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What you Need to Know About Securing your E-commerce Site Against Cyber Threats

 

What you Need to Know About Securing your E-commerce Site Against Cyber ThreatsCOVID-19 pandemic has made people rethink their shopping ways. Online shopping is in trend but, so is the concern for e-commerce website security.

In 2020, 2.05 billion people shopped online. With most people promoting social distancing by residing to online shopping, this number is increasing every day.

So, as an e-commerce website owner, it is essential to maintain an optimum site security level to capture the vast online market. 

But, with the growing number of cyberattacks, how can you install a robust security system?

Before we delve into the solution, let us first understand what we mean by e-commerce security.

What is E-commerce website security?

E-commerce website security gets referred to the security measures taken by an ecommerce website’s owner to protect his website and its customers from cyberattacks. 

It concerns installing securiy protocols like SSL/TLS certificates, PCI/DSS compliance, firewalls, DDoS, complying with ISO standards, and multi factor/2-factor authentication as well on a website. 

These security protocols keep cybercriminals away by securing payment methods, facilitates encrypted data transfer, prevents malware, spyware, and ransomware attacks. 

E-commerce website security is no longer an added layer of protection that you can volunteer to add; instead, it is necessary in today’s world. 

Why are cybercriminals targeting E-commerce sites?

Website data, bank details, credit/debit card details, usernames, passwords, addresses, and purchase history are present on an e-commerce website. 

If a hacker breaks into one, he can access the customer’s sensitive information and the website. 

 

CMS is another security issue in e-commerce. Most websites operated on outdated CMSs become vulnerable to scamster attacks. 

Hackers can easily break into them and steal customer information which can be further sold on the dark web. 

Hackers can derive information worth millions of dollars by hacking a single e-commerce website alone, so they choose to carry out such malicious endeavours.

 

 

Common e-commerce website security threats

  1. Malware, Spyware, and Ransomware attack

 

Trojan horses, viruses, bugs, spyware, and ransomware are all parts of the malware. 

They can block your website access, steal your sensitive information, and format your website. 

Malware can infect your website through accidental downloads from unknown sources. 

At times, cybercriminals also block website access and ask for a ransom to unblock it. 

In those cases, the website owner may get the website back but lose his customer base and reputation in the market. Such attacks get termed ransomware attacks. 

 

  1. DDoS attacks

 

A DDoS or Distributed Denial of service attack is a constant bombardment of requests to the server, crashing it eventually.

In such attacks, cybercriminals throw unorganized traffic from various sources to a website’s server, as a result of which the server slows down and customers are unable to access it. 

This leads to a loss of reputation and customer trust. Cybercriminals pose these attacks to hack into websites or even ask for ransom in return for stopping the onslaught. 

A DDoS attack can cause a reputed e-commerce website to lose all its customer base within a matter of hours. 

 

  1. Brute force hacking

 

This is yet another way hackers use to gain access to a website. Brute force attacks consist of using different combinations of passwords to hack into a system. 

Brute attacks are why we recommend using a secure password with a blend of numbers and alphabets.

Hackers use software to generate password combinations and apply them to your website. 

If your password is weak, the process will get easier for hackers. They can manipulate your data, steal your customer’s information and trouble you in all possible ways. 

 

  1. Zero-Day attacks

Software developers work hard to figure out loopholes in CMS or website software. 

When they find a bug, they report and fix it by issuing a patch sent across all platforms in software updates. 

But there are times when cybercriminals find exploitable issues even before the developers, resulting in exploitation. 

Cybercriminals use the loopholes as a medium to hack into websites and steal sensitive customer information and website data. 

Zero-day attacks are common in mediocre CMS systems that do not have dedicated teams to monitor their performance and fix issues timely.

 

 

  1. Customer’s mistakes

 

There are times when customers use weak passwords to protect their information, and when they get hacked, they put the blame on website owners. 

Although this might not impact the website directly, it can affect your reputation in the market.  

Hackers can make unintended purchases from the customer’s end and leave them and your website stranded. 

To avoid the situation, you must issue a dedicated warning to your customers in the terms and conditions section so that they cannot sue you in court.

A mistake at their end is not your responsibility, nor should you consider it yours. 

 

Tips to keep your E-commerce site secure

 

  1. Manage User Permissions Carefully

Permitting every user to access sensitive company accounts is not an intelligent way to venture. 

It is essential to mark the limits of every employee working in your organization and make them adhere to them. 

Even if you trust your employees to the core, allowing them to access your accounts is not an excellent idea. 

For example: if a cybercriminal breaks into a clerk’s account connected to the CEO’s account, the cybercriminal now has access to the whole company. 

The fact is that most employees do not even need so much access in the first place. So, identify key personnel who need access and limit it employing the principle of least privilege.

  1. Trademarking is a must.

One of the biggest security threats in the E-commerce industry is website cloning. Let us understand this with an example.

Suppose you have an ecommerce site; a hacker analyzes your website and creates a similar website with a similar name as yours. 

They can redirect traffic to their site and trick buyers into believing that they are “you,” which is why trademarking your site is of utmost importance. 

By trademarking your brand and products on your website, you can avoid such atrocities. 

  1. Use a reputed E-commerce platform.

If an E-commerce platform is hosting your store, you do not command its security measures, credibility, and longevity. 

Once the store gets established, you cannot change the host easily as they won’t allow you to switch to other platforms, so we recommend choosing an authentic and credible platform. Cheap Wildcard SSL certificates are available for eCommerce platforms, but the choosing right one is not an easy task.

Shopify, BigCommerce, and Wix are some of the best of the lot. They have a reputation in the market and have experience in hosting many stores.

 

  1. Keep your site software updated.

CMSs like WordPress and Joomla issue security patches regularly to ensure their customers do not fall into the hacker’s trap. 

However, many people find it time consuming and unworthy to install security patches. 

Such people are like low-hanging fruits that hackers want to grab first. 

Hackers even install automatic crawlers that can analyze websites that have an outdated security patch. 

They target them through malware, Spyware, ransomware. After that, they send phishing attacks to website customers through email and redirect them to malicious websites. 

So, never ignore the latest security patches as they decide whether you will be a hacker’s new target or not. 

 

  1. Encrypt data and communications

 

Creating a robust website is not enough to keep cybercriminals away; you have to protect the communication between you (client) and the server.

The only way to protect it by installing an SSL certificate on your website.

SSL or Secure Socket Layer is a security technology used to encrypt data transfer between a server and a client. 

It identifies, authenticates, and verifies the connection between the two entities and passes it over a secure network. 

It protects data by using cryptographic functions such as asymmetric and symmetric cryptography that facilitate public, private, and session keys. 

But, using a standard single-domain SSL is not enough if you have multiple first-level subdomains to protect. You need a wildcard SSL certificate

Wildcard SSL certificates can protect both primary and its subdomains single-handedly. It provides the equal level of protection to all domains. 

Wildcard SSL is easy to manage because you get all domains under a single dashboard. 

Certain websites also provide validity of up to 5 years, which means that you do not have to worry about renewing it every year. 

An SSL certificate also facilitates HTTPS encryption making the website secure for your customers. 

It enhances customer trust, and Google does not hesitate in ranking such a website on the top of SERP.  

 

To Conclude

The importance of e-commerce security has increased a thousand-fold since COVID-19. 

Businesses who wish to succeed in today’s world must adhere to all the points mentioned above. They need to be aware of the latest technological upgrades at all times. 

As cybercrimes are mounting, it is critical to ensure that your ecommerce site gets backed with robust security technology such as SSL/TLS certificates, firewalls, and antiviruses.

Avoid giving complete access to your accounts to people who do not need them. 

Channelize your business operations, keeping the latest security trends in mind. 

These points will help you stay away from malicious elements and keep your website protected.

ABHIYAN
the authorABHIYAN
Abhiyan Chhetri is a cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Abhiyan is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.

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