eCommerce Security Threats and Protection Plan for Your Online Store

eCommerce Security Threats

With the popularity of eCommerce business, you have to be aware about eCommerce security threats and take proper protection plan for your online store.

It is very easy to become an online store owner but difficult to keep it safe from hacking, phishing and other cyber attacks. It is a nightmare for most of the online business owners. 

Rather than wait until one of these eCommerce security threats attacks your site, you should work on building a proactive protection and prevention plan to secure your eCommerce store

Let’s check out the common eCommerce security threats and solutions to fight back.

eCommerce Security Threats

eCommerce Security Threats You Need to Know About

A secure online store build good relationship with customer. Many customers today choose online shopping rather traditional shopping methods. Unfortunately, this steady rise in the eCommerce  market is one of the big reason cyber threats.

You have to take security measures to protect customer data. If you fail to protect your online store from threats, you become vulnerable to these breaches. Ultimately, you’ll lost customer’s trust, and your brand’s reputation.

Here are the most common cyber threats eCommerce sites face:

1. Spam

The full form of Spam is Stupid Pointless Annoying Malware. Any kind of unwanted, unsolicited digital communication, often an email, that gets sent out in bulk is known as Spam.

Blog comments or contact forms are also an open invitation for online spammers that want to leave infected links on your site to hamper you. They often send them via social media inbox and wait for you and your employees to click on it. Spam message or mail not only affects site security, but it also damages your website speed too.

2. Phishing

It is the simplest kind of cyber attack and it is the most dangerous and effective. Phishing emails trick victims to give up the sensitive information, e.g. website logins, and credit card info, by way of social engineering and email spoofing. Customer believe that the request is coming from the business.

Common phishing techniques include:

  • A request for payment of an outstanding invoice.
  • A request link to reset your password or verify your account.
  • Verification of purchases you never made.
  • A request for updated billing information.

3. Bots

Bots, or Internet robots, are also known as spiders, crawlers, and web bots. While they may be utilized to rank your website in Search Engine Result Pages but they often come in the form of malware.

Malicious bots scrape websites for pricing and inventory information. The hacker use this information to change pricing on your site or hold popular inventory in shopping carts, leading to a drop in your sales and revenue.

4. DDoS Attack

A Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic and take the site offline. A DDoS attack is like a traffic jam clogging up with highway, preventing regular traffic from arriving at its desired destination.

An attacker need to gain control of a network of online machines in order to carry out an attack. Computers and other machines are infected with malware, turning each one into a bot. The attacker then got remote control over the group of bots, which is called a botnet.

Once a botnet is established, the attacker is able to direct the machines by sending updated instructions to each bot via a method of remote control.

5. Brute Force Attacks

A brute force attack is a trial-and-error method used to obtain personal information such as a user password or personal identification number (PIN). It uses a programs that establish a connection with your website and use every possible combination to crack your password.

The following measures can be taken to defend against brute force attacks:

  • Create complex passwords
  • Limiting the number of times a user can successfully attempt to log in
  • Temporarily locking out users who exceed the specified number of failed login attempts

A brute force attack is also known as brute force cracking or simply brute force.

6. SQL Injections

SQL Injection (SQLi) is a type of an injection attack to access your database by targeting your query submission forms. Attackers use SQL Injection vulnerabilities to bypass application security measures. They use SQL Injection to add, modify, and delete records in the database.

7. XSS

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks are a type of injection, in which malicious scripts are injected into trusted websites. An attacker uses a web application to send malicious code, generally in the form of a browser side script, to a different end user. 

The end user’s browser has no way to identify that the script should not be trusted, and will execute the script. Because he/she thinks the script came from a trusted source, the malicious script can access any cookies, session tokens, or other sensitive information retained by the browser and used with that site.

8. Trojan Horses

A Trojan horse, or Trojan, is a type of malicious code or software that looks legitimate but can take full control of your computer. It is designed to damage, disrupt, steal, or in general inflict some other harmful action on your data or network.

A Trojan is sometimes called a Trojan virus or a Trojan horse virus. Viruses can execute and replicate themselves but A Trojan cannot. A user has to execute Trojans.

Whether you call it Trojan malware or a Trojan virus, it’s smart to know how this infiltrator works and what you can do to keep your devices safe.

Say, you’ve received an email from someone you know and click on what looks like a legitimate attachment. The email is from a cyber criminal, and the file you clicked on, downloaded and opened — has gone on to install malware on your device.

When you execute the program, the malware can spread to other files and damage your computer.

eCommerce Security Threats and Solutions

It’s important to note that eCommerce security threats don’t always attack to steal your customers’ credit card information or personal details. Hackers and bots may go around your site for access to your own company’s data, too.

Regardless of the type of eCommerce security threat you face, you can imagine how costly this could end up your business and reputation. So, this is where the eCommerce threat protection plan comes into play.

1. eCommerce Security Threats and Solution: Switch to HTTPS

Http (or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) is the way by which data is moved around the Web and Https (or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) is the answer to the data protection issue. Https protects data by encrypting it before sending by using an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate.

An SSL certificate contains both public and private encryption keys that are long strings of alphanumeric characters used to encrypt data in a way that’s very difficult to crack thus making it ideal for protecting sensitive data.

The benefit of updating to https is higher ranking on Google’s search page since Google considers HTTPS as a ranking factor.

The process of changing from http to https:

Changing from http to https is pretty straightforward:

  1. Purchase an SSL certificate from your hosting,
  2. Install SSL certificate on your website’s hosting account,
  3. Make sure that any website links are not broken after you flip the https switch, and
  4. Set up 301 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS so that search engines are notified that your site’s addresses have changed and anyone who has bookmarked a page on your site is automatically redirected to the https address after you flip the switch.

It’s just that easy.

2. eCommerce Security Threats and Solution: Server and Admin Panel Security

Make sure that you’re using a web hosting company that you trust has your site’s security top-of-mind. This means there should be a server-side firewall, an option to add a CDN, SSL certificate and hosting plans that don’t require you to share the server environment with other websites.

Another important issue, most of the eCommerce platforms come with default passwords that are ridiculously easy to guess. And if you don’t change them you are exposing yourself to hacks. Use complex password and usernames and make sure to change them frequently.

3. eCommerce Security Threats and Solution: Payment Gateway Security

Payment fraud is now one of the biggest problems for online business owners. So, payment gateway security is another important protection of your eCommerce store.

In order to save your online store from hacker, you should never store credit card information on your servers and ensure that your payment gateways security is not at risk. 

You can use offline storage where they are far from the privy of hackers. You may also consider third party payment processing system like PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, etc. to handle the credit card-related transaction in whole.

4. eCommerce Security Threats and Solution: Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software

For the most cases, “antivirus” and “anti-malware” mean the same thing. They both refer to software that is designed to detect, protect against, and remove malicious software. 

Use antivirus and anti-malware software to protect your store from threats.

5. eCommerce Security Threats and Solution: Firewall

Generally, your web host has a firewall for your server. You should also think about getting one for your computer as well as for the online store itself. Many security plugins come with a built-in firewall. You can use them for WordPress security.

Firewall protect against cyber threats such as SQL injections and cross-site scripting. It allows only trusted traffic in.

6. eCommerce Security Threats and Solution: SSL certificate

SSL Certificates are small data files that link a key to transactions on different paths on a network. Typically, SSL certificate is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, and more recently is becoming the norm when secure browsing of social media sites.

An online store needs to install the SSL Certificate onto its web server to initiate a secure session with browsers. Once a secure connection is established, all web traffic between the web server and the web browser will be secured.

If you want to conduct any type of business on your site, you need SSL certificates, so that every transaction process that takes place on your site is secure.

7. eCommerce Security Threats and Solution: Spam Blocker

As we mentioned earlier, spam can be problematic for your eCommerce store if you have a blog on it or a generic contact form. If that’s the case, use plugin to keep known threats away from your site.

8. eCommerce Security Threats and Solution: Be PCI DSS Compliant

PCI DSS compliance is a must-have for any store that transacts money online. Data Security Standard of PCI is adopted by every branded credit card company in the world. It is a universally accepted benchmark for eCommerce security which establishes the website as one that is safe to transact money with.

9. eCommerce Security Threats and Solution: CDN

A CDN allows for the quick transfer of assets needed for loading Internet content including HTML pages, javascript files, cascade style sheets, images, and videos. The popularity of CDN services continues to grow, and today the majority of web traffic is served through CDNs, including traffic from major social sites like Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon.

A properly configured CDN may also help protect online store against some common malicious attacks, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks.

10. eCommerce Security Threats and Solution: Ecommerce Security Plugins

Security plugins are a simple way to protect your websites. They provide protection against bad bots, SQLi, XSS, code injections, DDoS attack and lots of other severe attacks.

11. eCommerce Security Threats and Solution: Backup Your Data

Data loss due to hardware malfunction or cyber-attacks is very common. And if you don’t backup your data regularly, you are at the risk of losing it. You should do it yourself. Employ automatic backup service so that all your data will be backed up automatically, even you forgot to update it manually.

12. eCommerce Security Threats and Solution: Stay Updated

When software goes outdated or even leave the suggested updates from the provider, you’re putting your eCommerce business at risk. So, keep everything updated regularly. This includes your:

  • Computer
  • Company’s network
  • Server software
  • PHP version
  • The WordPress core (if use)
  • WordPress plugins and themes (if use)

13. eCommerce Security Threats and Solution: Demand Strong Passwords From Customers

Your eCommerce security begins with customers. They are the primary persons of their own confidential information. Their safety begins with strong passwords that cannot be hacked or broken into. 

A customer-centric eCommerce store always demand a strong password from its customers to use that contain a milieu of alphabets, numerals and symbols. 

eCommerce Security Threats and Protection Plan: Conclusion

It is a smart approach to be aware of the threats that are present in your online environment. You should also be aware of how you can protect yourself from these eCommerce threats and prepare for them.

In addition to the eCommerce security threats and solutions above, you should also think about conducting regular security audits on your online store.

While we have explained 13 major ways businesses can turn around their website security, there are still some more options that can be explored and implemented. These security measures can be implemented as a fresh start towards attaining complete eCommerce security.

You may also like: WordPress Cyber Security Tips to Protect Your Website from Hackers

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