Common Cybersecurity Threats for Ecommerce and How to Avoid Them

Hardly a day passes by when cybercrimes don’t make headlines across the globe. Cybercriminals launch their attacks with various methods, from phishing, hacking to ransomware. While financial industries have always been an attractive target for them, many cybercrimes are being launched at online businesses.

Online stores have become a “go-to” attack for hackers for their online database, payment methods asking for credit card info and above all, they are an online business themselves. Small online stores are soft targets due to their dated and less sophisticated security measures.

No wonder why cybercrime has become one of the serious threats for the eCommerce industry.

It has been found that one in five small eCommerce stores falls for the trap of fraud every year, and more than 60 % of these stores are shut down within six months.

Data incidents not only lead to financial losses but also shatter the reputation of your business. Customers will be less likely to buy from the store that has experienced a cyber incident. After all, no one to take a chance by providing their credit card details to such a vulnerable business. On top of that, Singapore has a strict cybersecurity act that has penalized the businesses whose negligence led to a data incident.

Therefore, it is safe to say that eCommerce cybersecurity is important for the bottom line success of any online store. Or you can say that cybersecurity is as important as other business assets.

To create strong cybersecurity for your eCommerce business, it is important to understand the latest risks. Here we have shared some of them.

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks:

A DDoS attack involves the servers being snowballed with requests from thousands of untraceable IP addresses. Or you can say that it is a method to make an online service unavailable by flooding it with traffic from various sources. Such attacks are designed for banks, e-commerce, and other organizations.

DDoS attacks are not carried out on a large scale yet they can be devastating for your business. Such attacks are commonly inflicted during holiday seasons when online shopping is on the rise. During Cyber Monday 2018, there was a 109% increase in DDoS attacks.

Therefore, online businesses should opt for a DDoS protection agreement as well as work with the service to create traffic tunnels during business as usual. Trying to deal with a DDoS attack with no protection in place is a nightmare no business wants to experience during peak season.

 Credit Card Fraud:

Credit card fraud has been one of the oldest cybersecurity threats to eCommerce sites. This happens when a threat actor or a fraudster uses the stolen credit card or the data from the card to make unauthorized purchases in your name or withdraw money using your account.

A fraudster requests the order to be delivered to a third-party address to collect the stolen goods.

There are many ways to spot risks like credit card fraud:

  • If the order is set to be delivered to an address other than the billing address.
  • Higher volume of sale than your site is used to get.
  • A successful order being preceded by multiple unsuccessful ones.
  • The IP address of the customer is not in the same location as the billing information on the order.

Besides, it is important to verify any kind of transaction before any payment is taken. If you fail to do this, not only you lose valuable inventory, but you might be ordered to pay back whoever’s card has been scammed by the court.

Malware:

The term malware is used for any software, virus, spyware, or ransomware that is designed to cause extensive damage to data and systems or to gain unauthorized access to a network. On top of that, hackers continue to enhance malware by inventing new untraceable ways to conceal it.

More malware is made annually than legal software. No one intentionally downloads malware or let it to access their computer, but it somehow finds it ways to access computer systems.

Using malware, cybercriminals can get their hands on your sensitive information, including customer payment data. A malware attack can shatter your brand reputation.

There was a malware called Magento Core that has infected over 7,000 eCommerce sites. Willem De Groot, a well-known researcher, found that over 6000 online stores were prone to a malware threat.

Malvertising, ransomware, and SQL injections are some notorious malware types being used to attack online stores.

Therefore, every online store needs to have firewalls to protect the sensitive information of their customers and clients. A backup plan and data security are important if your online store is constantly facing the attacks.

E-Skimming:

E-skimming involves the stealing of personal data, such as credit card info, from payment card processes pages on eCommerce sites. It is a big security risk for online stores, as customers can be misled or misguided by external links or portals to payment pages.

Or threat actors can get access to your site via third-party or cross-site scripting. This is called e-skimming because cybercriminals introduce a skimming code on e-commerce payment card processing web pages to capture credit card and PIN and send the stolen info to the site controlled by them.

It works by leveraging a security loophole in the online store’s website. Besides, it tries to gain access to the network through a phishing email or brute force of admin credentials.

The stolen data is then transferred to an Internet-connected server using a domain name owned by the actor. E-skimming has affected many online companies in the retail, travel, entertainment, utility, and third-party vendors like online advertisements and web analytics.

Check out the video presentation that gives an overview  risk that is associated with the business and explains the steps that must be taken as safety steps to protect from the cyber attack

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS FROM CYBERCRIME

So you must have understood about some common security threats to your eCommerce store. Cybercrimes not only cause financial and data loss but also lead to a shattered business reputation and legal penalties.

Therefore, cybersecurity should be part of your business strategy. Here are some ways to safeguard your online business against cybercrimes.

Perform a Cyber Security Risk Assessment:

What was the last time when you conduct this test?

If you haven’t done this for a long time, there is no right time to conduct this test. Do it right away to detect the issues in your processes and technology. There are many self-assessment tools to choose from. Or it is better if you have a cybersecurity pro to assess the security of your online business.

Update and Patch Your All Software:

Hackers can get access to your systems via code defects or vulnerabilities. Some loopholes remain unnoticed for years before they are fixed, so if you don’t update regularly, you could make your networks prone to a threat actor. Exploits can affect all software, from browsers to OS and specialized software.

Educate and Train Your Staff:

Humans are often the weakest link in cybersecurity. For example, some employees use easy passwords that can be easily decoded by a hacker. Some might leave their system exposed with no lock or passcode. Some can lose their laptops that contain sensitive data. Above all, most employees tend to open malicious emails that trick them giving their account info—a practice that is known and phishing.

Therefore, no matter if you are a small online store or a big company, you need to work over the cyber education of your employees. Cyber education shouldn’t be confined to your IT team only; rather it should cover everyone across your organization. Cyber education can be delivered through a seminar or some sessions.

Choose Your Ecommerce Hosting Company Wisely:

Web hosting plays an important role in the security of your online business. Make sure to choose a dedicated web hosting for your online business. This is because shared hosting has multiple users accessing the same server under the same OS.

A shared platform might not be safe for your website. For example, a shared user with malicious intention can compromise the resources of your website. Besides, if some shared users have a website or software that has security vulnerabilities, your website is exposed to the same risks.

When choosing a web hosting service provider, make sure to check out the type of tools and hardware they use. Prefer the hosting companies with advanced and updated software as their tools are secure.

Always Create a Strong Password:

Do you use simple passwords like 1234, ABCD or your Date of Birth? This way, you are serving the keys of your network to the hackers in a platter.

Today’s cybercriminals are equipped with several password-stealing tactics, but the easiest one is simply to buy your passwords off the dark web. The buying and selling of login credentials and passwords is a lucrative business, and if you have been using the same password for a couple of years, chances are it’s been hacked.

But if you are smart enough to protect your passwords, cybercriminals have to work hard to crack them. In this scenario, they can resort to other attacks, including brute attack, phishing, and dictionary attack. In both cases, you need to create strong passwords that shouldn’t be as predictable as your date of birth or car number.

Here are some tips to create strong passwords:

  • Make it long that could cover 15 characters. Make it a mix of numbers, symbols, upper case and lower case. The more complicated your password is, and the challenging it is for a brute force attack to crack it.
  • Avoid common substitutions. Whether you apply DOORBELL or DOOR8377, it would be a low hanging fruit for a threat actor.
  • Don’t write it down anywhere. There are many password managers tool you can buy from authentic stores.
  • Use two-factor authentication security system for your online store. It would also protect your customers from password stealing as they have to go through one more step to confirm their validity. For example, an OTP can be sent to their registered phone number.

Here is our infographic which gives you a clear picture of how to protect your e-commerce business from                      Cyberattack. Give it a Read 

Bottom Line:

You can’t afford to take the safety of your online business for granted. Sooner or later, you have to pay for that with comprised security. And a security incident not only makes your data vulnerable but also shatters your reputation. Even worse, it can lead to the closing of your business. Therefore, cybersecurity, as we have told you many times, is as important as your business assets. It is important to get familiar with the latest threats and prepare accordingly.

Imagine cybersecurity as a fortress for your business which is surrounded by the army of online threats trying to get inside. The stronger your citadel is, the safer your business inside. Lacking sound cybersecurity means you are preparing for the fall of your business.

What do you think? Let us know by commenting below.