA

The CAPTCHA, or Magento Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart, is a little test that is easy for humans but extremely hard for machines. Users simply have to check the "I'm not a robot" box to pass. Additionally, Google ReCAPTCHA is made to seamlessly integrate into the design of your website, guaranteeing that users easily complete the procedure.

Screenshot taken on the official Mageplaza website

Admin Actions Log for Magento 2

The Magento 2 Admin Actions log provides total visibility of all changes performed in your shop admin panel to enhance store security and safeguard data from potential hackers and other harmful assaults. In the case of a collision or accident, you may open up the log and play detective, retracing the events and identifying potential weak spots.


MageFence internally monitors your website on a regular basis and alerts you to any potentially undesirable modifications. Additionally, it has a number of tools that work to keep your website's security updated.

This Magento plugin checks the database for any unauthorized admin users and flags them. It does a security assessment to identify malware infestations, security flaws, and other issues. In addition, you may see which security fixes have not been applied.

The checklist tool allows you to discover unauthorized users who have administrator rights and whether any files have been altered.

Watchlog PRO

The capacity of Watchlog to distinguish between typical user activity and possibly malicious one is among its most prominent features. Watchlog makes sure you're aware of any impending danger by not just logging suspicious activity but also quickly sending out notifications. Additionally, Watchlog offers a comprehensive breakdown of every backend access attempt.

Watchlog is also a treasure for anyone delving deeply into site metrics and analytics. Its thorough reports can help with user administration, troubleshooting, and even improving the user experience.

Dealing with a Security Attack

If your Magento website got hacked, the first thing you need to do is to restrict access to your website, especially if using Magento for payments. Notify your hosting provider, as they might assist with the initial investigation. The following steps will be:

  • Verify the Hack: If unsure about the hack, utilize tools like Google Search Console, Sucuri, MageReport, and Magento Security Scan to identify signs of compromise.
  • Evaluate Damage: Confirm the breach and document the damage, which aids in creating an incident report detailing the hack's timeline and actions taken.
  • Examine File System Permissions: Confirm that file permissions are correctly set to prevent unauthorized file uploads. Adobe provides guidance on setting these permissions.
  • Inspect Admin Users: Check for any unauthorized admin accounts, deactivate any suspicious ones, and reset passwords for legitimate admins. Scan all managing computers for malware.
  • Update Encryption Key: Since Magento encrypts data like payment details if hacked, immediately change the encryption key according to Adobe's instructions.
  • Assess File Integrity: Identify unfamiliar or recently altered files in the Magento codebase by comparing them with publicly available Magento versions. Changing FTP/SFTP passwords is also advised.
  • Search for Database Malware: Detect SQL injections by finding Base64 encoded code in the database. Tools like SSH can help identify files altered in a given time frame.
  • Report Incident: If the breach is due to a Magento core code or official extension bug, report details to Adobe Security.
  • Seek Professional Help: Given the time sensitivity after a hack, consider hiring Magento support agencies to identify vulnerabilities, patch them, and develop a future security strategy.

Magento Community as an Instant Help

The Magento Community, consisting of developers, users, and enthusiasts, can be instrumental when dealing with security breaches in several ways:

  • Community members frequently share their experiences and knowledge about security issues. If you face a security breach, there's a good chance someone else in the community has encountered a similar issue and can offer guidance or solutions.
  • Websites like the Magento Community Forums or Stack Exchange have dedicated sections for security where you can post questions, share your experiences, or seek advice regarding security breaches.
  • Some community members develop and share tools or extensions designed to enhance Magento's security. These can be beneficial in both preventing breaches and addressing them after they occur.
  • The community can be a source of timely information. If there's a known vulnerability or a new type of attack targeting Magento installations, it's often discussed and highlighted within the community channels
  • Sometimes, before an official patch is released, community members might develop a temporary fix or workaround for a known vulnerability. This can be invaluable if you need an immediate solution.
  • If a similar attack targets multiple community members, they can collaborate to understand the breach's nature, source, and method, facilitating a more effective response.

Turning to the community in case of a security breach can expedite the resolution process, offer valuable insights, and provide much-needed support. However, always be cautious and verify any advice or solutions you receive from the community, as the quality and applicability can vary.