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Quick Intro into Magento

If you are looking for a flexible shopping cart system that you can easily customize as your business grows, then Magento is your answer. It is an open source ecommerce platform that offers easy catalogue management, search engine optimization as well as marketing functions. 

Magento allows any online shop owner to scale from tens of products to tens of thousands of products without changing the platform. These changes are made easy by a variety of themes and plug-ins that are geared towards enhancing customer experience. If you want custom functionality, however, you will need to engage experts as it requires complex programming.

The Other Side of the Great Magento Ecommerce Platform

Security Vulnerabilities

Any web security expert is always aware of how vulnerable any online system is against hackers. As such, it is always best to be on the lookout for any vulnerability that the bad guys can utilize to render your system unsafe for your customers. Currently, there are reports that there are 1000 Magento-Powered Sites Compromised. With that in mind, we’ll look at some of the most common vulnerabilities that Magento platform users should constantly guard against.

SQL Injections

Hackers are increasingly targeting the SQL flaw that is affecting the open source Magento platform. This attack is usually executed via SQL injections. These refer to web applications that an attacker uses to corrupt or access the database. If a Magento SQL injection is successful, it gives a hacker the ability to read, update, create/alter and delete data on your platform’s database. You can protect your platforms via security upgrade or the SQL patch.

The Silent Card Capture

This is one of the most severe Magento vulnerability on your ecommerce store with irreparable effects. In the silent card capture, hackers usually install hidden card data capture system or malware that extracts sensitive information from clients’ credit cards. This is most common at the checkout stage. If you are not careful, this can go on undetected for long periods, which can cause significant damage to your clients’ finances and your brand’s reputation. To avoid this, it is imperative to get a Magento Store Health Checkup regularly. 

Store Defacement

This is a malicious attack aimed at altering the appearance of the store. Consequently, it highlights the poor security of the platform thereby affecting the brand’s reputation. Usually, with a store defacement attack, sensitive data such as credit card information is not at risk. However, user accounts may be affected by this attack. The hack usually involves interference of hosting controls and site access by hackers and malicious software.

The Challenge with Magento Updates

Upgrading to Magento 2 from 1 can be quite a task. This is especially so because it involves complete migration of 4 distinct component groups from one to the other. These components include customizations, themes, stored data and all third party extensions. Depending on the size and complexity of your store, the upgrade can be extremely challenging during and after the upgrade. Some of the issues of the upgrade include the following.

• Performance issues which affects loading speed, check out configurations, storage space, inefficient database set up and poor store reliability

• Security issues which include data leaks, malicious redirects, store defacing and compromised admin account details

• User interface issues that lead to failure in the basics such as live support, product reviews, remarketing features, inventory functions, check out process, tax management and other admin tasks

• Optimization challenges such as loss of page rank due to change or URLs, duplicate content from bad robots, failed redirects from previous pages to new ones among other SEO issues

Challenges with Theme and Customizations

Yes, you might have noted that these Magento versions’ themes are not compatible. This is where an experienced developer comes in to customize the new theme to match your previous one and run tests until the functionality is ascertained. These may involve re-coding the templates which fully refactors the front end. It is during this process that you can decide to change the design of your online shop as well as polish up the UX features on your site.

The Custom Codes and Extensions

Magento comes with a Code Migration Toolkit that allows you to easily port over custom codes and extensions. It is important to ensure that codes and third party extensions are upgraded seamlessly to preserve the functionality of the online store as well as prevent Remote Code Execution by hackers. Well, this is not always easy, even with the tool kit. As such, the store owner may need to work with a custom Magento extension or make do with what is presently available.

While Magento is easy to work with, its backend can be quite complicated. As such, when you intend to carry out major changes such as migrations, customizations, disaster recovery planning and security updates, it is advisable to work with an experienced professional. 


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