How Can You Prevent Common E-Commerce Security Issues?

e-commerce security issues

E-commerce websites are the perfect target for cyber attacks. If an attacker breaches a company’s security, they could gain access to a large amount of sensitive personal and financial information. One data breach can cause thousands or more in damages and seriously hurt a brand’s reputation.

Whether you’re using an in-house platform or a third-party solution, there are some consistent e-commerce security concerns facing organizations. In this post, we’ll examine the top security threats for e-commerce websites and what you can do to prevent them.

Common E-Commerce Security Issues

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

DDoS attacks attempt to overwhelm the target server with a flood of internet traffic, preventing normal traffic from accessing the site. The attacks can take a site down for hours or days until brought under control.

Cross-site scripting (XSS)

XSS attacks inject malicious scripts into trusted websites. Hackers can then send the malicious scripts to unsuspecting users. The malicious scripts can access usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information.

Malware injection

An attacker installs malware on your server that allows them to run malicious code. The malware can give the attacker access to your customer database or personal location data.

Man in the Middle (MITM)

These attacks allow hackers to intercept communications between two computers. They can then monitor API calls between your frontend and backends or internal microservices.

SQL injection

SQL injections are a method of adding SQL statements to existing queries your application makes to its database. They can give an attacker access to your database without your knowledge.

Brute force attacks

Hackers can attempt to access the backend of your e-commerce system if the admin login is publicly available on the internet. With a brute force attack, the attacker simply tries different passwords in an attempt to successfully log in.

Preventing E-Commerce Security Issues

Follow PCI-DSS requirements

PCI-DSS is the global data security standard used to protect cardholder data. Any entity that stores, processes, or transmits cardholder data must comply with the standards. The requirements state that your organization must not store cardholder data unless it’s necessary to meet the needs of the business. If you choose to store payment information, you should look for a PCI-compliant hosting provider as they have strict policies for ensuring security.

Use reliable payment processors

If you do not store your payment information, you’ll need to pass it off to a third-party service. Find a trusted and reliable payment processor to store the information. This will ensure that your entire payment processing chain is secure.

Use a CDN

Content Delivery Networks (CDN) cache content across a network of distributed servers. This makes content closer to users and helps to reduce your page load times. CDNs also protect your site from DDoS attacks. Any malicious traffic is routed through the CDN and redistributed across its group of servers. A DDoS attack won’t reach your origin servers, making it unable to affect the availability of your site.

Secure account access with Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication gives an extra layer of protection against hackers accessing your user accounts. Sending an extra login code by SMS or email helps ensure that only the real user can access the account even if the username and password are compromised.

Using Microservices to Boost Security

How you go about securing your e-commerce system will depend on the type of platform that you use. If you’re using a hosted platform from a SaaS provider, they will likely handle protection against common security threats. This frees you from having to manage it but exposes you to any vulnerabilities the third-party platform may have. In contrast, if you use your own in-house e-commerce platform, you’ll have to handle the core security responsibilities yourself.

You can also take a hybrid approach where part of your e-commerce system is from third-party vendors and part of it is your own in-house services. There are security benefits to taking this microservices-based approach. SaaS providers like fabric provide robust security as part of our e-commerce solutions. You are free from handling security for these components and instead only worry about securing your in-house services.

Topics: Commerce
Bradley Taylor

Tech advocate and writer @ fabric.

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