Ecommerce Security: Importance, Issues & Protection Measures

Ecommerce security is essential if you are to make it in this industry. Are you aware that cyber-criminals target mostly eCommerce businesses? Online businesses experienced 32.4% of all successful cyber attacks in 2018. A serious business should, therefore, employ rock-solid eCommerce security protocols and measures. It will keep the business and customers free from attacks.

Besides, there are a few e-commerce security measures that are proven to keep hackers at bay. We will get to that in a minute, but first, let’s brush up our understanding of e-commerce security a little.

What is eCommerce or electronic commerce security?

eCommerce security is the guidelines that ensure safe transaction through the internet. It consists of protocols that safeguard people who engage in online selling and buying of goods and services. You need to gain your customers’ trust by putting in place eCommerce security basics. Such basics include:

  • Privacy
  • Integrity
  • Authentication
  • Non-repudiation

1. Privacy

Privacy includes preventing any activity that will lead to the sharing of customers’ data with unauthorized third parties. Apart from the online seller that a customer has chosen, no one else should access their personal information and account details.

A breach of confidentiality occurs when sellers let others have access to such information. An online business should put in place at least a necessary minimum of anti-virus, firewall, encryption, and other data protection. It will go a long way in protecting credit card and bank details of clients.

2. Integrity

Integrity is another crucial concept of eCommerce Security. It means ensuring that any information that customers have shared online remains unaltered. The principle states that the online business is utilizing the customers’ information as given, without changing anything. Altering any part of the data causes the buyer to lose confidence in the security and integrity of the online enterprise.

3. Authentication

The principle of authentication in eCommerce security requires that both the seller and the buyer should be real. They should be who they say they are. The business should prove that it is real, deals with genuine items or services, and delivers what it promises. The clients should also give their proof of identity to make the seller feel secure about the online transactions. It is possible to ensure authentication and identification. If you are unable to do so, hiring an expert will help a lot. Among the standard solutions include client logins information and credit card PINs.

4. Non-repudiation

Repudiation means denial. Therefore, Non-repudiation is a legal principle that instructs players not to deny their actions in a transaction. The business and the buyer should follow through on the transaction part that they initiated. eCommerce can feel less safe since it occurs in cyberspace with no live video. Non-repudiation gives eCommerce security another layer. It confirms that the communication that occurred between the two players indeed reached the recipients. Therefore, a party in that particular transaction cannot deny a signature, email, or a purchase.

Why you can’t afford to overlook eCommerce security?

While growth in eCommerce has improved online transactions, it has attracted the attention of the bad players in equal measures. eCommerce cybercrime reports reveal that the industry is among the most vulnerable ones when it comes to cybercrimes.

The eCommerce world experiences about 32.4% of all attacks. 50% of small eCommerce store owners are lamenting that the attacks are becoming severe. Furthermore, the reports show that 29% of traffic accessing a website consists of malicious requests.

Such attacks have contributed to significant losses in financials, market shares, and reputation. Almost 60% of small eCommerce stores that experience cybercrimes don’t survive more than six months.

Therefore, it is very crucial to put in place water-tight security measures and hire a robust team. It will ensure you run your business without worrying about closing down due to cybercriminals.

Common Ecommerce Security Issues

1. Lack of trust in the privacy and eCommerce security

Businesses that run eCommerce operations experience several security risks, such as:

  • Counterfeit sites– hackers can easily create fake versions of legitimate websites without incurring any costs. Therefore, the affected company may suffer severe damage to its reputations and valuations.
  • Malicious alterations to websites– some fraudsters change the content of a website. Their goal is usually to either divert traffic to a competing website or destroy the affected company’s reputation.
  • Theft of clients’ data– The eCommerce industry is full of cases where criminals have stolen the personal information of customers, such as addresses and credit card details.
  • Damages to networks of computers– attackers may damage a company’s online store using worm or viruses attacks.
  • Denial of service– some hackers prevent legit users from using the online store, causing a reduction in its functioning.
  • Fraudulent access to sensitive data– attackers can get intellectual property and steal, destroy, or change it to suit their malicious goals.

2. Malware, viruses, and online frauds

these issues cause losses in finances, market shares, and reputations. Additionally, the clients may open criminal charges against the company. Hackers can use worms, viruses, trojan horses, and other malicious programs to infect computers and computers in many different ways. Worms and viruses invade the systems, multiply, and spread. Some hackers may hide Trojan horses in fake software, and start infections once the users download the software. These fraudulent programs may:

  • hijack the systems of computers
  • erase all data
  • block data access
  • forward malicious links to clients and other computers in the network.

3. Uncertainty and complexity in online transactions

Online buyers face uncertainty and complexity during critical transaction activities. Such activities include payment, dispute resolution, and delivery. During those points, they are likely to fall into the hands of fraudsters.

Businesses have improved their transparency levels, such as clearly stating the point of contact when a problem occurs. However, such measures often fail to disclose fully the collection and usage of personal data.

E-commerce website  security measures to cover you 24/7

1. Use Multi-Layer Security

It is helpful to employ various security layers to fortify your security. A Content Delivery Network (CDN) that is widespread can block DDoS threats and infectious incoming traffic. They use machine learning to keep malicious traffic at bay.

Multi factor authentication: ecommerce security
Source: NIST

You can go ahead and squeeze in an extra security layer, such as Multi-Factor Authentication. A two-factor authentification is a good example. After the user enters the login information, they instantly receive an SMS or email for further actions. By implementing this step, it blocks fraudsters as they will require more than just usernames and passwords to access the legit users’ accounts. However, hacking can still occur even if an MFA is in place.

Most companies that use MFA are still successfully hacked.

Roger Grimes, 2018

2. Get Secure Server Layer (SSL) Certificates

One of the primary benefits of SSL Certificates is to encrypt sensitive data shared across the internet. It ensures that the information reaches only the intended person. It is a very crucial step because all data sent will pass through multiple computers before the destination server receives it.

SSL: ecommerce security
Source: comodo.com

If SSL certificate encryption is absent, any electronic device between the sender and the server can access sensitive details. Hackers can thus take advantage of your exposed passwords, usernames, credit card numbers, and other information. Therefore, the SSL certificate will come to your aid by making the data unreadable to unintended users.

2. Use solid-rock Firewalls

Use effective e-commerce software and plugins to bar untrusted networks and regulate the inflow and outflow of website traffic. They should provide selective permeability, only permitting trusted traffic to go through.

You can trust the Astra firewall to stop Spam, XSS, CSRF, malware, SQLi, and many other attacks on your website. It ensures that the only traffic that accesses your eCommerce store consists of the real users. Moreover, we have specialized WAF solutions for WordPress, Magento, Opencart, Prestashop, Drupal, Joomla, and custom made PHP sites.

In a nutshell, the Astra firewall protection from:

  • OWASP top 10 threats
  • Protection from bad bots.
  • Spam protection.
  • Protection against 100+ types of attacks.
Firewall: Ecommerce security
How does the Astra Firewall work?

3. Anti-Malware Software

Your electronic devices, computer systems, and web system need a program or software that detects and block malicious software, otherwise known as malware. Such protective software is called Anti-malware software. An effective anti-malware should render all the hidden malware on your website.

One such scanner is the Astra Malware Scanner. It scans your web system for all malicious software round the clock and is at your disposal It also lets you automate your scans with its “Schedule a Scan” feature. You can schedule the scans daily, weekly, monthly or fortnightly.

With Astra Scanner, you can enjoy:

  • unlimited scans
  • Notifications in case of any changes in file
  • scanning powered by machine learning.
  • collective intelligence

It is capable of cleaning malware like credit card hack, Japanese spam, pub2srv, Pharma attacks, and malicious redirects.

Malware Scanner: Ecommerce Security
WP-VCD malware flagged by Astra’s Malware Scanner

4. Comply with PCI-DSS Requirements

Make it a routine to maintain the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) to protect all credit card data. All businesses that handle credit card transactions need to follow these requirements:

PCI-DSS: Ecommerce security
PCI-DSS Requirements; Source: Medium

Conclusion

Businesses should employ several eCommerce security measures and protocols to keep security threats at bay all the time. Apart from the basic authentication systems like username and passwords, SSL, multi-factor authentication is essential.

However, don’t stop there, as hackers have become smarter. Always make sure you have implemented a proactive e-commerce security solution across your website. Deploying a robust firewall like the Astra WAF to allow only real and trusted traffic to access their websites. Additionally, prevent your site from malicious software by using tried and tested anti-malware like Astra Scanner. Now, go ahead and implement these eCommerce security measures.

E commerce security

Is there any security solution we are forgetting? Comment and let us know 🙂

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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.

14 Comments

  1. Good article. Also, is there any way to secure a e-commerce store? we own a store and we are scared that it might get attacked.

  2. Hi, I have a website based on Magento and I am using A2 hosting service. Yesterday, they have suspended my account, How can I resolve this?

    • Thanks for responding to our article. A2 is a well-known web hosting solution provider that started in the year 2001. Since then, they have been working on providing optimized and affordable web hosting solutions. However, at times the users of its customized Magento hosting may receive emails or messages like your “Magento A2 account suspended!”. This could be due to a number of reasons like malware attack, resource over-consumption, etc. To fix that, visit here for more information: https://www.getastra.com/blog/911/how-to-fix-magento-a2-account-suspended/

  3. Hello, is country blocking possible in drupal? If possible how can I do that?

    • Thanks for responding to our article. Country blocking is a great & smart way to put your website off the radar for countries that do not cater to your needs. Most importantly, there are some countries that are notorious for sending attack vectors. Hence, blocking them would only be a prudent decision for your website. For more information on country blocking in drupal visit here: https://www.getastra.com/blog/cms/country-blocking-in-drupal/

  4. Hi, our website is showing a deceptive site warning. Can you please tell me how we can resolve this?

  5. Hi, I am using a php website. I would like to do a security audit on my site. can you tell me what tools I have to use and steps if possible?

  6. WordPress is the one which I am using as a tech stack for my site, is there any way I can add security headers wisely?

    • Thanks for responding to the article. Configuring recommended security headers for WordPress adds to your site’s security. Today we are going to discuss everything about security headers for WordPress. And why you should be concerned with it. Typically, an HTTP security header renders additional information (such as content type, content meta, cache status, etc.) attached with a web page, whenever a browser requests the page from the server. For more information visit here: https://www.getastra.com/blog/cms/wordpress-security/wordpress-security-headers/

  7. hearing a lot about attacks on opencart now a days. I am also a owner of a opencart store. what are the security issues in it?

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