eCommerce has been elevated to the forefront of the retail industry since the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. The eCommerce sector, which remarkably thrived amid the worldwide crisis, has experienced extraordinary growth.
Before the pandemic, global online buying was rising at a constant percentage per year. In 2020, however, the retail landscape changed dramatically, owing to COVID-19 restrictions and regulations aimed to preserve public health. At the same time, consumer inclination to avoid physical contact rose.
Hard Facts of the Matter
Because of the changing landscapes across industries, eCommerce spiked despite the weakening economic activity. As highlighted in UNCTAD and eTrade’s COVID-19 and E-Commerce: A Global Review, customers gradually went digital, boosting the eCommerce’s international retail trade share from 14% in 2019 to about 17% in 2020, as more services and products can be purchased online.
By 2021, the number of online stores in operation ranged from 12 to 24 million. These digital shops all over the world provide various goods and services. China continues to be the world’s largest eCommerce market. Based on predictions, China will maintain its lead in the eCommerce industry, with 792.5 million buyers, or 33.3% of the worldwide market.
At the start of the pandemic in the Philippines, 72% of enterprises switched to remote operations. At the same time, 52% of Filipinos had to learn online shopping as a response to frequent community lockdowns and quarantine measures across the country. This only proves that companies and individuals alike have been compelled to transition online to manage their daily lifestyle needs.
Even as the world’s constraints have lightened today, eCommerce technologies are nonetheless projected for continued growth as consumers recognize the convenience of these applications.
The Importance of eCommerce Security
eCommerce security is vital in online transactions. It describes the processes and protocols that ensure the security of users when buying or selling products and services through digital means. With appropriate eCommerce security measures, consumer confidence is enhanced.
As per the 2019 Verizon analysis on the retail cybersecurity threat landscape, cyberattacks against eCommerce web applications climbed from 5% to 63% over four years. There were 234 incidences of cybercrime. 139 of these events had confirmed data breaches. These attacks mostly compromised financial information, login credentials, and other user data.
Then again, the fact that organizations are putting in place security countermeasures and hiring more security staff is a silver lining. eCommerce cybersecurity must continue to protect businesses and individuals against the rapid advancement of cybercrimes.
10 Biggest eCommerce Security Threats
If you have an online store, you must guard it against security risks that may seriously impact your day-to-day operations.
In phishing, a cybercriminal poses as a trustworthy entity to persuade someone to open emails and click on links or download attachments that contain malicious software. If your staff or customers fall for these deceitful attempts, attackers can gain access to critical information including usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and network credentials, potentially ruining your online retail firm’s reputation.
Phishing only works if your customers go through with the activity and provide the hacker access to their login information or other personal information. The hacker can then use someone’s data to his advantage.
E-skimming is a method of stealing credit card information by gaining direct access to a website’s payment page using malicious software. Fraudsters usually accomplish it by using brute force or phishing techniques. They can obtain all the customers’ personal and financial information being entered on the payments page in real-time once they gain access to it.
3. DoS & DDoS attacks
DoS (Denial of Service) and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are designed to disrupt your website and reduce total sales. These attacks bombard your servers with requests coming from untraceable IP addresses until they can no longer handle them. Then your website crashes, rendering your store unavailable to visitors.
Because of these attacks, many eCommerce websites suffer losses from website delays.
4. Financial Frauds
Since their inception, online enterprises have been plagued by financial fraud. Hackers carry out illicit transactions and wipe out the trace, causing severe financial damage to eCommerce players.
For example, fraudsters may file requests for false refunds or returns. Businesses may fall for this type of fraud by reimbursing illegally acquired merchandise or damaged goods.
5. SQL Injections
SQL injection is a harmful practice in which a hacker attempts to gain access to your backend database by attacking your query submission forms. This type of attack can occur if your company’s data is stored in a SQL database.
Hackers use a malicious query included in a packed payload to modify data that hasn’t been adequately verified. They may also use an infectious code to infect your database, capture data, and then delete the evidence. As a result, attackers have full access to any data and can make any modifications as they wish.
6. Bots and Malware
The malicious software that cyber criminals embed in your web pages or online files after they have gained access to your site is called malware. These are exploited by hackers to steal valuable corporate data, including personal information about your customers. Malware can also display pop-up advertisements on your website and redirect your web pages to other domains.
Some attackers may also create bots that crawl your website for inventory and price information. These hackers can be competitors looking for information and intending to use it to lower or adjust prices on their websites to reduce your sales and revenue.
Cybercriminals may send infected URLs via email or social network inboxes. They may also include these links in comments or messages in blog posts, as well as contact forms, to lead you to spammy websites. If you click on such links, you could become a victim.
8. Man in the Middle (MITM)
An attacker listens in on a user’s conversation with your website via the man-in-the-middle attack. An example is when one of your customers uses an unsecured Wi-Fi network, such that an attacker can intercept internet connections between that person and your website – thus acting as a man in the middle – and communicate with one party pretending to be the other party.
9. Cross-site Scripting (XSS)
XSS is commonly accomplished by inserting malicious code into a legitimate website. While the site will continue to function normally, end users may be subjected to malware and phishing efforts. Hackers target your website users by infecting your online store with malicious code. You can protect yourself from it by creating a Content Security Policy.
10. Brute Force Attacks
These cyberattacks aim to brute-force passwords by targeting your online store’s admin panel. It employs programs that connect to your website and attempt to crack the passwords it stores using every available combination. Users must implement a strong, complex password system to defend themselves from such attempts. Remind your customers to change their passwords regularly.
Security Solutions to eCommerce Fraud
In the long run, cyberattacks, particularly those that result in data leaks, cause not just operational loss but also economic loss and reputational damage. Since the majority of small businesses lack the financial resources to recover from such attacks, proactive eCommerce cybersecurity is crucial.
Here are tips on how to protect your eCommerce site from hacking and fraud.
1. Switch to HTTPS and SSL certificates
Not only does HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) keep your customers’ personal information safe, but they also help your website rank higher in Google search results. They accomplish this by protecting data transfer between servers and consumers’ devices. As a result, they are immune to interception.
2. Secure the admin panel and server
It’s in your best interest to limit user access and establish user roles. On the admin panel, each user should only conduct tasks that are relevant to their jobs. Additionally, configure the panel to notify you each time a foreign IP tries to access it. Use a better framework for your eCommerce, which provides great inbuilt security features.
3. Deploy a Firewall
The utilization of efficient firewall software and plugins is another effective eCommerce strategy. These tools keep untrustworthy networks at bay and control traffic entering and exiting your site. With selective permeability, it only allows recognized traffic to pass through. Firewalls typically guard against SQL injections and cross-site scripting.
4. Educate your employees and clients
Make sure that your staff and customers are up to date when it comes to handling user data, as well as the importance of using strong passwords. To prevent your employees from committing a cybercrime against your company, cancel all their access as soon as they resign.
5. Back up your data
It’s not rare for data to be lost due to hardware failure or cyber-attacks. And if you don’t back up your data regularly, you risk losing it forever. It’s best to handle it yourself rather than rely on others. Use an automatic backup service so that your data is backed up even if you forget to do it manually.
Stay Up to Date with Cybersecurity
If you want to succeed in eCommerce, you must prioritize cybersecurity. Cybercriminals are improving their skills, so you’ll need a committed crew to remain on top of security issues and safeguard your websites 24/7.