Website security is an integral piece of the puzzle when running your own E-Commerce website. It could very well be the difference between having a highly successful online shop or being not so successful and losing money.
It has always been thrilling to work in E-Commerce Sector, as the business gets to new heights. Still, wherever there is money to be earned, Hackers (Cyber Criminals) always find a way to steal it. The E-Commerce industry has always been a major target to cyber criminals and credit card fraudsters. Many of the attacks on small and big E-Commerce players go undetected, because of new stealthy hacking techniques that contain the ability to bypass all security mechanisms deployed. Why am I emphasizing more on E-Commerce here? because of its volatile nature. A recent study found that 65% of intrusions in retail sector were because of a compromise in the E-Commerce application.
Why E-Commerce Websites are always a primary target for Cyber Thieves and Competitors?
- Online Transactions: E-Commerce websites process their customers’ money. Where there is an online transaction, there is a threat. E-Commerce is forever lucrative spot to hit and try.
- Confidential Customer data: E-commerce websites also process a lot of sensitive data of customers such as credit card details & CVV numbers along with personal details like Username/ Password, phone number, address, Email IDs, etc. everything that gives them more edge on conducting further crime by using the same leaked information to do Identity theft, Carding, and other various frauds. Personal data is always lucrative for hackers, later they sell the same database in the underground hacking community for more dollars encouraging more financial and identity frauds.
- Exploiting Business logic bugs – Remember the FoodPanda hack from IIIT Hyderabad where students who bought food worth Rs. 6 lakhs without spending a rupee? Read the Story here. There have been many cases like this where business logic bugs were exploited to drop the price of a certain product and buy it for impossible discount rates. For eg. A Television which costs a normal customer Rs. 20,000. Exploiting Business logic bug a hacker can buy the same for Rs. 1 or either free. Scary right? It sure is for all those who have a lot to lose.
- Best Place to host Malwares: After successful compromise of the application, cyber criminals tend to add extra malicious code to the website, to further spread malwares to infect customer profiles visiting the affected website later stealing confidential data like credit card details and personal information. It also contributes in sabotaging operations of companies that are rising progressively
- Evil Competitors : If you are doing well with your business, probably there would be competitors who are not happy with your growth. They always want to sneak and find out what is your secret recipe to E-Commerce success. Some see all possible way to damage your operation, reputation, and goodwill or to steal your trade secrets which you never want to disclose. At most cases your competitors look for all possibilities to hurt your business, hiring a professional cyber criminal to do it is always an open option to topple businesses down. It’s a bad world, no doubt.
E-Commerce business owners always have to understand that their E-Commerce business is not only a website but also they are running a business online where they are responsible for security of customers personal and financial data. Great E-Commerce businesses are build on extensive trust. Keeping Security in front and making the customers realize that you as an E-commerce business are serious about securing their confidential data, it will be a huge achievement for modern day E-Commerce businesses.
How Google can go against you if you are a threat to E-commerce security?
Google is much more strict with people visiting websites which are compromised or have malware on it. The other factor is the loss of customers trust in your business. Recent study shows 40% of E-Commerce customers would completely stop to shop from an E-Store that had compromised customer data. It’s not always the customers trust that has been compromised but also Google’s trust for your online business. Whenever google finds something fishy on your E-commerce website, it will stop the visitors and customer to enter and adds your site to “Blacklist” which might directly kill your current and future customers resulting in total blackout of your online business. The same gets continued by other Anti-Virus vendors blacklisting the website, which will instantly decrease the number of visitors and customers that trust your business.
Skarpsinne’s Case Study with an E-Commerce client – Bursting the security Myth
Our experience with E-Commerce security began with an E-commerce client from Kochi, Kerala. Our reference hack lead us to get in touch with the CEO of the startup, and we pitched our service for securing their OpenCart based E-Commerce platform. Below is the series of conversations that happened between us.
CEO: We use OpenCart, and OpenCart is already secure, we don’t need to bother much on security.
Skarpsinne : Of Course you don’t have a custom application built, but still there are security bugs which can emerge because of poor configuration and lack of security hardening over your CMS platform.
CEO : We don’t need security as we constantly update OpenCart. That keeps us safe.
Skarpsinne : If you can give us a chance to test your application for free to find security vulnerabilities, will that be fine for you?
CEO : Sure.
After 3 days we went back to the client with total 7 vulnerabilities which included 2 critical vulnerabilities that could compromise customers’ data and get server level access to any cyber attacker. The CEO was shocked to see the revelations explained by our team of experts. And they quickly acknowledged our effort. Now they are our happy customers, we provide continuous security to them.
Most E-Commerce business owners think CMS based business applications are secure as the vendor always releases new updates and takes care of security.
Our TurboSec™ Free Website Security Check Program has gained a lot of traction among national and international startups where we have proved to lot of businesses that their website is vulnerable to hacking attempts and have actively helped them secure their online web presence. We have always focused to help the startup community along with corporates & SMEs to consider Security as one of their priorities while also focusing on increasing our expertise widely. Check it out here.
Security is not an obligation it is a necessity based on the principle of “Prevention is better than cure”. A lot of online platforms get compromised, submerged or sabotaged for the sake of someone’s personal fun or extremely selfish gains out of it. Internet & online businesses as one of the huge pillars of economic and societal progress in the current times are responsible to prevent being victims of callous attacks that distract and defame the cutting edge progress of our country and the world. The adaptability to secure the internet and online businesses will not only ensure smooth undistracted progress but also make lives better in the forefront of constant transactional activities. Let’s take the first step and pledge for security.