E-commerce has revolutionized how we shop and conduct business, offering convenience, accessibility, and various products at our fingertips. Strong e-commerce security measures have become more crucial with the rapid expansion of online transactions. Today, we face many common threats that put our sensitive information, financial transactions, and overall online shopping experience at risk.
This article will explore the common threats faced by e-commerce platforms and explore solutions that can mitigate these risks, enabling businesses and consumers to embrace online shopping confidently.
What is E-commerce Security?
E-commerce security refers to a set of globally accepted guidelines that confirm safe online purchasing experiences. These include protocols that protect businesses selling their products online and the customers sharing their personal information to purchase these goods.
Common E-commerce Security Threats
E-commerce security threats are pushing devastation in online trading. With the expansion of technology, online shopping has become a convenient option for consumers, allowing companies to engage with consumers in multiple ways, becoming profitable and increasing their sales. With the growing benefits, there are several security threats that e-commerce companies face. Below are the main common e-commerce security threats:
Financial fraud plagues online businesses from the start, as hackers engage in unauthorized transactions and erase the evidence, causing substantial losses. Another form of fraud involves filing false refund or return requests. One prevalent type is refund fraud, where businesses refund unlawfully obtained or damaged items. Jimmy exploits friendly fraud, a convenient method for purchasing and using an item before fraudulently obtaining a refund, allowing him to recoup his money.
Pishing is a security threat in e-commerce that involves hackers posing as legitimate businesses and sending deceptive emails to customers, aiming to trick them into disclosing sensitive information. They often create fake copies of legitimate websites or use other tactics to convince customers that the request is genuine. These techniques frequently involve sending false messages, and urging customers or team members to take specific actions. If customers fall for the ruse and provide their login details or personal data, the hackers can exploit it.
Bots are widespread on the Internet, collecting data on our habits and actions, which is commonly known. However, your competitors might employ bots to gather information about your inventory and prices, enabling them to adjust their prices accordingly. Alternatively, hackers may deploy malicious bots to e-commerce checkout pages, purchasing excessive quantities of a product to resell it at exorbitant prices, often up to 10 times the original list price.
Malware is a familiar security threat to e-commerce, as hackers can covertly insert malicious software into your IT and computer systems, including spyware, viruses, trojans, and ransomware. That risks the systems of your admins, customers, and other users, as they may unknowingly download Trojan Horses. These programs can steal sensitive data from infected systems and infect your website.
Spam is a security threat in e-commerce, where hackers can send infected links via social media inboxes or emails. They can also leave these links on blog posts, contact forms and comments in their messages. Once you click these links, they will direct you to their spam website, where you may become a victim. Spamming not only influences your website’s security but also damages your website’s speed.
Common E-commerce Security Solution
E-commerce stores that prioritize security share certain key features. They invest in sturdy hardware infrastructure and minimize dependence on third-party apps or plugins such as Adobe Flash. By exploring these features in more detail, we can ensure a secure e-commerce experience free from potential security vulnerabilities.
Switch to HTTPS
HTTPS protocols secure your users’ sensitive data and boost your website rankings on Google search pages. These prevent interception and protect the information exchanged by ensuring secure data transfer between servers and users’ devices. That enhances user security and signals to search engines like Google that your website prioritizes data protection, leading to improved rankings in search results. To enable HTTPS, obtain an up-to-date SSL certification from your hosting company.
Anti-Malware and Antivirus Software
Anti-malware software is designed to identify, eliminate, and thwart various types of infectious software, commonly known as malware, from infiltrating computer systems. It encompasses many infections, such as worms, viruses, Trojans, etc. Conversely, antivirus software was originally developed to safeguard against viruses but has since evolved to combat other forms of malware. An efficient Anti-Malware or Antivirus program helps secure your PC and complementary systems, effectively combating these infections.
Secure Your Server and Admin Panels
Ensure strong password security by using complex passwords that are hard to guess and regularly changing them as a best practice. Restrict user access and define specific roles to limit their permissions on the admin panel. Each user should only have access and capabilities relevant to their assigned role. Set up notifications on the admin panel to alert you whenever there is an attempt from a foreign IP address to access it. These measures collectively enhance the security of your system and protect against unauthorized access.
Securing Payment Gateway
Storing credit card numbers on your database is risky. If hackers access this sensitive information, it can ruin your brand’s reputation and lead to severe financial consequences. To protect your business, avoid storing credit card data on your servers, ensure the security of your payment gateways, and consider using off-site third-party payment processing systems like PayPal, Stripe, Skrill, or Wordplay. It’s important to obtain PCI DSS accreditation for e-commerce recommendations.
Robust firewalls are crucial in preventing cyber-attacks, including suspicious networks, XSS, SQL injection, and others frequently making headlines. They act as a protective barrier and assist in managing and controlling traffic to and from your online store. These allow only trusted traffic to pass through, and firewalls contribute to a safer and more secure environment for your online business.
To Sum Up
E-commerce security is a critical aspect of online businesses. Businesses and consumers face substantial risks from common threats like financial fraud, phishing attacks, and spam. Nevertheless, there are viable solutions accessible to minimize these risks. Securing payment gateway, switching to HTTPS, and using firewalls can enhance e-commerce security. Staying alert and proactive, businesses can protect sensitive information and maintain trust with their customers in the evolving landscape of e-commerce security.