Top Ecommerce Security Threats and Their Solutions
E-commerce has emerged as a dominant force in the global economy. Amazon had over $125 billion in sales in Q4 of 2020 alone. As e-commerce evolves into the go-to solution for so many businesses, it also leaves them vulnerable to significant cybersecurity threats that could compromise their organizations, as well as subject the private information of their customers to security breaches.
Here are some of the most common e-commerce security threat issues facing e-commerce today and the e-commerce security solutions designed to protect companies and their customers.
The Most Common Security Issues
Phishing involves an attacker attempting to lure their target into providing sensitive information via email, text, or other instant messaging. During the attack, the scammer will try to earn the victim’s trust so they let their guard down. They may then lead them to a site where they enter sensitive credentials, such as bank information, that the attacker can later use to steal their money, impersonate them, or engage in other forms of fraud.
Spam refers to emails sent in bulk to large groups of recipients. They typically advertise a good or service. While, on the surface, spam may seem like a relatively innocuous irritant, it poses a genuine threat. Spam emails can contain viruses and other malware via either attachments or links. The more spam your organization gets, the higher the chances of your network getting infected.
From fake credit cards to stolen cards to fake returns and chargebacks, financial fraud has been growing more and more popular. A fraudster can steal credit card information using a fake card reader or phishing and then make fraudulent purchases. With a chargeback, a thief may falsely claim to not receive an item they have paid for, thus earning a refund.
Bots automatically perform specific tasks using programming that has been written into them. Some popular bots include:
- Scraper bots, which harvest—or steal—data from websites
- Spambots that send spam to victims
- Social media bots that pretend to be real humans
- Download bots, which falsify the number of downloads an application gets
- Ticketing bots, which act like scalpers, buying items and then selling them at an inflated price
Brute-force attacks involve hacking to crack users’ passwords and other credentials using trial and error. In many cases, a computer program throws possible passwords at a security gateway, one after the other, until it succeeds.
With a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, the attacker inundates a website with many false requests. As the site tries to respond to all of them, it gets overworked and often has to shut down. When this happens, the site is not able to serve the needs of legitimate customers, crippling the business.
Trojan horses, like their namesake in Greek mythology, appear to be benevolent applications but actually contain malicious code. They can even appear to look like they are associated with legitimate e-commerce applications, making users think clicking on them could bring some benefit. In reality, they end up downloading malware.
With Structured Query Language (SQL) injections, the attacker tries to take advantage of vulnerabilities in the code of an application by putting an SQL query in place of what should be there, such as a password or username. When the query gets executed, it allows the attacker to study the database, including its structure and how it handles queries. They can then use this information to orchestrate an attack.
A cross-site scripting (XSS) attack involves a cyber criminal bypassing a website's security and using webpages or applications to transmit malicious code to the user. This enables the attacker to gain access to sensitive cookies, a range of sensitive data, session tokens with security certificates, or even make changes to the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) of the target page. To ensure a safe online shopping experience for users, an organization should defend its site from XSS attacks.
Man in the Middle (MITM)
In a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack, the hacker takes advantage of weak web protocols to position themselves in a way that enables them to intercept communications between their victim and a website. In this way, they can steal information, pretend to be the person, or pretend to communicate with them to steal their data.
Ecommerce Security Solutions
HTTPS and SSL Certificates
With Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), you can enjoy more secure communication within your computer's browser. The sites you visit, when enabled with HTTPS, provide a safer experience. Secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates get sent between two parties to verify the legitimacy of both. When the certificate is verified to be legitimate, secure transfers of data can take place.
Anti-malware uses the signatures and behaviors of malware to identify then stop it from infiltrating your computer or network. When malware has been discovered, its attributes are recorded and logged into the database that powers the anti-malware system. Anti-malware can also examine where a packet of data is coming from or where it is going, to check whether it contains malware.
Secure Server and the Admin Panel
Secure servers communicate with the encrypted information of web browsers and other web servers. This can prevent someone who intercepts the communication from being able to read or use it. Within the admin panel, an administrator can assign different roles to different users, securing access to certain areas of the network with secure passwords. In this way, a malicious user cannot easily get into a sensitive area of the network.
A firewall inspects packets of data coming in and going out. It can detect malicious code and discard it, preventing it from getting to its destination. In this way, a firewall can protect a variety of attack surfaces, as long as it is placed between the target and the stream of potentially malicious data.
Secure Payment Gateway
A secure payment gateway helps protect the credit card and other financial information of clients from hackers. The gateway works by encrypting credit card information, making it impossible to read without the decryption key. In this way, the gateway acts as a secure middleman, protecting your customers’ purchases.
Fortinet Security Solution for Ecommerce Apps
For enhanced security for you and your customers, consider Fortinet for e-commerce. FortiWeb Cloud enables your organization to implement scalable, affordable, and flexible security solutions. FortiWeb Cloud for e-commerce security lets you turn on, turn off, and scale your security solution according to your business’s requirements.
FortiWeb Cloud comes with the following powerful features:
- Application delivery
- Account takeover
- Security rules
- Client security
- Bot mitigation
- Access rules
- DDoS prevention
- Application programming interface (API) protection
- Advanced applications
With these capabilities, you can protect your entire e-commerce architecture and provide a safe online shopping environment.