What do Target, Ebay and Amazon have in common, other than being Fortune 500 companies? They have all experienced severe security breaches in the last few years, such as credit card information theft and identity fraud. When it comes to hacking, websites’ sizes don’t matter. In theory, e-commerce managers all agree: website security must be a priority. However, the sad reality is that most of them do not take the time to understand the stakes at risk or look for proactive solutions to prevent catastrophic situations.
The first step towards a “safe website” is therefore education: understanding the underlying risks and what these threats can entail is crucial. Aside from logic flaws, password management schemes and third party supplier intrusion, hackers come up with dozens of creative ways to breach your platform, every day.
Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS)
A DDoS attack is a CEO’s nightmare. Hackers manufacture a flood of traffic to your website which quickly overloads, causing it to crash — and your sales to go down the drain. Attacks can last several days and are often seen as ransom notes.
Memory Scrapping Malware
When fishing for information, attackers can probe web-based applications with SQL queries. Some databases are more at risk than others. At the end of the day, this depends on the strength of the platforms they’re built on.
Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
This situation takes place when applications provide different browsers with untrusted user data. Concretely, XSS can help achieve wrongful redirection while enabling invaders to take over users’ accounts.
“Information security concerns everyone. After all, we’re exposed to information security risks each and every time we go online. No one should consider e-commerce without considering security first.”
Michael Bliah, Le Site
Now that you have an idea of the major threats your website can experience, we wanted to go-over a few cautionary measures to keep you safe:
- Choose a highly secure e-commerce platform
- Work with strong passwords
- Partner up with reliable associates
- Setup system alerts for suspicious activity and unauthorized code changes
- Consider a web application firewall
- Use a secure connection for online checkout
- Ensure your website is PCI compliant
- Scan your website regularly for vulnerabilities and make sure your hosting partner is too
- Avoid sharing login information (create a unique ID for each employee).