Cybersecurity Measures Every eCommerce Organization Should Prioritize

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Research lists e-commerce as one of the most vulnerable industries from cyberattacks. Studies predict that 2 billion people will spend over $4 Billion on e-commerce stores in 2020. The growing market share of e-commerce has got everyone talking about it.

Attack on e-commerce stores and Fintech start-ups are expected to grow in 2020 because of the direct involvement of cardholders’ data and a huge audience base. While the Fintech industry is expanding rapidly, e-commerce has also registered a global annual growth of 23%.

In 2013, the CEO of Target had to resign because the card details of over 110 million users were illegally accessed. Today over 2 billion people are using e-commerce platforms; the numbers have drastically increased, and so have the threats.

E-commerce is at the helm of Cyberattacks.

The growing cyber threats have coaxed industry leaders to restrict external access to the central data repository. By minimizing unauthorized access and putting data behind encryption walls, businesses are looking forward to creating a safer world for everyone.

Customers today are not willing to engage with businesses that haven’t furnished varied certification and compliance requirements. The challenges faced by e-commerce industry players need immediate attention because the growing impact can pull in millions of customers.

Common threats to e-commerce organizations include:

  1. Phishing attacks
  2. The card is not found scams
  3. Data breach
  4. Identity theft

Top cybersecurity measures every e-commerce player should prioritize

  1. PCI DSS for protecting Cardholders’ data

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) Council consisting of industry leaders like VISA, JCB, MasterCard, and Discover, has defined regulations that enterprises need to follow. Organizations that store, process, or transfers cardholders’ data need to get PCI DSS Certification. PCI DSS Compliance is a must for every organization that receives payment through credit, debit, or prepaid cards.

Benefits of getting PCI DSS compliant: 

  • It helps an organization avoid hefty fines
  • Instant boost in customer confidence
  • Protection against all kinds of external attacks
  • Identifies internal sabotages before it manifests
  • Improves brand reputation and simplifies the customer experience

Level of PCI DSS Compliance and their characteristics:

Level 1:

  • Applicable on merchants that process over 6 million transactions in a calendar year.
  • Organizations that process 6 million+ transactions even across the globe can apply for PCI DSS level 1 compliance.
  • Must get their annual compliance audit done and report generated by a QSA.
  • Must conduct and document quarterly network scans.

Level 2:

  • Applicable to merchants who process transactions between 1-6 million annually.
  • Must complete Self-assessment questionnaire annually.
  • Must conduct and document quarterly network scans.

Level 3:

  • Applicable to merchants that process transactions between 20,000-1 million annually.
  • Must furnish annual Self-assessment questionnaire.
  • Conduct and document quarterly network scans.
  1. ISO for safeguarding Data of Third-Party Collaborators

E-commerce players are B2B or B2C, collaborating with varied third-party organizations to run processes efficiently. Most e-commerce stores rely on third parties for furnishing processes like sourcing, logistics, and customer service.

Since online marketplaces rely on API integrations to facilitate smooth communication between varied stakeholders, getting ISO Certified can attract qualified partners. Getting ISO certified can help e-commerce players onboard new partners with confidence. ISO certification specifies that the organization has:

  • Risk-aversion strategies
  • Efficient data security features
  • Standardized business practices
  • High-quality management systems
  1. GDPR to protect Personal Data of European Citizens

On 25th May 2018, GDPR came into force, and with its implementation, multiple data protection laws were abolished. GDPR is one single data protection law that guards the interest of European Citizens. The law makes it compulsory for corporations to let users decide how their data is accessed and its purpose.

E-commerce stores catering to European countries need to inform all visitors about data collection and its use. Such a transparent paradigm was designed to stop corporations from sharing user data with third parties without users’ consent.

The specific criteria for corporations related to GDPR are:

  • Presence of an e-commerce company in any European Country
  • Companies that collect and deal with personal data of European Citizens
  • Companies that have over250 employees working for them
  • If the practices and processes of your organization impact the rights and freedom of EU citizens.

Fact: 92% of US companies find GDPR to be highly accurate and prioritize it.

  1. 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) to Protect Users from Phishing

E-commerce and Fintech players have often mentioned the “increasing cost of customer education” as the prime reason behind increased phishing attacks. The nascent audience is yet to get par with the hassles of online shopping and money transfer. Hackers have benefited immensely by preying on these masses.

Leveraging 2 Factor-Authentication to protect users should be a priority for every e-commerce player. While e-commerce organizations are willing to reduce the steps and simplify the checkout process, adding, 2 Factor-Authentication can impact the customer experience.

  1. Prepare for DDoS Attacks

Industry players like Amazon, PayTM, and Ali Baba has leveraged 2-factor authentication to stop phishing and card scams, but they are yet to get par with DDoS Attacks. Since these players have enough money to pay their hosting bills, they are not worried about these attacks.

History shows that DDoS attacks have cost banks $100,000 per hour, and 80% of companies were hit more than once. With DDoS attacks being the prime weapon in the enemy’s arsenal, businesses today need to rely on robust security paradigms. Small and nascent e-commerce platforms need to prepare for the DDoS attacks. Since hackers are using these attacks to overload servers with traffic in return for ransom money, preparing for such dead-lock can help organizations save enormously.

Here’s how DDoS attacks should be tackled:

  • Identify the source of traffic and restricting it at the site encryption level.
  • Relying on an in-house managed security team to identify the faulty account and restricting it
  • Working on the Application Layer to cut the connection between the source of traffic and your e-commerce platform


New entrants have turned the e-commerce space into a battleground; even the most successful platforms are battling to retain customers. The additional pressure of hacking and data breaches is keeping players from planning their future goals. Prevention seems to be a better way out. By investing in infrastructure, compliance, and certification, e-commerce players can avoid breaches and focus on brand development.

Cybersecurity Measures Every eCommerce Organization Should Prioritize

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