January 25, 2022
E-commerce is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. In 2020 alone, consumers spent almost $800 billion on online purchases – a staggering 32.4% increase over the previous year. For cybercriminals, this means more money they can swindle and a larger number of weak spots they can exploit.
The databases of e-commerce and payment businesses are also gold mines they can extract and sell to the highest bidder. In today’s digital age, one datum can be worth up to $0.36. Supposing that data refers to a demographic that composes 11.92% of the population, it can total to over $14 million. If cybercriminals get access to these databases, that would mean big losses to the company that owns the data.
Cybercriminals target various industries: finance, healthcare, energy, and construction. But, the nature of e-commerce makes it more susceptible to cyberattacks. If networks and platforms are not secure, unauthorized individuals can gain access to confidential information and system controls. Year after year, cybercrime costs small and medium enterprises $2.2 million on average from financial losses, reputational damage, and data leakages.
E-commerce enterprises can minimize cybersecurity risks through awareness and cybersecurity reinforcement. Through learning the threats, enterprises can avoid committing the common human errors that lead to a security breach. And by integrating cybersecurity solutions to e-commerce platforms, attacks become harder to execute and easier to block.
Common Risks to E-commerce Platforms
Data breaches in the US skyrocketed from 662 in 2010 to over one thousand in 2020. The most common causes of data breaches are weak passwords, phishing attacks, remote access vulnerability, malware, malicious cross-frame, and brute-force hacking. While banks employ various security measures to protect users, these attacks remain rampant in many e-commerce transactions.
Credit card numbers, account PINs, and CVV codes are just a few of the types of private information at risk when making payments online. Once stolen, these may be used to perpetrate fraudulent transactions, transfer money from one account to another, or they can be sold on the dark web. What is alarming about these breaches is that the state can hold the merchant liable for negligence if it happens due to a lack of sufficient control.
Trade secrets – recipes, algorithms, intangibles, strategies, and plans – are also at risk in breaches to e-commerce systems. If these are stolen or exposed, the company may lose its competitive advantages and potential profits. Trade secret attacks, like the organized computer intrusion in 2019 that resulted in companies losing source codes, software code, and signing certificates, are costly and damaging to businesses.
Attacks that disrupt business operations are also common in e-commerce platforms. A Denial of Service (DoS) attack happens when a hacker overloads the website traffic that eventually results in a system shutdown. Website downtimes from these attacks cost the business its potential sales and customer trust.
Cybersecurity Measures in the E-commerce Industry
There is no sure way to guarantee safety from cyberattacks. However, implementing security controls and safeguards will lessen risks to both the company and customers. Staying current with the latest tools will aid the company against the next major cybersecurity threat.
Privacy measures involve controls that restrict confidential information between bounded parties. As much as possible, no one else should have access to an account and personal details aside from the customer and the seller. To achieve this, the enterprise should, at a minimum, employ anti-virus, firewall, encryption, and strong authentication in their system.
Cybersecurity experts also recommend the practice of collecting only necessary information. The fewer data the company holds, the less enticing the database will be for hackers. Keep only what is necessary for the business; do not collect what is not useful or required. Additionally, online businesses are advised to post privacy policies so that customers are more aware of their responsibilities and the bounds of parties when it comes to information.
In November 2020, a 300% surge in cyberattacks was recorded alongside the increase in e-commerce transactions. Online retailers got the most damaging effects from supply chain attacks, phishing attacks, ransomware, and DDoS attacks. Because of the increasing risks, enterprises must fortify access points into the system and upscale authentication mechanisms to supplement controls.
For example, with the use of Digital Signatures, business platforms can have a better mechanism of recognizing tampered electronic documents and digital messages. To apply this security measure, a Digital Signature API is integrated into the system to collect and authenticate signatures in documents or contracts. Digital signatures maintain the confidentiality and legitimacy of messages and e-documents.
Enterprises may also use payment authentication to secure payment transactions over online platforms while maintaining a seamless user experience. One particular solution is LoginID’s payment authentication, providing merchants with a frictionless, FIDO2-certified security mechanism for payment transactions. It is easy to integrate, regulatory-compliant, and offers a higher level of security against account takeovers.
Malware, cross-site scripting (XSS), and brute-force attacks are just a few of the most common enemies of online enterprises. But business owners can now better protect their online platforms from these attacks using security plugins. Security Plugins are software components that add security features to a website. Various security plugins already boast detection and blocking of malicious website attacks. Salient features of some security plugins include limiting login attempts, database security, and rate-based throttling and blocking.
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), in contrast with HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), is not encrypted. With this weakness, anyone who manages to hack into the website will be able to see browser activities and information, including entered usernames and passwords. Switching to HTTPS adds encryption and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) features to the website. HTTPS can also help business websites rank better in search engines.
Address Verification Systems
Payment frauds have been increasing since the start of the pandemic. Costs of payment fraud in 2011 were at $9.84 billion, and this figure more than tripled to $32.39 billion in 2020. E-commerce companies can learn to detect these illicit activities through address verification systems (AVS). Through AVS, sellers can predict and analyze purchase and payment transactions coming from customers. What happens is that the system verifies whether the billing address matches the cardholder’s banking data. The seller then receives an AVS code to determine the next steps of the payment transaction.
Strengthening Cyber Security for a Healthier E-commerce Performance
As e-commerce platforms improve, hackers are also becoming more sophisticated at breaking cybersecurity walls to attain illicit goals. It is a continuous cycle of catching up, and whoever outdoes the other keeps the profits. Fortunately, today, cybersecurity is a few steps ahead and supports e-commerce platforms in preventing cyberattacks.
Secure your business and all that is at stake with stronger and up-to-date passwordless authentication with LoginID. Register here to start integrating LoginID’s reliable authentication solutions.