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e-commerce threats encountered during the holiday season

E-commerce Threats Encountered During The Holiday Season

e-commerce threats happens during Holiday sale
via Pixabay

The holiday season is upon us, and people will rush to purchase as much as they can for gift-giving and more. With that, physical and online stores are ready to welcome visitors to their shops.

The number of sales in the last year has proven that e-commerce and online shops are most people’s go-to when in need of something. It is predicted that this year, e-commerce retail sales will grow up to $4.89T globally, which is a 14.25% increase from last year.

Although restrictions are limited and people are free to travel, online shopping will not expect to be pushed in the background. In fact, most people will prefer to do their shopping online because it is convenient. They don’t have to wait in line for hours or need to rush to get an item before someone gets there.

But the increasing number of people purchasing this holiday means more opportunities for hackers to steal from them and e-commerce shops.

No, cybercriminals take no breaks. They work round-the-clock and grab opportunities like this to steal valuable information and more.

E-commerce shops and other online businesses should not let their guard down this holiday season. In fact, they need to double their security to prevent attacks. Although not all cybersecurity practices are 100% guaranteed, it is still crucial to implement them. 

What E-commerce Threats Are Commonly Encountered This Holiday Season?

E-commerce threats are dangerous to businesses. It can lead to loss of reputation, financial burden, loss of data, and legal matters. 

This holiday season, e-commerce threats will be on the rise as people are busy shopping online.

Online business owners should be responsible to keep their customers and the website safe from e-commerce threats. They must make sure that customers must feel safe when they purchase from their store. 

About 62% of people find it difficult to trust their data with retailers. Therefore, they abandon their purchase in that shop. That’s why you need to make sure your site is safe. Also, to avoid having a negative opinion on your site. Around 52% of fraud victims will not return to a shop they encountered the threat. Hence, keep everything secure this holiday sale season.

But before knowing how to do so, what are these e-commerce threats business owners encounter when the big day comes?

E-commerce Threats Encountered These Holidays

RDDoS Attacks

If you are familiar with DDoS attacks, then RDDoS is easy to explain. DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service is an attempt to exhaust or make a website unavailable to users. Attackers from multiple locations send junk traffic to a website, causing the server to fail.

RDDoS is similar to DDoS, but attackers will require a ransom. It’s when a malicious party asks for money during or before the DDoS attack. They can send a ransom note while the attack is happening or send it first before the attack. 

A DDoS attack will prevent your customers from gaining access to your website. Therefore, you might lose sales during the holiday season.

Formjacking or E-skimming

Formjacking or e-skimming is an e-commerce threat that has been an issue in 2019. But there are at least 4,800 attacks that occur every month.

The hackers insert malicious code into the checkout page where customers place their personal and financial information. When they fill out the form, all details go directly to the attacker, leading to identity theft and fraud.

E-skimming is hard to detect because of its insidious nature. The technique is invasive, and hackers use a similar domain name to that of the target site.

Phishing Attacks

Of course, the most common threat encountered by individuals and businesses is a phishing attack. Although individual users do fall for this scheme, hackers mostly attack businesses and organizations to steal identities and money.

Often phishing attacks happen due to negligence or lack of knowledge. When an employee clicks on a link or downloads a file from an email or text message, it’ll lead to a spoofed website. 

Denial of Inventory Attacks

Attackers (sometimes sponsored by competitors) inject bots into the website to add items to the cart to make it unavailable to buyers. Hackers will add plenty of products into the cart to exhaust the inventory but have no intention of buying the item.

Denial of Inventory Attacks is common during the holidays as plenty of people want to purchase an item. Hence, attackers prevent this by using bots.

Carding or Credit Card Fraud

Attackers use bots to purchase small-value items using a stolen credit card and debit card detail. If the transaction works, they proceed to use the stolen cards for buying high-value items. 

Knowing these threats can help you find ways to prevent them from happening.

Before the holiday sales begin, take the following steps to secure your websites from e-commerce threats.

How to Secure Your Ecommerce from Threats?

Meet the Basic Website Security

The first step to ensuring safety from e-commerce threats is to avail a Secure Socket Layer or SSL certificate. SSL certificate encrypts the data transmitted from your customers to your website. It prevents cybercriminals from seeing the data.

Also, using an SSL certificate can inform your customers that you take their safety seriously. They can notice if your website has the certificate if the web address starts with HTTPS and there is a padlock symbol at the beginning.

Clearly Define Shopping Cart Policies

If you want to avoid Denial of Inventory attacks, defining shopping cart policies will prevent this from happening. You can set a limited time a person can add an item on their cart or how many items can only be added. Do this on your products that are limited only.

Research for the Most Secure E-commerce Platform

Before starting an online business, make sure you have done your research. Choose an e-commerce platform that has a good track record of security and it provides updates to patch vulnerabilities. 

Furthermore, it should be compatible with basic security like SSL certification, website scanners, and more.

Be PCI-DSS Compliant

PCI or Payment Card Industry compliance is a mandatory requirement for businesses that accept credit card payments. It secures the data that’s being transmitted from the cardholder to the processing company.

Install a Web Application Firewall (WAF)

Although WAF is not designed to protect against all attacks, it should be part of the holistic approach when securing a website. WAF is used to filter and monitor the traffic between the web app and the internet. It can detect any malicious traffic and block it immediately.

It’s an excellent defense against DDoS attacks or cross-site forgery, cross-site-scripting, file inclusion, and SQL injection. 

Update Software

Make sure that everything is updated. Check on all your software, operating systems, SSL certificate, third-party apps, and virus protection for Windows and Mac devices. See that everything is updated to avoid e-commerce threats. If developers don’t update their software anymore, get rid of it or replace it with something new and updated.

Limit the Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

The reason why hackers like to target online businesses is due to the amount of information available. To avoid being a victim of data breach and compromising your customers’ information, limit what you store. If you need to collect such information, get what you need and encrypt the storage.

Determine Visitor’s Intent

You can use a bot management solution to determine the intent of every visitor to your website. You’ll know if the traffic is genuine or if it’s a bot trying to attack your website. Using such management systems can provide early detection of DDoS attacks, spamming, credit card fraud, cart abandonment, and more.

Install a Website Security Scanner

If you need to check every part of your website and not miss out on a single software, use a website scanner. It’ll check on the presence of malware, security issues, and vulnerabilities. Make sure that it can be automated.

Use a Third-party Payment Processor

If you don’t want to set up a merchant bank account or store information on your server, you can always use a reliable third-party processor. Whenever a breach occurs, no customer data will be compromised.

Educate Employees

Since most phishing attacks are caused by clicking on links or downloading from an unknown email, educating your employees will make a difference. By informing them about such attacks and practices, they’ll have an idea of how to spot a threat and even avoid doing activities that can compromise the business.

Limit Admin Access

Insider threats can also be a cause of data breaches. Make sure to background check who you give access to and limit it only to people you trust. Also, monitor those who log in and out of your website.

Use an Email Filtering Solution

Aside from educating your employees regarding phishing attacks and other cybersecurity threats, you can also use an email filter to automatically detect and prevent malicious emails from entering into the company’s inbox.

For DDoS prevention, use DDoS dedicated solutions for detection, mitigation, and cloud protection. Also, the use of a Threat Protection System or TPS can bring a proactive approach by using data from dozens of security intelligence to detect malicious traffic.

Conclusion

This holiday, avoid e-commerce threats by implementing the best security practices to keep your business and customers safe. Use the best DDoS and other e-commerce threat prevention tools to get the most outstanding protection you need.

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