Ecommerce stores have been the prime targets for malware attacks, data breaching efforts, and all types of cyberattacks. Since online stores and marketplaces deal with personal and financial information, they are lucrative treasure troves for hackers. No wonder many e-commerce startup mobile app ideas revolve around these security concerns besides other things.
The theft of customers’ personal and financial data and fraudulent transactions carried out by cyber attackers can damage these online stores. In addition, it can hamper the trustworthiness of a business. Ecommerce store owners know these vulnerabilities and the importance of adhering to the latest security measures.
According to the VMWare Carbon Black 2020 Cybersecurity Outlook Report, 77% of e-commerce stores bought new security products within a year, and 69% of these businesses had enhanced their staff capacity looking after security.
While the cat and mouse game of evolving security threats and advancements in security measures continues, e-commerce stores should have a clear idea of all the major cyber threats and the corresponding measures to be taken in 2022.
Here we explain the most common cyber security threats and the measures to tackle them in 2022 and the years beyond.
Fraudulent transactions or financial fraud is the most common security threat for online stores. In addition, hackers making unauthorized financial transactions and removing the entire document trail are significant threats that cost businesses huge losses.
There are also frauds where scammers request fake returns or refunds to an online store. The copy corresponding to fake refund claims is a common security threat.
Spam emails make up one of the biggest sources of cyber attacks for online stores. Email communication, known as the medium for pushing sales, is frequently used by many to spam. Spamming, apart from compromising on the website security, can also severely affect your website performance.
There are also other avenues through which spammers can set their foot in. For example, comments on the website blog or the fields in contact forms can also be used by spammers for posting infected links. In addition, Inboxed messages on chatbots or social media platforms can also be a source of spam.
Phishing is one of the frequently occurring security attacks that eCommerce stores need to eat with often. Through phishing, hackers and attackers appear as legitimate businesses and thus by sending emails to convince the customers to reveal their personal and financial data. For this, they often use a fake representation of the original web store or any other document that looks convincing to the targeted customers.
Very sophisticated phishing attacks have also targeted even software development companies. For example, an app development Ireland company reported facing security attacks of the worst types that began with a malicious email.
Some of the most common phishing methods include sending “take action urgently” messages through emails or messages. The customers click on the fake login links and reveal their information to the hackers in the process.
Search engines do not just use bots to crawl websites and find relevant content. They are also extensively used by hackers and cyber fraudsters. A bot is a computer program capable of trying thousands of combinations to guess the actual login information of the user with absolute ease. For example, some bots can easily find details of the pricing and inventory of an e-commerce store.
The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and DOS (Denial of Service) attacks are carried out to pull down the website performance and make it temporarily non-functioning.
The attackers send an overwhelming volume of requests to the server in a given time to force the server to crash or become non-responsive. For sending such vast volumes of server requests, attackers generally use multiple bots.
Brute Force Attacks
This is a widely used cyberattack by hackers to get unsolicited access to user passwords and login credentials. Several bots are used to try various possible combinations to figure out the passwords and login credentials.
SQL injection is another common cyber threat that e-commerce stores need to combat. This attack is targeted for making force entry into the database of a website. For this, the attackers use the query submission forms.
By filling the forms with malicious links, hackers try to inject harmful code into the website database. Once the website database is infected, the attackers enjoy full control of the website and can read, change, remove or replace data.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
The HTML browser code is used for the cross-site scripting attack. The attackers send browser links with injected malicious code to the target users. As soon as the user opens the website with the link, the malicious link starts running behind and gets in control of the user account and sensitive information.
Trojan horses refer basically to the malware programs that the users download as legitimate software products. When e-commerce customers use such a program without knowing its nature, it secretly steals user data, including financial and personal information. These types of malware are used extensively by hackers to steal PC users’ credit or debit card information.
Key security measures to deal with the above cyberattacks
Now that we have a very comprehensive idea about the major cyber threats and security attacks faced by websites and e-commerce stores, it is important to understand the security measures capable of handling such attacks and cyber security threats.
The SSL certificate plays an important role in safeguarding user data over the web. The latter comes with the SSL protocol and offers better data protection among the two different browsers, such as HTTP and HTTPS.
An SSL certificate protects a website by ensuring that personal data remains encrypted when communicated between the server and client-side.
Anti-malware software capable of detecting and removing viruses from a computer is a great security measure to safeguard information. Such software programs can also see malware-infected files and cure them of harmful viruses.
Security measures for server and admin panel
It is important to enforce strict rules for user credentials for both servers and the admin panel. Besides implementing multi-factor authentication, it is important to define user roles to ensure strict security.
For e-commerce stores, it is extremely important to safeguard financial data and customer transactions. For this, the payment gateway must be secure enough. Instead of storing customers’ credit card details on the website database, it is always better to use reliable third-party gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, and many others.
Web stores must deploy a firewall to ensure filtering both incoming and outgoing network traffic, maintaining particular rules, and reducing security threats to the minimum. A good firewall can be highly effective in safeguarding a website against various cyberattacks, including Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and others.
The cyber security of an e-commerce store can also be improved by enforcing Content Delivery Network or CDN. A good CDN network can protect the web store from DDoS attacks and bot attacks.
A web store can also ensure robust security by using reliable security plugins. Quality security plugins effectively protect websites against harmful bots, SQL Injections, XSS, code injections, and different types of malicious attacks.
Frequent Data Backup
Loss of data resulting from cyber attacks can have a damaging effect on your e-commerce store. To prevent the same, one needs to ensure frequent and regular data backup. Therefore, it is always advisable to automatically take one reliable data backup service to back up without manual efforts.
Last but not least piece of advice to maintain security for your e-commerce store is to use a robust and well-equipped e-commerce platform with great security features inbuilt. It is also essential for the e-commerce store to stay updated regularly.