The eCommerce industry has evolved a lot over time, and the reason behind the same is the convergence of technology, which has given it a completely new facelift. eCommerce is basically the application of technology for automating the business transactions, workflows, delivery or information, products or services like conversion rate optimization, buying and selling of products and services via eCommerce chatbot. It also includes large scale commercial transportations for product deliveries.  

The eCommerce app development industry has taken advantage of these opportunities to enhance the efficiency of the business and reduce the overall infrastructure cost. For example, you can reduce your security risk by putting the responsibility on an ecommerce platform such as Shopify, even your ecommerce Shopify chatbot can be hosted and managed by a third party. However, with increasing technology, security risks to the e-commerce industry have also increased exponentially. Since security is directly related to financial trust and confidence between the buyer and seller, it automatically becomes the most affected element of the eCommerce industry, and with every passing moment, the number of security breaches is only increasing.

Let’s take a look at the various types of security threats that eCommerce companies face and the e-commerce safety tips you can apply to prevent them.

ecommerce security

Technical Attacks

These are the most challenging attacks that all eCommerce businesses face. The target of these attacks is typically services hosted on high-profile web servers such as credit card payment gateways, banks, financial institutions, defence websites, government websites, online retail giants, and popular social networking websites. These attacks are:

1. Service Denial Attack or Denial of Service

DoS attacks consist of surprising a network architecture, server, or a website and crippling its normal day-to-day activity. Safeguarding the network against DoS attacks is one of the most severe challenges that security testing companies or in-house security testers face today. The major challenge that is faced while mitigating these attacks is to trace the origin of the attack, as the black hat hackers often use spoofed IPs to hide their original location.  

2. ICMP Flood

Internet Control Message Protocol Flood is also known as the smurf attack. This is the attack where the attackers shoot a large number of IP packets with fake source addresses, that appear to be the victim’s IP address. These packets consume the internet bandwidth of the eCommerce companies and thus stops the genuine IP packets from reaching their destinations. As a side effect the reduced bandwidth also automatically lowers the loading speed of the web page.

3. Teardrop Threat

This attack revolves around sending messed up and overlapping IP fragments that are virtual payloads and are oversized for the original target server. It is a bug in the TCP/IP fragmentation which reassembles the operating system codes and causes mishandling of the fragments. This improper handling of the TCP/IP fragment crashes the system severely.

4. Permanent denial-of-service (PDoS)

This attack cripples the server so badly that the only solution that remains in order to recover is either complete reinstallation of the hardware or total replacement, at its worst. The attackers exploit the security loopholes in the interface of the target’s hardware, which includes modems, routers, printers, or any other hardware that is connected via the network. These attacks open the entry gates of the system’s architecture for the attacker to enter the mainframe and control it remotely. With remote access to the system, the intruder can update the device, corrupt it, load a defective firmware image, or can even make it permanently useless.

5. Brute Force

Brute-force attacks are used to defeat the cryptographic defense of the mainframe system. It consists of large numbers of permutations and combinations and trying a load of security key combinations to decrypt and steal information.

Non-technical Attacks

1. Phishing

Phishing is the illegal process of gathering sensitive and critical information such as credit card details, usernames, passwords. This attack takes place by duplicating the original entity and sending it as a fake through email. These attacks are made by emailing a fraudulent email to the target, which appears as a legitimate email and asks for sensitive information. The target follows the instructions and clicks on the link embedded in the fake email. The target user is then redirected to a sophisticated and similar-looking landing page. Most affected victims of phishing attacks are credit card customers, online retailers, service providers, and bank customers and most landing page software these days let you understand where and how the visitor comes to your site.

2. Socially engineered threats

These are engineered threats where the victim is socially manipulated to perform an action in order to reveal their confidential information. This attack technique includes a fraudulent motive where the attacker creates a hypothetical scenario and encourages the user to reveal his sensitive information. The modes used are IVR (Interactive voice recording) and telephonic conversations. Social engineering threats are the most serious threats that eCommerce companies are facing. The severity behind this threat lies in the fact that it involves human intervention, which cannot be patched easily.

7 Security tips to adhere to

1. SSL Certificates

Always ask your developers or outsourced eCommerce mobile app development companies to Install secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates. These are recommended to keep your business digitally safe from breaches. These are files that offer a transactional key on the different paths of the network. SSL certificates are directly associated with payment card details and transactions and thus they encrypt the data to protect it from theft. These certificates make the information transfer secure across ends.

2. Scanning for Malware

Ensure a dedicated program to constantly scan for malware, keep security patches, and updates in place. Anti-malware programs can be an effective remediation technique against various vulnerabilities. These are stable security measures; however, with continuous evolution, the attackers are constantly finding ways to crack past these programs and spot a vulnerability to plant malware on the website.

3. Malicious Activity Scanning

Nobody wants to face malicious activity in their business, especially in eCommerce businesses. Install special malicious activity scanning software that tracks your traffic round the clock. A solid anti-malicious software keeps you updated regarding any suspicious activity that may be happening in and around the network.

ecommerce security tips


4. Implementing a Firewall

Implementing a firewall software and plugins is effective as well as a pocket-friendly method that ensures the digital safety of your eCommerce Business. They regulate and control the quality of the traffic that is entering and leaving your platform. The best part about installing a firewall software is that it only opens the door for the trusted network. They offer great support against SQL injections and Cross-site Scripting (XSS).

5. Switch to HTTPS

Switch to updated HTTPS protocol as soon as possible because using an outdated one makes you vulnerable to threats. It is recommended to use HTTPS, which shows a green sign of ‘secured’ on the URL bar. This protocol not only secures the sensitive information submitted but also safeguards the user’s data.

This practice is now being followed across the globe religiously, and all modern browsers have started displaying a pop-up notification indicating it as ‘insecure’ if HTTPS is not implemented. Some also block the users right away in case of HTTPS’s absence.

6. Security of payment gateway

Security of the payment gateway always makes it easier for the owner as well as comfortable and convenient for the user to use their credit card details. Failing to use stringent security measures for payment nodes results as an open invitation for hackers and puts the brand identity and reputation at risk. Obtaining a PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) accreditation is always recommended.

For e.g. The CVV number printed at the back of your payment card (Credit Card or Debit Card) is highly sensitive. What you might skip, is that according to PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) rules one cannot store this data along with the customer’s name on their database. This is what makes CVV more effective. Adhering to PCI DSS compliance will make it virtually impossible for the hacker to get access to this sensitive information unless they have physical access to the card.

7. Backup Your Data

Data losses are an unplanned and uninvited event and could happen due to hardware malfunction, security attack, natural calamity, or anything else. It is, therefore, strictly recommended to always keep your data backed up at all times. Also, in order to be more protective of the critical data, a copy of the backup can also be created. Deploying automatic backup services is recommended in order to reduce manual efforts.