E-commerce can simply be defined as the buying and selling of goods and services electronically and it has been booming in recent times. Well, it is considered to be less hectic since e-commerce just requires one to own an electronic device such as a mobile phone or a laptop to transact from anywhere sometimes offering delivery services to your location. On the downside, though, the popularity of these sites has subsequently led to increased cyber-attacks targeted at such sites.
Cyber-attacks are carried out by highly skilled experts who are highly knowledgeable with computer systems. E-commerce has been diversely affected by cyber-attacks since the whole system is run electronically. According to liquid.com medium-sized e-commerce businesses are among the most targeted by cyber-attacks with three out of every five cyber-attacks aimed at them. This attacks can lead to data corruption, data loss and sometimes even the hackers can take over the site with the owner having no access this may cause negativity about the business to the customers since they may not feel secure. In other words, the only way of protecting an e-business is to implement top draw security on e-commerce sites. So, how do you do this?
Ways of protecting e-commerce sites from cyber attacks
Some solutions have been developed to combat cyber-attacks and protect online businesses. The websites need to use a secure connection for online checkouts hence they can apply SSL certification. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer which is a type of encryption technology. This creates an encrypted connection between the web server and the people visiting the site this can help secure e-commerce websites. It additionally creates customer confidence when they can know that the site they are using to transact is highly protected especially in this times where cyber-attacks are on the rise. The SSL certificates are highly critical for online transactions to validate the customer’s credit cards used for payment this prevents crimes being committed by comparing the address entered online with the one they have on file with their credit card company.
Another way of preventing cyber-attacks is by avoiding storage of sensitive data especially records of customer’s credit card numbers or expiration dates it is recommended to keep old records from your database and keep a minimal amount of records just enough for charge –backs and refunds. This can discourage cyber-attacks since there is not much or sensitive data to be stolen from the database. However, some sensitive data may not be avoided being in the database hence it is important to employ still the use of cheap SSL certificates to protect the data.
Misconfiguration of security settings is frequently looked into when implementing web servers and applications. It is easy to exploit; attackers can get unauthorized access to system data or server functionality this can enable them to steal or modify data slowly over time.Attackers can exploit default accounts, unprotected files and more. This can, however, prevent by periodically auditing the security threats maintaining updated software is also essential to deploy a secure environment.
Setting of a system so that it can receive alerts for suspicious activity can also help prevent attacks. An alert can be set to notice multiple or suspicious transactions coming through the same IP address multiple orders can be tracked especially if they are coming from the same person using different credit cards or phone numbers. These alerts can help one identify whether the system has been hacked and such suspicious activities being carried out using the information the hackers get from the site. The business can, therefore, increase their security and identify the breaches to the site thereby adding a stronger security to their system.
A secure e-commerce platform is essential for the protection of the business. The e-commerce site should be put on a platform that uses a sophisticated object-orientated programming language which this makes is difficult for attackers to access the database of the site. Instead of using open source e-commerce platforms a business should work to use their internal network this brings more security since the platform is only available to the business only making it very inaccessible to the public. Secondary authenticates such as using SSL certificates should be employed to better the security of the system.
The business employees should also be trained to provide security. They should know that at no time are they allowed to share sensitive data or reveal private customer information by communication methods such as emails and text whether authorized or unauthorized parties since it is easier for attackers to get information through written information. The employees need also be educated on the laws and policies that affect customer data and be trained on what action they should take to keep it safe. E-commerce business should use strict protocols and policies to ensure employees adhere to mandated security practices.
E-commerce business should require their customers to use strong passwords although it is the responsibility of the customer to keep their login information safe the business can help customers help themselves. Strong passwords need the website to enquire the customers to use a minimum number of characters and use of symbols or numbers thereby preventing them from being breached from the front end.
Patching the system with a new version periodically is needed this includes the web server itself, as well as other third party code like Java, Python, WordPress and Joomla which are favorite targets for attackers. Breached sites are found on running third-year-old versions which are not updated.
E-commerce is a sensitive business the owners should take a lot of caution to safeguard their customer’s information. This will also benefit the business itself since it creates trust from the public. As stated earlier it is highly important that the sites incorporate the use of SSL certificates since they enable protection of a lot of sensitive data which being in the wrong hands can cause the collapse of the business. Points stated above should and must be practiced by the e-commerce to their systems for their sake and that of their customers.