Types of Security Vulnerabilities in eCommerce and How to Solve Them

7 July 2021

According to the recent research by Statista, in 2020 the eCommerce sales worldwide reached their new year-over-year record, amounting to around 4.3 trillion US dollars.

Needless to add, these numbers will only grow in the future and are expected to reach 5.4 trillion US dollars in 2022.

Among the most common reasons that have forced various businesses from different industries to improve their online presence, marketers usually mention digital transformation and the recent pandemic hit in 2020.

However, along with eCommerce’s rising popularity, it still has a lot of vulnerabilities that make customers doubt its reliability. For instance, a large survey by PwC has shown that over 47% of organizations have encountered fraud in the past 24 months.

But what are the most common types of these security vulnerabilities and how can they be prevented in eCommerce? Intellectsoft experts are ready to share the best practices!

What Is a Security Vulnerability in eCommerce?

In the eCommerce industry, security vulnerability stands for the weak points of the system that can be easily attacked by scammers or prone to various fraudulent activities for getting money, products, and personal information from clients’ bases for the purpose of profit.

To prevent this, eCommerce units need to test and improve their online systems regularly to detect any security vulnerability (for instance, bugs, system errors, etc.) before scammers can use them for personal gain.

Knowing the basic types of security vulnerabilities can significantly assist in improving eCommerce web systems and applications, prevent cost loss, and prove to your final consumers your business is secure and can be trusted.

What Are the Most Common Types of eCommerce Security Vulnerabilities?

As we have already discussed, being aware of the most common security vulnerabilities in eCommerce will help you make sure you won’t lose any investments, or, what is even more important — your authority and customers’ trust.

That is why let’s now dive into the typical eCommerce security threats you should definitely be aware of when developing your eCommerce platform.

1. Financial Frauds or Payment Frauds

This type is one of the most typical for eCommerce and dates back to the very first attempts of the businesses going online. Often, scammers used to make unauthorized transactions and immediately wipe out the trails. Or else, they can use the fake emails, accounts, and names, and even IP addresses to look like the real customer.

After they have requested a refund with, for instance, a fake screenshot, most eCommerce platforms basically give them money for nothing, especially if they’re not aware of this financial trick.

With being reported in over 70% of all attacks, payment frauds are still one of the top reasons why companies experience huge cost losses.

How to Solve the Problem

Make sure your eCommerce platform cooperates only with verified and authoritative payment systems. Additionally, some companies make it possible to conduct a transaction only after logging in to the individual account before any purchase, which minimizes the risks of financial fraud and prevents common security vulnerabilities as well.

2. Spam Attacks

Though emails are considered to be the most powerful marketing channel for eCommerce, they are also the typical web security vulnerabilities hackers can easily take advantage of.

The random comments left on the product pages, under your blog posts, or the contact forms can not only harm the customers’ trust but also slow down your platform as well.

Needless to say, that one infected link left by a spammer is more than enough to affect your site’s speed, provide access to personal customer information and other sensitive data.

Additionally, the spamming activity can become a serious threat to the customers’ security as well, which can easily undermine your site’s credibility.

How to Solve the Problem

Use anti-spamming software for security vulnerabilities detection and its successful removal. Such software can easily spot the infected URLs and safely remove them from your site so that no one can see them.

Typically, such software type uses various algorithms to filter the comments and detect the computer-generated links which can be potentially dangerous for your site’s security, and even provide you with the details about the email of the actual sender if it is possible.

3. Triangulation Fraud

One of the most recent and large-scale security vulnerabilities detected nowadays is triangulation fraud. This stands for creating a fake site with an identical interface and products at a cheaper price.

After the customers complete the transaction, they basically donate the money to the criminals, as the products they wanted to purchase simply don’t exist and never be shipped to them.

The reason why this type of fraud is harmful to your eCommerce platform is that you can lose your new clients, loyal customers, and their trust as well: no one wants to go back to the site (even with the slight differences in a brand’s name or interface) after being cheated there at once.

How to Solve the Problem

Basically, no one can stop scammers from creating a platform that looks just like your online store. However, it’s possible to prevent your customers from being fooled by simply informing them about this issue and pointing out the real domain of your eCommerce platform.

Even a simple information letter can in fact prevent your customers from money loss and also strengthen your store’s authority as well.

4. Web Application Security Vulnerabilities

At present, the level of competition in different business areas makes companies do their best to meet all the customers’ needs. For online stores, web applications are simply a must to attract more clients to their platform.

For instance, it’s essential for eCommerce clients to create the wish lists of the products they want to buy next, look for the featured products, check the special offers and get the personalized list of products they are probably interested in.

The use of smartphones has only enhanced the demand for web app creation. However, having created one is still not that easy as to maintain and update it regularly.

Developers should not only focus on the customer experience and comfortable interface but also on the software security vulnerabilities as well. Having omitted this stage of web app development, you can easily give a green light to the criminals for the attack. They can easily play with fake transactions and refunds, gift cards, and even the critical data of your eCommerce platform.

How to Solve the Problem

Find a dedicated team of developers you can trust, and ask them to conduct the app checking for the bugs, error codes, and other software issues that need to be fixed.

Additionally, professional app developers can try various scenarios of hacking, such as cookie poisoning, remote command execution, cross-site scripting, etc to check the specific software security vulnerability of your app and easily resolve it.

5. Bot Attack

Some criminals also attack eCommerce sites with bots, that basically act like real users and can hardly be detected by the security system.

This is why bot attack is considered to be one of the common security vulnerabilities you should always keep in mind. Usually, you can check the bot traffic in the site’s analytics and get the records about the exact time and details of their behavior.

However, bots are not just fake users that can boost your traffic to slow down the site’s speed. Instead, they can also steal the personal information of your customers, record their log-in credentials and bank information, manipulate the products’ prices and randomly block them, thus making your eCommerce platform less secure and user-friendly.

How to Solve the Problem

To make sure your site is secure enough and won’t go down during any of the hacking attempts, always introduce a CAPTCHA test for critical actions such as logging in or products’ purchase.

In addition, track the traffic and block the one generated from the suspicious sources, analyze the failed log-in attempts and protect your mobile apps.

Large companies also consider employing bot migration software – the perfect solution for minimizing IT security vulnerabilities.

6. Brute Force Attacks

Brute-force attacks refer to the hacking method of guessing the system passwords. So far that’s one of the most dangerous security vulnerability types that can attack your online store’s panel and attempt to get full access to it.

During this attack, the various programs and complex algorithms are used to generate any possible combination to crack your site’s password. After that, any scenario is possible: criminals can ask for the reward or steal the client’s personal data, send spam offers, etc — all they planned to do since the site owner has lost access to the admin panel.

How to Solve the Problem

This attack can’t be predicted but can be prevented instead. For minimizing the site’s security vulnerability, developers recommend using strong, complex passwords and do not store them on your digital files, computer documents, browsers, etc.

In addition to that, you can protect the site by changing the password regularly (for instance, on a monthly basis or once a quarter).

Basic Principles of the eCommerce Security

After we have covered the typical security vulnerability examples and the ways they can be solved and prevented, it’s time to figure out the 4 essential basics you should know for ensuring your eCommerce security.

#1 Privacy

It’s pivotal to secure any activity that can lead to the customer data leak. Remember, that the data entrusted to you by the clients can never be accessed by third parties or shared with them as well.

To follow this statement, a seller should take the necessary measures related to the anti-virus, firewall, data encryption, and other software to protect critical data.

#2 Authentication

This means that eCommerce security requires both the seller and the customer to be real, as well as both of them should act under their personal names.

In some cases, clients should give proof of identity, or provide the bank information needed for the successful transaction payment. If you’re unable to organize this process as a seller, feel free to hire an expert to figure out how to make this correct and safe.

#3 Integrity

The eCommerce concept of integrity implies using the customer information without changing it, but as it was given by your customer instead. By altering any part of the client’s personal data you can simply lose confidence in the security and integrity of the online enterprise.

#4 Non-Repudiation

This particular aspect refers to the inability of the parties to deny their actions in the transaction. Thus, each of the parties should pass the transaction part they have initiated, and can’t deny any signature, email, or purchase.

The non-repudiation principle is needed to ensure that two parties have confirmed the transaction actions from their side and are ready to complete them.

All these eCommerce principles stated above are also as important as the software security vulnerability is. By taking all the needed measures to prevent the security vulnerability, you’re also making sure both parties (you and your customers) are secure, and can easily share the benefits.

Conclusion

To sum up, there are various types of security vulnerabilities the eCommerce owners should keep in mind for their business’ successful development.

Being aware of the most common practices used for preventing fraudulent activities can not only significantly increase the ROI, but also ensure your online store, its customers, and personal data are always safe.

Using the retail applications and software for eCommerce, you can significantly minimize the chance of any security vulnerability appearing, and save up lots of time, costs, and resources. What else can be better?

Our team of developers, at Intellectsoft, empowers eCommerce companies with innovative solutions that help to ensure strong security and a high level of services provided. Is your organization looking for professional assistance?

Talk to our experts right now and let’s take your business to the next level together!

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