10 E-commerce Security Threats That Are Getting Stronger By The Day!

E-commerce security threats are causing havoc in online trading. The industry experiences up to 32.4% of all successful threats annually. Hackers usually target e-commerce store admins, users, and employees using a myriad of malicious techniques.

There are just so many e-commerce frauds that are plaguing the industry currently. In this blog post, we have tried to list down the common threats your e-commerce face and how to be safe from them.

If you have already been hacked with credit card frauds, scamming, phishing, bad bots, DDoS attacks, or any other cyber hack, you can get a complete malware removal right now with Astra!

e-commerce security threats

Top 10 E-commerce Security Threats

1. Financial frauds

Ever since the first online businesses entered the world of the internet, financial fraudsters have been giving businesses a headache. There are various kinds of Financial frauds prevalent in the e-commerce industry, but we are going to discuss the two most common of them.

a. Credit Card Fraud

It happens when a cybercriminal uses stolen credit card data to buy products on your e-commerce store. Usually, in such cases, the shipping and billing addresses vary. You can detect and curb such activities on your store by installing an AVS – Address Verification System.

Another form of credit card fraud is when the fraudster steals your personal details and identity to enable them to get a credit card.

b. Fake Return & Refund Fraud

The bad players perform unauthorized transactions and clear the trail, causing businesses great losses. Some hackers also engage in refund frauds, where they file fake requests for returns.

2. Phishing

Several e-commerce shops have received reports of their customers receiving messages or emails from hackers masquerading to be the legitimate store owners. Such fraudsters present fake copies of your website pages or another reputable website to trick the users into believing them. For example, see this image below. A seemingly harmless and authentic email from PayPal asking to provide details.

Phishing: Ecommerce security threats
Phishing Example; Source: infosecinstitute.com

The EITest of 2017 is another good example of such malicious campaigns. If the clients fall into the trap and give them their sensitive personal information like login credentials, the hackers swiftly go ahead and con them.

3. Spamming

Some bad players can send infected links via email or social media inboxes. They can also leave these links in their comments or messages on blog posts and contact forms. Once you click on such links, they will direct you to their spam websites, where you may end up a victim.

Mass-mailed malware infection can quickly morph into a much more serious problem

says Brian Krebs, data security expert.

Apart from lowering your website security, spamming also reduces its speed and severely affects performance.

4. DOS & DDoS Attacks

Many e-commerce websites have incurred losses due to disruptions in their website and overall sales because of DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. What happens is that your servers receive a deluge of requests from many untraceable IP addresses causing it to crash.

Dos & Ddos: ecommerce security threats
Source: Slideshare.net

5. Malware

Hackers may design a malicious software and install on your IT and computer systems without your knowledge. These malicious programs include spyware, viruses, Trojan horses, and ransomware.

The systems of your customers, admins, and other users might have Trojan Horses downloaded on them. These programs can easily swipe any sensitive data that might be present on the infected systems and may also infect your website.

6. Exploitation of Known Vulnerabilities

Attackers are on the lookout for certain vulnerabilities that might be existing in an e-commerce store. Often an e-commerce store is vulnerable to SQL injection and Cross-site Scripting (XSS). Let’s take a quick look at these vulnerabilities:

a. SQL Injection

It is a malicious technique where a hacker attacks your query submission forms to access your database. They corrupt your database with an infectious code, collect data, and later wipe the trail.

b. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

The attackers can plant a malicious JavaScript snippet on your e-commerce store to target your online visitors and customers. Such codes can access your customers’ cookies and compute. You can implement the Content Security Policy to prevent such attacks.

7. Bots

Some attackers develop special bots that can scrape your website to get information about inventory and prices. Such hackers, usually your competitors, can then use the data to lower the prices in their websites in an attempt to lower your sales and revenue.

Bad bots: ecommerce security threats
Bad bots classification; Source: bizreport.com

8. Brute force

The online environment also has players who can use brute force to attack your admin panel and crack your password. These fraudulent programs connect to your website and try out thousands of combinations in an attempt to obtain the password. Always ensure to use strong, complex passwords that are hard to guess. Additionally, always change your passwords frequently.

9. Man in The Middle

A hacker may listen in on the communication taking place between your e-commerce store and a user. Walgreens Pharmacy Store experienced such an incident. If the user is connected to a vulnerable Wi-Fi or network, such attackers can take advantage of that.

Man in the middle: ecommerce security threats
Source: Netsparker

10. e-Skimming

E-skimming involves infecting a website’s checkout pages with malicious software. The intention is to steal the clients’ personal and payment details.

Are you an e-commerce business person? Don’t downplay the seriousness of these e-commerce security threats.

E-commerce security solutions that can ease your life

1. HTTPS and SSL certificates

HTTPs protocols not only keep your users’ sensitive data secure but also boost your website rankings on Google search page. They do so by securing data transfer between the servers and the users’ devices. Therefore, they prevent any interception. Do you know that some browsers will block visitors’ access to your website if such protocols are not in place? You should also have an updated SSL certificate from your host.

2. Anti-malware and Anti-virus software

An Anti-Malware is a software program that detects, removes, and prevents infectious software (malware) from infecting the computer and IT systems. Since malware is the umbrella term for all kinds of infections including worms, viruses, Trojans, etc getting an efficient Anti-Malware would do the trick.

On the other hand, Anti-Virus is a software that was meant to keep viruses at bay. Although a lot of Anti-virus software evolved to prevent infection from other malware as well. Securing your PC and other complementary systems with an Anti-Virus keeps a check on these infections.

3. Securing the Admin Panel and Server

Always use complex passwords that are difficult to figure out, and make it a habit of changing them frequently. It is also good to restrict user access and define user roles. Every user should perform only up to their roles on the admin panel. Furthermore, make the panel to send you notifications whenever a foreign IP tries to access it.

4. Securing Payment Gateway

Avoid storing the credit card information of your clients on your database. Instead, let a third party such as PayPal and Stripe handle the payment transactions away from your website. This ensures better safety for your customers’ personal and financial data. Did you know storing credit card data is also a requirement for getting PCI-DSS compliant? Read the full guidelines here.

5. Deploying Firewall

Effective firewalls keep away fishy networks, XSS, SQL injection, and other cyber-attacks that are continuing to hit headlines. They also help in regulating traffic to and from your online store, to ensure passage of only trusted traffic.

6. Educating Your Staff and Clients

Ensure your employees and customers get the latest knowledge concerning handling user data and how to engage with your website securely. Expunge former employees’ details and revoke all their access to your systems.

7. Additional security implementations

  • Always scan your websites and other online resources for malware
  • Back up your data. Most e-commerce stores also use multi-layer security to boost their data protection.
  • Update your systems frequently and employ effective e-commerce security plugins.
  • Lastly, get a dedicated security platform that is secure from frequent cyber-attacks. You can read more about the security steps you need to take for your e-commerce store.

Astra Solutions to E-commerce Security Threats

Astra is among the leading providers of security solutions that enable e-commerce to enjoy uninterrupted business.

Our tested and proven web application firewall keeps away Bad Bots, Spam, SQL injections, XSS, and many other cyber threats. It works in real-time, ensuring your website is secure 24 hours per day, seven days every week. The firewall is intelligent enough to detect any unusual and malicious intent. It does so by monitoring the traffic patterns of everything that gets out and into your e-commerce store.

web application firewall
How does the Astra Firewall work?

We can also help you get rid of malware, malicious redirects, pharma attacks, and other similar threats with a record turnaround time. You can employ our intelligent malware scanner to detect any malware yourself and track changes in your files daily. We log any change in your codes for you to review and stay updated. Our machine learning intelligence powers all the scanning to ensure we don’t miss anything.

We understand that a bug in your code can cause your e-commerce to experience security threats. Therefore, we provide high-quality website security audits to uncover every possible vulnerability in your online resources.

Conclusion

Cyber-security is very important if you are to succeed online. Hackers are getting better at their games, which means you need a dedicated team that will stay updated with security issues and provides around-the-clock protection to your websites.

The team at Astra consists of qualified engineers that interact freely with clients. We provide solid-rock firewalls, malware scanning, and security audits to ensure your website remains secure always. You can access our dashboards for easy monitoring of the security progress and status of your websites. Astra provides e-commerce stores with great security threats solutions.

E commerce security

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About The Author

Jinson Varghese

Jinson Varghese Behanan is an Information Security Analyst at Astra. Passionate about Cybersecurity from a young age, Jinson completed his Bachelor's degree in Computer Security from Northumbria University. When he isn’t glued to a computer screen, he spends his time reading InfoSec materials, playing basketball, learning French and traveling.You can follow him on Medium or visit his Website for more stories about the various Security Audits he does and the crazy vulnerabilities he finds.

8 Comments

  1. How to prevent Hackers to get into the database and copy user data?

  2. If you are visiting the e-commerce sites then – the most common security threats are phishing attacks, money thefts, data misuse, hacking, credit card frauds, and unprotected services. One of the main reasons for e-commerce threats is poor management by site owners. How to overcome this problem?

    • Naman Rastogi

      You’re correct with common security threats of e-commerce store. To check whether an e-commerce store is safe/following the best security measures you can check for the security seals & certifications like BBB, PCI & Astra security seal, Website encryption measures, Contact details etc.

      Most of time SME don’t consider security at first place & get exploited by attackers leading to leak of sensitive information of its user.

      Here is a blog on top CVEs & hacking stats – https://www.getastra.com/blog/cms/hacking-statistics/

  3. In my experience e-commerce is one of the areas most susceptible to experience IT security problems (the other one being e-healthcare). I would say the article covered all the main threats we should look upon.

    • Naman Rastogi

      Thanks for your kind words, Roberto

      You are absolutely correct that e-commerce stores are the prime targets of hackers because they hold lots of personal information & e-healthcare, Fintech are the common industries that hackers target.

      We recommend visitors to check whether an e-commerce store is safe/following the best security measures you can check for the security seals & certifications like BBB, PCI & Astra security seal, Website encryption measures, Contact details etc.

  4. It’s much more dependent on what platform you choose to develop the eCommerce website.

    I am much aware of Magento, and I can say, Magento is good if you keep your system updated with the version or latest security patches.

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