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Potential Security Threats in Ecommerce Business

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As an ecommerce business owner today one of the biggest challenges you may have to face is ecommerce security issues. If you’re a small to medium-sized business, experiencing a cyber attack could cause such financial loss and damage to your brand reputation that you have to shut down. If you’re aware of what types of threats, you can take preventative measures to reduce the risks.

What is Ecommerce security?

Ecommerce security is keeping sensitive and confidential data safe from unauthorized access. It helps to reduce the impact of a cyber attack and enhance recovery with minimal losses. Your ecommerce website will be operational and safe 24/7 and provide a seamless shopping experience. When customers are safe to browse and buy products from your ecommerce store, it improves their trust in your business.

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Ecommerce security solutions

Security tools in ecommerce include HTTPS protocols, anti-malware software, firewalls, and secure payment gateways.

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HTTPS protocols keep sensitive user data secure and boost your site ranking. They secure data transfer between servers and user devices to prevent any interception. Some browsers will block user access to your site if you don’t have these protocols in place. You should also have an up-to-date SSL certificate from your hosting service.

Malware is an umbrella term for all kinds of infections. Up-to-date, efficient anti-malware software will protect you against infections like worms, viruses, Trojan horses, etc.

Firewalls can help to protect your ecommerce store against SQL injection and other cyber threats. They also regulate traffic so only trusted traffic comes to your store.

It’s best to use secure third-party payment gateways like Stripe or PayPal to handle payment transactions. This ensures the financial information of your customers stays safe.

When you use multi-layered security measures it makes it much harder for hackers to break through and infiltrate your ecommerce store. Multi-factor authentication is one measure that can help to protect customers and prevent data loss.

Types of security threats

Threats to the security of your ecommerce business can come in many different forms. These threats can disrupt your ecommerce store and make your customers’ confidential information vulnerable.

1. Financial fraud

Financial fraud is prevalent in the ecommerce industry. Credit card fraud is probably the most common type and involves a bad actor using a stolen credit card to buy products at your ecommerce store. In such a case the shipping and billing addresses may vary. Installing an Address Verification System (AVS) can help to detect and curb credit card fraud.

2. Malware

Malware is malicious software hackers install on your computer system. It may include viruses, spyware, Trojan horses, and ransomware. A Trojan horse is disguised as a legitimate program but once it is inside your computer system it can execute whatever task an attacker designs it to carry out. Ransomware can lock you out of your critical systems until you pay the hacker to neutralize the threat.

3. Phishing

Your ecommerce store customers can easily fall victim to a phishing attack. A cybercriminal will send out a message or email to your customers pretending to be from you. The goal is to obtain their confidential information. The message may contain URLs, logos, and more that make it seem legitimate. It may ask a customer to verify an account by logging in. The bad actor can then use this information to steal confidential data.

4. Spamming

Hackers may send infected links via email. They may leave links in comments on blog posts or in contact forms. Those who click on these links are directed to spam websites where they may end up being victims of cybercrime. Apart from affecting your ecommerce store security, spamming can reduce its speed and performance.

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5. Bad bots

You can program bots to perform manual tasks automatically which can help you save time when running your ecommerce business. Unfortunately, bots can also be used for nefarious purposes. Your competitors may use bots to gather information about your inventory and prices. They can then offer more competitive prices than you.

6. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks

A DDoS attack causes your servers to receive a deluge of requests, usually from different untraceable IP addresses. This causes your servers to crash and customers can’t access your ecommerce store.

7. Brute force attacks

A brute force attack is when a hacker uses automated scripts to try out many different combinations of numbers, characters, and letters until they find the right password. It helps if you use strong, complex passwords that are hard to crack and that you change regularly.

8. API attacks

The architecture of your ecommerce platform involves the use of APIs. This makes it an easy target for an API attack. Malicious API usage can result in data losses and service disruptions for your ecommerce site.

9. Exploitation of known vulnerabilities

Cybercriminals are able to exploit known vulnerabilities in your ecommerce store. For example, it may be vulnerable to SQL injection or cross-site scripting (XSS). SQL injection is a malicious technique that hackers use to write and inject their own queries into your unprotected SQL server database. Cross-site scripting plants a malicious JavaScript snippet on your e-commerce store to target your online visitors and customers.

10. Man-in-the-middle attacks

A man-in-the-middle attack allows hackers to listen in on the communications of ecommerce website users. Users are deceived into using a public wireless network. This allows hackers to access their devices and see their browsing history. They can also access their usernames, passwords, and credit card information.

Best practices to combat and recover from security threats

  • Restrict user access and define user roles. Every user should perform only up to their roles in the admin panel on your ecommerce website.
  • Educate your customers and employees on how to use your website securely.
  • Delete the details of former employees and revoke their access to all your systems.
  • Regularly backup sensitive data so you can reduce recovery time after a cyber attack.
  • Update your systems frequently and use reliable ecommerce security plugins.
  • Set up a failover system so you can switch to system or data backups if your store goes down.
  • Regularly review third-party integrations. Removing obsolete or unwanted ones can reduce the risks of third parties trying to access your data.


Cyber threats keep evolving and increasing all the time. Hackers are using newer methods to break into systems to steal personal and financial information. If you want to run a successful ecommerce business you need to know what type of threats you could face. Putting security measures in place and following best practices will help you to reduce the threats. You can also recover more quickly if you do fall victim to a cyber attack.

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