Back to Blog

The importance of cybersecurity in eCommerce

Aug 17, 2022

The increased popularity of online shopping has led to a steep rise in cybercriminal activity, targeting both shoppers and online entrepreneurs alike. E-commerce is currently one of the most attractive industries for cybercriminals, with companies engaged in the movement of goods, cryptocurrency operations, online gaming and gambling suffering the most.

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from digital attacks. These cyberattacks attempt to steal, expose, alter, disable or destroy sensitive information through unauthorised access. A successful attack can have a significant negative impact on a business, including direct losses from the disruption of operations, the outflow of customers due to reputational damage, huge regulatory fines, or most likely a combination of all.

Small e-commerce startups are the most vulnerable to cyberattacks due to the shortage of experienced IT staff, smaller budgets and limited security awareness. The damage caused by digital attacks might be irreparable for small businesses as they will rarely have a second chance to start over following a shut down.

Common Types of Attacks

The most common types of attacks against e-commerce websites are phishing, malware/ransomware, SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and e-skimming.

Phishing occurs when scammers, posing as a legitimate institution, trick users (via malicious emails, text messages or phone calls) into providing private information like login details, passwords, card numbers, etc. Then this information is used to access a victim’s accounts, resulting in financial loss or identity theft.

Malware is malicious software which, if able to run on devices or networks, may steal, encrypt or delete all important data and systems. Ransomware may cause the victim’s computer to become locked before receiving a cybercriminal ransom demand to be able to regain access to it.

SQL injection is one of the methods used by hackers to steal data. This type of attack uses malicious SQL code for backend database manipulation, targeting sensitive information not intended to be displayed, such as passwords, credit card details or personal user information.

Cross-site Scripting (XSS) is a type of attack where malicious executable scripts are injected into the codes of legitimate websites or applications. Once users run it in their browsers, it will expose them to malware, phishing and more. A DDoS attack is an attempt to make a webshop unavailable by overwhelming it with a flood of traffic from multiple sources. Such attacks can cause reputation damage and lost revenue.

E-skimming happens when fraudsters implement a malicious Java-Script code on payment processing websites to extract data from an HTML form that the user has filled in. Then this sensitive data is sent to a domain under the fraudster’s control. Your e-commerce business will always be a target for cybercriminals. Do not think that your firm is too small or too new to be targeted. An attack can happen at any time.

What You Can Do?

Online merchants can no longer rely on simplistic firewalls and antivirus software to protect their data. They must create a robust cybersecurity ecosystem to stay ahead of the increasing threats. Follow the tips below and stay aware of what’s happening in the cybersecurity landscape and you will be able to provide your customers with a shopping experience they can trust.

  • Always comply with PCI DSS requirements;
  • Keep your devices, browsers and applications up-to-date;
  • Perform regular backups;
  • Install anti-malware software;
  • Get SSL certificates;
  • Protect your data with strong and secure passwords, use 2FA where available;
  • Be vigilant: monitor and analyse all suspicious activity using web logs;
  • Think twice before opening attachments and clicking on links in emails;
  • Install patches from your service providers;
  • Train your employees. They are your first line of defence.

These days, cybersecurity has become a fundamental element in business success. Even a small amount of negligence from your side can create a significant risk to your business. Establish practices and policies to protect your company from cyberattacks and provide guidelines for resolving issues quickly if they arise. And remember your company's security policy should comply with global standards as well as best practices.

More from FMPay

Start accepting payments online

Get started with ease using FMPay's secure and user-friendly payment processing gateway. With seamless integration, also available for top e-commerce platforms, setup is quick and hassle-free.

Contact Us