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How ignoring security can ruin your eCommerce business?

by GK November 13, 2019

E-commerce businesses provide a golden opportunity for retailers to make money in the market. The revenues in the eCommerce sector are booming day by day as consumers continue to prefer online purchases instead of going to brick and mortar stores. However, there are also impending security threats in the e-commerce sector, but many retailers are not aware of the security measure, which results in hacking, theft, frauds, and scams. The consequences can be severe if a business is not taking security seriously enough.

A small security issue can potentially disintegrate the entire eCommerce business. Surprisingly, many small e-commerce retailers can’t even know if their site is already affected. Thus, businesses need to know how to protect their data and keep a safe distance from hackers and fraudsters.

According to the American express digital payment survey, 40% of the consumers had abandoned their online payments in the past because they feel their data wouldn’t be secure online. This perception is a result of many websites not taking their data security seriously. As consumers are more conscious about their security, email, and privacy, the business owners need to take some technical steps to secure their website and overcome security challenges in e-business.

What are the threats in the eCommerce sector?

Website security is the biggest concern for online businesses. The threat of attack can come from hundreds of different sources. Without proper action, your website is more likely to be breached, and your data will be compromised. These website security issues are some of the most dangerous threats your website faces every moment.

  • SQL Injection:

Business websites rely on large databases to store crucial information of customers like login details, visitor’s details, and purchase products, etc. These credentials contain the whole host of sensitive data. To access this data, your website needs a special programming language called SQL.

SQL can be abused by certain malicious third parties and can be injected into your website as poorly secured forms. These commands can delete your customer data, steal payment information, or insert other spam links to your website. In a study in 2012, they found that an average website received at least 4 SQL injection attacks every month, out of which, online retailers received almost double the attacks compared with other industries.


Source: Cloudflare

  • Cross-Site Scripting:

Cross-site scripting is a trick used by hackers to insert inject client-side scripts into web pages viewed by other users through a comment submission via a form. This script can be executed by the user who views the page, which causes the browser to perform a malicious action. Attackers can also by-pass the success control such as the same-origin policy. This scripting is the most commonly used method of attack, roughly 84% of all security vulnerabilities. By working on these vulnerabilities, you can improve e-commerce security and fraud issues and protections.


Source: Cloudflare

  • Cross-Site Request Forgery:

Cross-site request forgery is a malicious action that triggers when a user is logged in to your website. The logged-in users are attracted to a malicious website and then the code on the website causes the user to perform certain actions. After that, they collect the user’s sensitive data using their authority to post spam comments. This can be eliminated by issuing your user’s unique digital timestamps. The timestamps validate and ensure the request originated only from your website, not from any other third party.

Source: Portswigger

  • Cookie Tampering:

Cookies allow the users to log-in, stay logged in as they browse, and engage with other promotions or offers. It can track items in a user’s shopping cart and tallying the product prices. This can also be tampered with by malicious third-parties. If your website doesn’t check and validate the submitted cookies, serious damage can be caused to your site. Thus, to tackle with such security threats in e-commerce, it is essential to ensure that your website can check the legitimacy of the cookies.

  • Email From Header Injection:

Contact forms are used to convert user-inputted messages into the email. However, if malicious code is injected into the form, it can hijack the form to send huge volumes of spam email. To protect against this e-commerce threat, your contact forms need to screen all user input. When you detect malicious code, it needs to be removed.

  • Poor Data Security:

Poor data security is an e-commerce safety concern that can ruin your entire business. Let’s take an example of a data breach of Marriott international. In 2018, the company announced that cyber thieves had stolen their data of approximately 500 million customers. The attackers were able to take some combination of contact info, passport number, guest numbers, travel information, and other personal information. Marriott believes that the credit card numbers and expiration dates of more than 100 million customers were also stolen. This data breach can be considered as the largest known breach of personal data.

If you have poor data security on your website, your users can be the victims of online crime. Whether it occurs from virus infections, hacking attacks, or other system security breaches. This tends to the financial loss and inconvenience for your company, and also a potential loss of customer trust.

How to keep an online business secure?

Mostly, eCommerce retailers can see the cybersecurity issues around the time of Black Friday and the Christmas period. The high-profile security breaches and fraud cases make the headlines during these holiday periods. In response, many retailers hire expert professionals to increase their security protections. However, e-commerce threats & solutions are not a seasonal problem as fraud and hacking rates are spiking around throughout the year.

To protect your website and implementing security for e-commerce business, you should know how to overcome security issues. The eCommerce retailers need to stay vigilant about e-commerce safety year-round to protect the customer data they hold.  Check some simple steps that eCommerce retailers can take to secure their sites against attack and fraud:

  • Don’t collect and save any irrelevant information on your customers. Only ask those data which you absolutely need.
  • Encryption should be used everywhere on your website. Use SSL for your customer’s use and also internal communications between the components on your own system.
  • Always update your system and security software. If you don’t update your software, hacking can be easy for the hackers with your out-of-date systems.
  • If you share any customer data with third-party companies, it is your responsibility to handle those companies carefully.

Nevertheless, these best practices can be implemented to safeguard your online store and the privacy of your customer data. Check it to know how to overcome security issues in e-commerce:

  • Choose a secure eCommerce Platform
  • Consider two-factor Authentication
  • Use a virtual private network
  • Educate your customers and employees

Final Thoughts:

The consequences of violation of data security can be disastrous for any eCommerce business. You will likely get reputational damage for your brand if you don’t implement measures to tackle the security risk of e-commerce on your website. Consumers make the decisions to purchase based on how secure the site is. If you don’t sustain security measures on your website, your potential buyers will simply go elsewhere.

As an E-commerce business owner, you must ensure that your customer’s data are being handled securely. It can be a tricky subject but is your responsibility to protect your website from being hacked.

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