The internet has revolutionized the business industry. Today, the internet is used for e-commerce, dealing, promoting, financing, and whatnot. Everything is just a click away and the process is easy, fast, and appeals to everyone. The experience of shopping is enhancing, and people are regularly changing the traditional norm. The available options are immense, and the experience is personalized.
Can you imagine the difference between shopping now and what it was then? The change is exponential! There are many famous platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, and various small ventures. Buying online is getting in your habits. To order from such platforms, you need a smartphone/computer, working internet connection, and you are good to go. There are many reasons to support the buying online habit like:
- Accessibility and convenience: You can access the webpage from anywhere and place an order. You can check the design, size, color, etc from your bed and confirm the order details.
- Lower Price: The price of the product compared to the offline store is low. You can check numerous platforms and apply certain coupon codes to get discounts which are missing in offline stores.
- Options: You have an enormous number of options online. The traditional shops do not have every design, but it can be found online.
There are many more advantages of buying online but one of the major disadvantages in the case of e-commerce businesses is cyber-security. With a boon, there is always a curse. There is a cyber-attack happening every 40 seconds and you or your business can be the next victims.
Just for example consider a person Adam who is visiting an online casino in India. Adam wins some amount and wants to withdraw it to his bank. As he is thinking of making the transaction, he has no idea someone is planning a cyber-attack on him. When he tries to withdraw his winnings, someone steals his credentials and make the transaction in Adam’s name. The casino winnings are gone. Only 35% of companies worldwide are confident enough to handle a cyber-attack on them. Almost 50% of companies say that they have been attacked by hackers successfully. With the e-commerce industry, the report is much worse. There are several hackers involved in this industry because of the money connection.
Without implementing a strong and secure network, the e-commerce venture is putting the customer and the company in danger. There is a constant risk of payment fraud.
What is the threat?
- Eavesdropping: To steal personal information, the Wi-Fi network is compromised, and the attacker can access your unencrypted data. A most common way to infect is through the public Wi-Fi networks. By gaining personal information, an attacker can attempt identity fraud and bank fraud.
- Malicious code threat: The codes can be viruses, worms, trojans, etc. A virus can infect the file systems on the webpage and the system is destroyed. Worms are worst than viruses. Worms need internet to infect a system and it can affect millions in no time. Trojans attack when you download something from an unreliable source.
- Spams: Spamming is quite a common thing we face almost every day. There is a new type of spam developing called snowshoe spam and it is not generated from a single machine. So, it becomes difficult to categorize it as spam.
- Manipulation of price: it allows the attacker to insert a manipulated value in the URL. This is a very common type of threat faced by e-commerce companies.
- Poor Management: When the people working in the company do not critically analyze the security, then attacks will happen. Management of the system and network should be the priority.
- Some of the common security threats are a phishing attack, credit card theft, data manipulation, money/transaction stealing, and hacking. There is one more called as packet sniffing. The attacker sniffs the packet when you communicate with a webpage and provides a fake IP address. The fake IP address will lead you to a webpage of similar style but with the money traps.
These are some serious threats which an e-commerce website faces. You have to understand the gravity of the situation. Some of the basic security measures you should take:
- Data encryption: The communication between the client and your webpage should be encrypted. Encrypted means converting a plain text into a ciphertext which cannot be decrypted by the hacker. This will protect you from sniffing attacks.
- Backup and Recovery: You should create an emergency backup of the network system and webpage. In case of a major attack, the system can be bought online as soon as possible with the recovery mode. If the hackers ask for money to unlock your page, well you have a backup (money saved).
- Digital Certificates: A digital certificate contains an SSL certificate which ensures the authentication is from a trusted source. It is issued by a third-party company. You are protected from Man in the middle attack.
- Security Auditing: You have to schedule a security audit every month. It will fill your information pot and reveal if anything is vulnerable. You can also hire some cybersecurity personnel in your team to assist and protect your company.
- Get insurance: The e-commerce market is on the radar of hackers. The insurance can cover the losses. Also, in the case of a data leak, the damage is tenfold, and insurance can make it a little bit easier.
As you must have read the threat is real. The attackers are attracted to e-commerce because of the easy money. Also, everyone is shopping online which increases the audience for the hackers. Some of the threats mentioned in this article are severe and one must take precaution. As a precaution, one should have an encrypted communication, obtain digital certification, regularly audit the security, and create a backup of the webpage. The technology is evolving daily and the looming threat. The survival is the endgame.