E-Commerce Cybersecurity’s importance increases day by day, as online sales rise to many billions of items annually. These levels of spending present a temptation to cybercriminals. Therefore, anyone conducting any sales or trades online, whether that might be through a custom portal or third-party shopping carts such as Amazon, Shopify or Etsy, there are certain points you must focus on to do so securely.
Having an E-commerce business comes with a lot of sensitive areas. Processing transactions with credit card details is a vulnerable moment for most retailers, as the data has to be kept securely. Having said that while your retail shopping cart may present the most promising target, other adjacent weaknesses might lead your online environment to be vulnerable and cause an E-commerce cybersecurity threat. Below you can find the three biggest threats an E-commerce set up has to face and how Astec IT can help can mitigate them.
1. Third-Party Web Components
A lot of E-Commerce websites are not custom-built and use a third-party web component. The main part to watch is your shopping cart, which is very common to outsource to reputable vendors. The first step is to make sure to work with a company which has a proven track record of security.
Unfortunately, these third-party components are often the ones targeted by malicious actors. Malware such as keylogging scripts can easily be inserted into the software. Cybercriminals often rely on vulnerabilities found in outdated versions of the program. Keylogging scripts are particularly dangerous to E-Commerce Cyber Security, as they record every key pressed while using your retail portal, which will typically include sensitive credit card details.
Hackers are known to seek outdated editions of vulnerable software because often the security weaknesses are publicised. Patching your software as soon as an update is available will help close this loophole for data theft. It is important to not wait as it can be a serious threat to your E-commerce cybersecurity. This is why we make sure all of our clients have the newest version of software. Additionally, Astec IT continuously educates and supports staff when it comes to updating their devices.
2. DDoS Attacks
Denial of Service attacks (or DDoS Attacks) are not new, their severity and growing ubiquity should be a concern for any company using online portals for trade. DDoS attacks attempt to make a website or other online service unavailable by causing it to “crash” under a bombardment of simultaneous visitors. This leads the website to be overwhelmed by traffic and to shut down. While this might not immediately sound like a threat to E-Commerce cybersecurity, it definitely is. Even if your own website does not become a target for such an attack, another website, such as your website host, might be targeted.
While DDoS attacks used to be conducted by people, nowadays there is a greater likelihood that smart devices are being co-opted to undertake in the DDoS attacks instead. This means that the bombardments are beginning to come from hijacked internet of things networked devices like home DVR machines. It can take a great deal of time as well as a lot of resources to be able to get your website back online and to regain customer trust.
DDoS attacks are especially common on Black Friday, when businesses strongly rely on a large number of consumers visiting the e-commerce website. In order to protect e-commerce businesses from suffering a loss in sales due to DDoS, Astec IT sets up multiple network paths and load balancing in network infrastructure to optimise the availability of the website. By using different network points instead of a single hosted server, cybercriminals will not be able to keep users from visiting the platform and making their purchases.
3. Open Source Codes
Open-source software can be a boon to companies who are trying to keep budgetary outlays to a minimum. Instead of purchasing official editions of software, it can be quite simple to download community-made substitutes as they often are free or very low cost and can function as well as professionally made software. Common examples of these community-made substitutes are word processors and accounting packages, such as Open Office and LibreOffice. Unfortunately, however, these programs often come at a cost of security protocols, as the code is open for anyone to see and to manipulate. This can lead to a compromise of E-Commerce cybersecurity. Besides that, as these programs are often community-driven, there is little to no accountability if something catastrophic might occur.
If your business cannot afford to purchase professional packages, the following options might be helpful to you:
– Consider using Software as a Service (SaaS), where high-quality software is available on a subscription basis, as this is often very affordable and easy to manage.
– If you are determined to continue using open-source software, Astec IT can support you by inspecting the code and identifying any executive fields. This way we can remove most of the risks and our team can support you by continuously updating the software once the updates are released.
Proactive Protection for E-Commerce Websites
As a business, there is only one thing you can do to protect your online presence: be proactive. Self-defence usually involves simple digital hygiene practices. Implement strict password controls, automate updates and patch installations, as well as set up Google alerts for your company name. Make sure you know where your website is hosted and how to contact them if necessary.
In order to prevent any issues from disrupting your business, contact us to receive a free IT infrastructure consultation, and gain further insights into the importance of IT support in the field of e-commerce.