Security of E-commerce Portals – A Few Things you Need to Know

Posted by Admin | 1 March, 2022 | Technical

In today’s digital landscape, data breaches have become alarmingly commonplace due to the staggering volume of data generated daily. While high-profile e-commerce giants often make headlines as prime targets, the truth is that no business is immune to the threat of data breaches. In fact, a startling 62% of cyber-attacks are directed at small to medium-sized enterprises. Consequently, establishing a robust e-commerce security strategy is imperative for businesses of all sizes. In this article, we will explore the key security challenges faced by e-commerce companies and strategies to counter them.

Understanding E-commerce Security

E-commerce security primarily revolves around ensuring secure electronic transactions during online commerce. Implementing various protocols is essential to safeguard all parties involved in the transaction process. The fundamental requirement for consumers is the ability to trust brands for safe online purchases. To foster this trust and ensure secure financial transactions, a robust e-commerce security framework is essential. The consequences of a cyber-attack can have a lasting impact on an e-commerce business’s reputation, potentially deterring customers from shopping online if they perceive inadequate security measures.

Major E-commerce Security Threats

People routinely share a plethora of sensitive information online, including credit and debit card details, bank account information, passport data, and driver’s license information. Hackers actively seek access to such information, often selling it on the dark web. Several security threats are associated with the protection of sensitive user data. Here are some common threats encountered by e-commerce websites, regardless of their size.

1. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-Site Scripting is a cyber-attack in which malicious code, such as JavaScript, is injected into the web pages of e-commerce sites. When the browser processes this code, it runs it like regular code. This enables hackers to gain access to confidential information, including financial data and credit card numbers. Once executed, this code operates in the background, potentially accessing user information via cookies. Attackers can also launch direct virus attacks and phishing attempts on victims. It’s essential for e-commerce providers to secure their databases meticulously, as a single XSS attack a few years ago affected around six thousand e-commerce sites, leading to the theft of customer credit card information.

2. SQL Injection

SQL injection is another prevalent cyber-attack method, targeting websites and applications that utilize SQL databases – a common feature in e-commerce platforms. In SQL injection attacks, hackers insert malicious SQL code within seemingly legitimate payloads. As these SQL queries are processed, attackers can gain access to the backend database, either stealing or manipulating data. In some cases, they may also gain access to administrator accounts, granting them complete control over the website’s system.

3. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attacks

DDoS attacks involve overwhelming a website’s server with numerous requests from different compromised IP addresses. This orchestrated attack can slow down website performance and even cause it to crash.

4. Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are often delivered via email, appearing to originate from reputable companies or familiar sources. These deceptive emails typically contain links requesting information or prompting users to click. However, their true intent is to steal personal information. Detecting phishing attacks is crucial, and users should be vigilant. Suspicious signs include URL mismatches with the legitimate website and grammar and spelling errors, which reputable organizations usually avoid in their communications.

Protecting Against Security Threats

To safeguard against these threats, it’s essential to be aware of potential cyber-attacks. E-commerce providers should implement stringent security measures, including ensuring clean backend code, securing customer information databases on dedicated servers, and regularly monitoring for vulnerabilities. Being cautious about email correspondence and scrutinizing messages for red flags can also significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to phishing attacks. By staying informed and proactive, e-commerce businesses can bolster their defenses and protect their customers’ sensitive data from malicious actors.