Cybersecurity is something almost every online business has faced at some point. Even before the ecommerce growth, point-of-sale threats and general cybersecurity risks were present. But the situation is far more complex today.
With ecommerce sales expected to reach $4.9tn in 2021, it is more critical than ever for ecommerce businesses to invest in suitable solutions to avoid security issues. Ecommerce security is unavoidable if you want to stay and progress in the digital world.
Some studies suggest that more than 33% of customers would stop buying from a brand for at least 3 months if they have committed any breach earlier.
What's more alarming is that the number of cyberattacks is constantly increasing every year. There were more than 1001 data breach cases recorded in the US alone in 2020.
Therefore, a serious ecommerce business should have a solid security strategy to prevent ecommerce security risks and keep their business and customers safe from potential threats and cyberattacks.
Luckily, many ecommerce security solutions are proven to keep tricksters away. We're going to talk about a few of them down below. But before that, let's have a quick look at what is ecommerce security and why it needs to top your priority list in 2021.
What Is Ecommerce Security?
Ecommerce security revolves around steps that ensure safe transactions across the web. These guidelines include different protocols that protect online users' data and help ecommerce businesses build trust.
The essentials of ecommerce security include:
User privacy involves practices that help ecommerce businesses prevent any activity that may result in the sharing of confidential customer data with third parties.
No one should get access to the personal information your customer has shared with your brand. A breach of confidentiality occurs when you let others have access to your user's private information.
If investing in an expensive ecommerce security solution isn't an option currently, you can at least consider installing a reliable anti-malware and firewall to ensure your customer's confidential data remain safe and protected.
When a customer shares their confidential information with your business, it means they're putting their faith in your website security. Your goal as an online seller is to protect the integrity of your customer data, which means you must not try to alter it directly or indirectly.
Altering customer data causes them to lose trust in your site security, and it may also negatively impact your business's goodwill and credibility in the long run.
Another critical aspect of ecommerce security is authentication. Authentication means both parties involved in the buying/selling process must be genuine.
For an online business to be successful, it is essential to prove that it is a legal entity with a defined set of terms and conditions. They must also prove they deliver what they promise to maintain their credibility. The customers should also prove they're real buyers so that an ecommerce business feels confident about the transactions.
Additional Layer Of Non-Repudiation
Ecommerce security should provide businesses as well as customers with an additional layer of non-repudiation security. Non-repudiation is a legal term that means all the parties involved in the process should stick to what they have committed in the first place.
Why You Can’t Afford To Overlook Ecommerce Security For Your Business?
The most important asset for any ecommerce business is trust. Sadly, the ecommerce space is also the most vulnerable one when it comes to cyberattacks and security threats.
A Magneto research reveals that 54% of online businesses are at risk of experiencing a cyberattack. The same study also highlights that 60% of small businesses are less likely to survive beyond 6-months when they suffer a cyberattack.
The issue is the built-in tools you get with your website aren't enough to protect you against possible attacks.
When the essential security features aren't implemented, both sellers and customers are at risk for data breaches, phishing attacks, and different types of payment fraud.
The biggest advantage of leveraging ecommerce security is it enables ecommerce businesses to gain the confidence of their customers as people only like to buy from websites that value their privacy and take steps to ensure data protection and integrity.
In addition to that, security breaches significantly impact your finances. No matter how feature-rich and user-friendly your ecommerce site is, nobody will be willing to do business with you if you haven't implemented the right security measures to protect your customer's privacy and confidential data.
The Top 4 Ecommerce Security Threats To Watch Out For In 2021
This section highlights the top 4 ecommerce security threats to watch out for in 2021. These security vulnerabilities affect all types of ecommerce and retail businesses and may result in irreparable damage if not fixed in time.
1. Web And Mobile Application Security Threats
Web and mobile application security is amongst the top security issues ecommerce store owners face on a routine basis. Web and mobile apps are an easy target for cyber attackers and opportunists as they can target many websites at a time using automated bots and scripts.
As more and more ecommerce users are using mobile apps, they're now at a greater risk of security issues. By implementing different fraudulent practices, including SQL injections and cross-site scripting, hackers redirect buyers to fake carts and get their credit or debit card details.
Web and mobile apps also increase the risk of API attacks that mainly occur because of insecure deployment procedures.
Many small-scale ecommerce businesses suffer because they rely on their CMS which comes without any security features.
2. DDoS Attacks
DDoS attack, also known as Distributed Denial of Service attack, is a practice in which a hacker attacks your server with fake traffic using multiple computers. Their goal is to make your website inaccessible for real customers who may visit your website to make a genuine purchase.
Despite DDoS attacks being so risky for ecommerce brands, only a few business owners consider this approach while deciding on security measures for their websites. That's the reason why many big brands and ecommerce stores have fallen victim to such types of attacks.
Even famous dropshipping and retail giants, including Etsy and Amazon, have witnessed downtimes due to DDoS attacks.
How DDoS Attacks Can Impact Your Ecommerce Business?
DDoS attacks can hit your server hard by overcrowding it with fake traffic. As a result, you'll experience slow page speed issues. It may even take your website offline if you don't fix this issue on time.
That goes without saying that slow site speed reduces your conversion rate as people will switch to your competitor's websites when they don't get your services in their desired timeframes.
Also, a slow server makes it hard for you to carry out the routine backend tasks.
Here are a few things you can do to avoid DDoS attacks:
- Use WAF (Web Application Firewall) to get rid of fake traffic
- If fake traffic is coming from a specific location, you can use the geo-blocking feature to prevent this issue
- Report Your ISP so that they can take timely actions to strengthen your security
3. Credit/Debit Card Fraud
Credit and debit card frauds are amongst the top identity theft frauds that impact many ecommerce businesses every year. Also, these frauds are the most common types of scams many hackers and scammers implement to steal customer credentials and use them to make a purchase online.
4. SQL Injections
Another common type of ecommerce security threat for online businesses is SQL injections.
Hackers inject malicious SQL commands into your scripts that impact the overall functionality of your website. It even affects how your website executes data.
SQL injections are hard to identify as almost all websites that depend on SQL databases are at a risk of an SQL attack.
To prevent SQL attacks, you must create whitelists to ensure only reliable people get access to your website. Also, you should install the recent security software to scan your website for possible threats and vulnerabilities.
A Few More…
Besides these dangerous ecommerce security risks, there are a few more potential threats every ecommerce business must watch out for before devising their ecommerce security strategy.
Almost every ecommerce website is at risk of malware. Cyber attackers insert their malicious code into a site script when they get access to its code. The purpose of injecting that code is to target visitor's personal information, payment details, and more.
Trojan horses are specialized programs that help attackers steal sensitive user data from websites. Scammers accomplish their goal when users unknowingly download malicious files assuming they're harmless programs.
Have you ever received complaints from your customers about emails they receive from your business account containing lots of links and downloadable files? This is called phishing in the world of cybercrimes. Your customers unintentionally pass on their private information when they click and download the links embedded within an email.
Ecommerce Security - Best Practices
Now that you know why having a foolproof ecommerce security strategy is a must for present-day businesses these days, here's how you can create one for your brand.
Upgrade Software Regularly
Updating your ecommerce store's software from time to time is one of the ways you can prevent your store from malware or phishing attacks. Having upgraded software on your store also provides additional coverage for viruses. So make sure you take software upgrades seriously and do not delay the process at any cost.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Another security measure you can take to protect your ecommerce store against any cyber attack is by enabling multi-factor authentication. Doing so will make it nearly impossible for the attackers to attack your website even if they get access to compromised passwords.
Have you ever noticed that a 3 or 4-digit code is printed on the back of your credit card? It's called the CVV code. Having CVV verification enabled on your website will give a hard time to attackers trying to misuse payment data even if they have successfully captured the credit card numbers of your buyers.
Gone are the days when HTTP alone was enough to provide your website with the needed protection. Today, you need to switch to HTTPS protocols if you want to keep your customer's information safe.
If you have already moved to them, make sure you keep them updated so that your ecommerce website won't get flagged by the recent browsers.
Get SSL Certificates
Did you know Google rewards those businesses that have enabled SSL protection for their websites? What SSL does is encrypts all the data flowing between the customer browser and your site server.
Firewalls enable you to take complete security control of your website into your hands. By using effective firewalls, you can regulate ongoing and outgoing traffic on your site.
Internet privacy has become a major concern for every online business. Companies responsible for storing user data online are coming up with better approaches to prevent online fraud and protect customer data.
No matter what industry your ecommerce business operates in, it is crucial to keep it in line with the recent compliance guidelines.
Back-Up Your Sensitive Data Often
Back up your confidential data often so that you don't suffer if your website gets hacked in the future or someone tries to swipe valuable customer data from your store.