Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and Forever21 have fallen on cybercriminals’ hands. This can happen to you if you don’t follow best practices of eCommerce Cybersecurity.
Just to give you an idea: Over $2.1Billion online retail purchases were made (worldwide) at the start of 2020. And if you’re in the U.S., you’ll be happy to know that 80% of people in the U.S. shop online.
As the owner of an eCommerce store, you’re responsible for the protection of your customer’s personal information. Therefore, you’ll learn how to offer them the safest experience.
Why Is Ecommerce Cybersecurity so Important?
Without a doubt, Hackers love to target eCommerce stores. And not because of the products, but because of all the user data, they are capable of stealing.
Taking this into account, we better get into the details of why Cybersecurity is essential for eCommerce. Or, what are the risks that you suffer by ignoring it?
- Reputation – Customer’s trust is as valuable as any 6-figures check. Sadly, you won’t recover it back after a security breach incident, especially if you’re a small business or startup. How could you lose their trust? Through an attack that wipes off all sensitive, personal information, and payment credentials). Just to give you an idea of how important this is: 64% of consumers say they are unlikely to do business again with a company from which their data was stolen.
- Security Standards – Related to trust and reputation, there are ground-level requirements that your eCommerce store has to meet (considered “in compliance”). The size of your business has little importance here. With it, you let the authorities know that you’ll treat Payment credentials smartly, or otherwise pay fines.
- Extra-Fees – Security breaches are more expensive than what you thought. If it happens to you, there’s a handful of financial problems to address: data recovery, credit monitoring, forensic investigations, and many, many more.
Now that you know the consequences: Do you want to learn what may cause them?
Don’t worry. My goal is not to scare you away, out of this article.
It’s actually to help you be aware of how Ecommerce Cybersecurity works in real-life.
Ecommerce Cybersecurity Threats & Solutions
Have you ever heard, “Prevention is better than treatment”?
It applies perfectly to Ecommerce Cybersecurity. Let’s better understand what’s out there, to avoid falling into the pit.
What you’ll see below are real, latent threats (and their sacred solutions).
- Stolen Data and Fraud: I said it once. And I said it as many times it’s needed: the worst thing that can happen to your e-commerce store is when the user’s data gets stolen. We’re talking about credit card information, email, and physical addresses, etc. They can get it in so many ways, but the most frequent are brute force attacks to central servers (where everything is stored) or third-party services exploits.
Refunds are another common type of fraud capable of dealing with a significant loss. Hackers will chargeback transactions after they get the goods (claiming it’s damaged).
To prevent the moral and financial hit that stolen data causes, try your best NOT to store this information on your servers. At least, just keep only the most vital information (let every customer know that you’ll “hold it” to improve its experience).
If there’s no other way, at least pick the best third-party solutions. After everything is entirely set-up, proceed to have a PLAN B back-up (if something ever happens).
- Phishing Attacks: Have you ever received a suspicious online message or email? And this one had a link or an attachment, with a clear call-to-action to click or download? If you fall into this trap, a Trojan malware will step-in, to corrupt, delete or steal as much as it can from your computer system or store server.
While Phishing practitioners are brilliant manipulators. There are still ways to identify them from legitimates. Look for spelling or grammatical errors inside the message or email’s subject/content.
The name or domain of the sender is also a principal place to look at. In most cases, they try to disguise a familiar brand’s name, but with one or two letters off.
- Bots & DDoS Attacks: There are good bots (as those that crawl the Search Engines) and bad bots (used for targeted attacks and website scraping).
In the first example, DOS and DDoS attacks aim to take down the store through numerous requests, crashing it along sales. And in the scraping situation, hackers use information as inventory and pricing to provoke confusion and even Negative SEO.
Is there any possible way to avoid both? Fortunately, there is. Be aware that hackers go for vulnerabilities that experts can patch. Those who use platforms like WooCommerce and BigCommerce get automatic software updates. But those who don’t, won’t.
There are audit tools (as plugins) you can still use to confirm everything is in order.
- Brute Force Attacks: This threat is like the previously mentioned but on steroids. With Brute-force Attacks, hackers go all-in into the admin panel (most times, being able to crack its password).
And because 80% of attacks are attributed to weak passwords, the best you can do to protect yourself against such attacks is using a robust and complex password.
That would include at least eight characters, with both upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Of course, it is quite apparent, but it keeps happening: Do not repeat the same login credentials (username and password) among different platforms. And neither do you use information that you tend to share publicly (date of birth) on those credentials.
Last, but not least – Activate 2-factor or multi-factor Authentication, and a regular change of password if security breaches are common in your industry.
- Human Error: Did you know that 7 out of 10 cybersecurity “incidents” happen due to negligence of individual staff? That’s not hard to believe, because we humans commit mistakes all the time. So it might be that maybe, you underestimated hackers.
Of course, you couldn’t look at your customers straight in the eyes if something ever happens to their private data. Therefore, let’s avoid errors from occurring.
To do so, get everyone from your Ecom business involved in cybersecurity. Make your employees aware, and train them to cover their role of your emergency plan.
So far, something got stuck into your head. Hopefully, it’s that way.
Online business is not something you can relax or neglect. Even the smallest failure may cost you a fortune.
On the other hand, assure a smooth and safe shopping experience to your customers, and you’ll see how fast and easy they develop loyalty. It’s a Win-Win scenario.
Are you afraid of cyber attacks and fraud? Let’s protect your security protocols, and build the reputation your brand needs. Earn the trust of your customers and your peace of mind.