Ecommerce has emerged as the most sought-after platform for shoppers to purchase products without stepping out of their homes. The seamless transition from offline to online has been beneficial for consumers and businesses alike. A report suggests that the Indian e-commerce market was valued at approximately 5 billion U.S Dollars in 2018. The sector has seen a steady rise since then and is on an unstoppable incline. The growing popularity of online payment further contributed to the growth of e-commerce. However, the frauds also begin flocking wherever the masses go. This makes the e-commerce industry also vulnerable to several threats.
Moreover, cyber threats are one of the most significant challenges that eCommerce players deal with daily. After all, individuals with malicious intent can hamper the growth of a business. This blog lists out the top 10 threats that eCommerce websites should look out for, along with some solutions.
Top 10 Ecommerce Security Threats
- Financial Frauds: Financial fraud is usually executed in the following ways:
- a. By using someone else’s stolen payment information to make purchases from e-commerce websites, or
- b. By requesting refunds for dummy products
In both ways, the business is at risk of losing money if not necessary background checks.
- DDoS Attack: DDoS is the acronym for Distributed Denial of Service. A DDoS attack involves using code to generate a massive number of attempts to use the website. This is orchestrated by someone who wants to bring down the business website. This would overload the hosting of the website, making it unavailable for real customers.
The miscreants contact the customers over email or messages posing as the legitimate business. They might also create a website very similar to the actual one. Customers get conned and are driven to believe that the email or message is from an authentic business. The miscreants then steal the online payment information from there once the customer logs into the fake website.
- Spam: Spamming is the act of sending multiple unsolicited emails or messages or comments. Usually, the fraudsters distribute malicious links among the masses through spamming. They might also put such links in the comments section of blogs and social media posts for the readers to click. This compromises website security, reduces access speed, and also makes the website untrustworthy for the customers.
- Bots: Bots are essentially products of code written to carry out a specific task. They follow a set algorithm. However, not all bots are harmful. An example of a good kind of bot is the crawler that helps rank websites through SEO. Nevertheless, bots that are meant to scrape websites for pricing and inventory information are harmful. They reduce the sales and revenues by changing the pricing of the online store or by garnering the best-selling inventory.
The admin key and password hold access to the e-commerce website, and no one but the merchant or the business owner has access to it. If someone unauthorized gets unlawful access to this, they can alter the website, steal sensitive information, transfer money out of the merchant account and harm the business in several ways. Hackers aim to gain control of the admin key and password by using attacks like Brute Force. It is a script that tries out every permutation and combination of characters as the password of the website until it finally cracks the password.
- SQL Injections: It targets accessing the website database through the query submission form. It uses malicious SQL codes to manipulate the database from the backend. They can steal or manipulate data this way.
- Cross-Site Scripting: It comes in a browser code and runs a malicious action upon being opened using a browser. Once an individual opens the browser, all the information stored on the browser can get into the wrong hands.
- Trojan Horses: It is a program that people download thinking it is legitimate software. In the background, however, it steals sensitive payment information from the customers in the most discreet manner.
- Man-in-the-Middle: It is a case where a hacker is stealing information from a communication taking place between two parties. In the case of e-commerce, hackers can steal sensitive credentials while the data is exchanged between a customer and the e-commerce website.
Solutions to E-Commerce Threats
- HTTPS and SSL: HTTPS is a secure version of the communication protocol ‘HTTP.’ It is achieved once the SSL certificate is registered. It encrypts the online payment data before sending it to the e-commerce website so that hackers cannot steal it.
- Using Secure Payment Gateway: Most payment gateways in India are PCI DSS compliant. It is a regulatory standard that ensures the protection of customers’ payment information against cyber-fraud. The payment gateway must also be updated with the latest technologies.
- Securing the Server and Admin Panel: Using a complicated password lowers the chances of someone hacking into the admin panel. It is also advised that both merchant account holders and customers change their passwords at least once in two months. Assigning specific roles to the different admins restricting their access to the other parts of the admin panel is a good practice.
- Using Firewalls: Firewalls protect against untrusted networks by only allowing the trusted traffic to access the site. SQL Injection and Cross-Site Scripting also become complicated with robust firewall settings.
Using Multi-Layer Security
It involves using several layers of security to filter out unwanted traffic. Content Delivery Network is a protection service that uses Machine Learning to keep unwanted traffic out. Two-factor authentication for logging in provides additional security to customer data. It sends an OTP to the customer via email or SMS even after entering the correct username and password. With this, nobody will hack into customer accounts even if they somehow get access to the username and password. Best payment gateways in India, like Zaakpay, offer such authentications.
- Staff Training: All staff should be trained against different forms of cyber-attacks along with their preliminary indications. In case they notice something out-of-place, they must immediately inform concerned authorities. They should be strictly instructed not to share their access credentials with anybody.
- Educating Customers: Customers also need to be educated to keep strong passwords and not share them with anybody. Pop-ups guiding them to keep their information secure while educating them about cyber-frauds can help reduce attacks.
Security threats are not going to go anywhere. It is upon the businesses to be ready to tackle them. Best payment gateways in India, like Zaakpay, are laced with extensive security features to fight against cyber-attacks.