As the volume of the eCommerce industry increases each day, so does the number of cybersecurity threats. While being in this sector is profitable for many store owners, it also comes with a cybersecurity burden. Online stores need to develop and deploy effective cybersecurity measures on their eCommerce platforms to help prevent cyber threats.
Importance of Cybersecurity In eCommerce
Criminal hackers find the eCommerce niche lucrative as they often store financial data. Underlying vulnerabilities on an eStore could allow hackers to be able to access users’ data from multiple perspectives.
It is therefore inevitable for site admins to adopt robust security measures to combat rising eCommerce cyber threats. Given that online stores directly deal with the general public, they must strengthen their platforms to protect their site’s integrity and safeguard users’ data. Any failures at this point will likely create reputational and financial losses to store owners.
Common eCommerce Cyber Threats
While the digital world is prone to cyberattacks, eCommerce tops the list of all vulnerable niches for the reasons mentioned above. Online stores are exposed to various threats, from trivial social engineering threats to more sophisticated attacks.
Some common issues that store owners and site admins should know about include:
1. Malware, Ransomware, and Web Skimming Attacks
Malware attacks remain the most common threat posed to eCommerce websites. Hackers can target websites with malware such as data-stealing trojans, spyware, or even sophisticated ransomware attacks.
Some web hackers may also deploy web skimmers. This malicious code can be stealthily embedded onto a specific web page, such as the “Cart” page. Skimmers then steal users’ credit/debit card details as they place orders.
2. DDoS Attacks
eCommerce is all about non-stop interaction with customers and continuous availability. Hence, denial of service (DoS) or Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks can be lethal for an online store. Even a momentary pause in its availability for potential customers can drag them to the competitors.
3. Man-in-the-middle (MiTM) Attacks
Of the various techniques that attackers can use to steal data from an online store, the MiTM attack is notable for its effectiveness. Hackers can conveniently reside between a site and its customers’ web traffic by targeting the customer via a rogue WiFi hotspot or gaining access to an e-store’s internet connection. Such interceptions allow attackers to steal sensitive information, from login credentials to emails. Since detecting MiTM attacks is difficult, eCommerce platforms must adopt preemptive measures to prevent such threats.
4. Phishing, Spamming, Social Engineering
These cyber threats are also detrimental to both eCommerce websites and customers. The attackers can either target customers by impersonating the online store or intercept communications to prevent businesses from interacting with customers.
Hackers can also direct spearphishing attacks toward a staff member in an attempt to access the store’s network and/or database. These attacks often occur in the form of emails, or other social engineering means, such as social media platforms.
5. Vulnerabilities and Exploits
This one is a persistent cyber threat to the eCommerce industry that needs attention. Given the tremendous profitability, attackers often scan eCommerce platforms for exploitable vulnerabilities that could potentially allow for exfiltration or deletion of data or the injection of malicious code.
How To Avoid eCommerce Security Threats
Some basic strategies to avoid the most prevalent cybersecurity threats include,
- Securing traffic with SSL certificates.
- Deploying antimalware solutions.
- Protecting websites with robust web application firewalls (WAFs).
- Securing servers and admin panel with unique and complex passwords
- Limiting user access to sensitive information.
- Onboarding reputable third-party services like PayPal to ensure secure payments
- Maintaining up-to-date backups to retrieve data in case of an ongoing cyber attack
- Keeping all systems on the network updated with the latest security patches
- Running employee training and awareness programs to let the staff know of the security risks posed to the business.
While these steps are the most basic strategies businesses can adopt, it may be difficult for giant eCommerce platforms to take care of all the issues mentioned above. Therefore, hiring professional services like Indusface can be beneficial in managing security scanning and monitoring of online threats.
Like any online website, the eCommerce industry must prioritize cybersecurity for a safe online existence. Online stores should realize the importance of adopting effective cybersecurity measures to combat prevalent threats to their websites and customers. From training their own staff to hiring professional security services. eCommerce giants can employ different means to achieve this goal, all it takes is the realization of existing risks and the determination to fend off cyber threats.