How to Protect Your Ecommerce Site from Cybersecurity Threats
Karl PulancoKarl Pulanco

How to Protect Your Ecommerce Site from Cybersecurity Threats

By Karl Pulanco, Product Portfolio Manager, Yondu

Modern businesses no longer need a physical store to sell goods and services. All they need now is an eCommerce website to start and scale their operations.

There’s a reason why businesses are shifting online. Data shows that over 2 billion people purchased goods or services online in 2020. The following year, online retail sales amounted to $4.9 trillion worldwide, which could grow to $7.4 trillion by 2025.

These numbers show that there is a growing demand for eCommerce. However, as online transactions increase, cybercrime and online fraud become more prevalent, as well. For this reason, many eCommerce businesses use new security tools and invest in the cybersecurity workforce.

Regardless if you’re a budding or well-known eCommerce brand, you must ensure your website’s cybersecurity to protect your business and give your customers a smooth shopping experience.

This article lists the different information security threats your website might encounter and the steps you can take to prevent them.

Common Ecommerce Security Threats

As cybercriminals become more innovative by the day, businesses may fall vulnerable to many sophisticated security threats.

  • Financial fraud

Ecommerce sites often fall victim to financial fraud, particularly credit card and fake returns and refunds fraud cases. Credit card fraud occurs when hackers steal credit card data from an existing customer and use the money to make purchases. Cybercriminals sometimes steal consumer data and apply for a credit card themselves.

On the other hand, fake returns and refunds happen when cybercriminals use fake receipts to request a refund or clear unauthorized transactions after making them.

  • Phishing

Another common eCommerce security threat is phishing, which typically occurs via email, phone, or text. An example is when cybercriminals use fake copies of eCommerce websites to lure customers and steal their sensitive information such as passwords, bank account numbers, and more.

Cybercriminals also often trick customers by offering urgent and too-good-to-be-true deals, attaching suspicious attachments in emails, and sending fake URLs.

  • DDoS attacks

A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack occurs when cybercriminals flood a website with traffic from untraceable IP addresses, disrupting servers. This causes the website to crash and become unavailable to potential customers.

One way to know if you’re experiencing a DDoS attack is if your website’s loading slowly or not loading at all. Traffic analytics tools can also help track suspicious amounts of traffic from a single or several IP addresses, traffic from users with a shared behavioral profile, and unusual surges in requests to a single page.

  • Bots

A recent study showed that bots carried out 57% of all attacks on eCommerce websites in 2021. These bots produce mouse movements and clicks that resemble human behavior, allowing cybercriminals to seamlessly take over accounts, commit fraud, and deny inventory to legitimate customers.

  • E-skimming

Also referred to as “Magecart,” e-skimming happens when cybercriminals use malware to infect a website’s checkout page and steal customers’ credit card information and personal data. This is the digital version of traditional skimming, where criminals would steal credit card information from cash registers or point-of-sale terminals in stores.

How to Protect Your Ecommerce Website from Cyber Attacks

Your website plays a significant role in the buyer’s journey, so you must keep it safe from malicious activities. Below are some cybersecurity practices you can apply to protect your eCommerce website.

  • Use a reputable eCommerce platform

Businesses now have hundreds of platforms to choose from to host their eCommerce websites, but not all have robust security features. To protect your business and customers, choose a reputable ecommerce platform with encrypted payment gateways, SSL certificates, and solid authentication protocols for sellers and buyers.

Experts recommend checking if an eCommerce platform frequently updates and adds security patches to secure its service in the long run. Having a proactive platform can be one way of ensuring that your website will be less prone to hacking.

  • Adopt additional authentication features.

Aside from requiring customers to create a strong password for their account, you can also implement additional authentication features to protect their data on your website.

You can do a 2-step verification (2SV) method, where your website automatically sends a one-time pin or code via email, text, or phone call to the user to confirm their identity.

You can also implement 2-factor authentication (2FA), which requires users to acknowledge their login attempts through another device or app. For more robust security, you can implement multi-factor authentication (MFA), which uses more than two factors to verify users.

  • Use HTTPS

Getting an HTTPS web address can help protect your website, as it uses encryption for security. To acquire this web protocol, you first need a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate or digital document that authenticates a website’s identity and enables an encrypted connection.

Not only does HTTPS protect your website from hackers, but it also increases your ranking on search engines like Google. HTTP websites are deemed unsafe, which is why Google boosts more secure websites.

  • Collect necessary customer data

In compliance with data privacy laws, remember to collect only the data you need to complete transactions. Experts recommend deploying firewalls and conducting audits to check if your data security measures are working and prevent cybercriminals from accessing sensitive customer data.

  • Keep security features updated.

Think of cybersecurity as a long-time commitment. It isn’t enough to install security measures on your website and stick with them for many years. As technologies become smarter, so do cybercriminals.

Remember to stay vigilant and watch out for modern threats and attacks on your eCommerce website. You can also invest in new software and gateways to improve website security.

Keep Your Ecommerce Website Safe and Secure

In today’s digital age, businesses face new cybersecurity challenges as they serve customers online. It’s not enough to inform customers to protect themselves; companies must take active measures to secure their eCommerce websites and get one step ahead of cybercriminals. A safe, secure eCommerce website can ensure your business runs smoothly, and your customers have a good experience with your brand.

About the Author

How to Protect Your Ecommerce Site from Cybersecurity ThreatsKarl Pulanco is the Product Portfolio Manager of Yondu.  He’s into photography which is not surprising as he is a travel junkie as well. While he enjoys working on product planning and custom software development, he has a soft spot for writing and occasionally contributes articles related to his work.

Karl can be reached online at [email protected] and at our company website

April 16, 2023

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