In recent years, retailers have expanded their online presence to capitalize on the rising trend of online shopping. Unfortunately, this surge of inexperienced retailers rushing into eCommerce has created new opportunities for scammers looking to take advantage.
With all the challenges that come with running an eCommerce store, the last thing you need is a breach in your data security. Not only does this affect your bottom line, but a relatively minor cyberattack could permanently damage your brand’s reputation, turning customers away no matter how satisfied they’ve been with your services in the past.
As an often overlooked aspect of online retail, eCommerce data security should be a top priority for any brand taking its first steps into the digital realm.
Common Risks to eCommerce Security
According to a study by Juniper Research, eCommerce losses due to online fraud will exceed $206 billion over the next few years. With all that value on the line, brands simply can’t afford to ignore the real threat posed by scammers online.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common forms of fraud that online brands typically run into.
Even though it’s one of the most well-known types of online fraud, phishing continues to cause problems for any business conducting business online. In a phishing scam, fraudsters pretend to be a real business, organization or individual and send email requesting sensitive information. Usually, these emails direct to a copy of a familiar website, where users unknowingly enter their passwords and usernames to the scammer’s system.
Phishing scams not only pose a threat to your organization internally, but can target your customers as well. By intercepting an end user’s information, someone can log into your online store under another customer’s name and use their information to place orders that will eventually need to be refunded.
By making sure your staff and customers are both aware of this threat, costly phishing scams are relatively easy to avoid. By ensuring your staff understands the risks and warning signs, you can ensure greater eCommerce security with just a bit of extra vigilance.
Denial of Service (DOS) Attacks
One of the more serious and potentially harmful types of eCommerce security risks is known as denial of service attacks, or DOS attacks. As a potential result of something like phishing, DOS attacks involve a complete shutdown of your online store, either for your staff or your customers.
By flooding your servers with orders with the aim of crashing the site, or by cutting off online accessibility altogether, DOS attacks effectively shut down your store for a period of time. As retail trends continue to shift operations to the online world, DOS attacks pose a serious, but preventable, risk to eCommerce.
As one of the most common web-based nuisances, spam is well known as an annoying and ever-present aspect of working online. What is overlooked, however, is the serious threat spam accounts pose to a healthy and functioning website.
In addition to emails, spam can take the form of comments, excessive contact form entries or even completed orders. In addition to hurting your online reputation, succumbing to a spam scam can slow down your page speed, potentially frustrating legitimate customers looking to buy your products.
Infected links in spam messages are typically thought of as a risk when clicking through emails, but as technology evolves, so does the form spam takes. Social media messages are now a common avenue for spam accounts. By latching on and taking over someone’s account, spam messages can continue to spread to other users in the network, collecting each user’s data along the way.
How to Ensure a Secure eCommerce Store
There are plenty of eCommerce security threats floating around online, but by taking a few simple steps, you can rest assured your online store is safe and your customers data is protected.
The most crucial principle when it comes to sharing data online is privacy. It might sound obvious, but preventing unauthorized third-parties from accessing this information is essential when running a healthy and secure online store.
Firewalls, antivirus software and other privacy strategies like encryption are key to building an online store that customers trust and feel safe interacting with. Without privacy protections in place, word can quickly spread that your site is insecure, turning customers away before they even visit your digital marketplace.
As a pillar of digital data security, authentication is a must-have for anyone conducting business online. Authentication is a layer of security that ensures all parties involved in a transaction are really who they say they are.
By implementing tools like two-factor authentication, which requires customers to login twice or enter a secure PIN, websites can weed out potential fake accounts or bad actors posing as someone else.
Your online store will also need to authenticate before a purchase is completed, so customers can be confident their private information is going to the right place and will be protected.
Authentication confirms a transaction is actually occurring between two parties online, but it won’t protect the data once it is shared. In order to make sure the data remains unaltered, online brands use integrity protocols to ensure the information can’t be changed.
Data integrity protects the validity of that data throughout its entire lifecycle, not just during the transaction. Not only does this keep scammers from accessing valuable information, but it also makes managing the data much easier. The ability to search, trace and track data is essential in modern eCommerce, and prioritizing integrity certifies that that information is accurate and unchanged.
eCommerce data threats can sound scary and difficult to understand, but by taking steps to establish privacy, authentication and integrity in how you manage data, you can greatly reduce the risk of scammers and keep your information safely locked away.
Establishing these safety protocols can get complicated, which is why so many retailers turn to third-party service providers who can expertly implement data protection infrastructure. It’s also important to prioritize data security when partnering with software vendors.
Warehouse management software providers like ShipHero, for example, helps guarantee store and customer information is protected and accessible while tracking shipments throughout the delivery process.
Talk to our software experts today and learn more about how our warehouse software is built for eCommerce brands to stay safe and optimized for the modern supply chain.
Aaron Rubin, Founder & CEO
About the author: Aaron Rubin is the Founder & CEO of ShipHero. He is responsible for planning and executing the overall vision and strategy of the organization. Rubin’s greatest strengths are leadership, change management, strategic planning and a passion for progression. He is known for having his finger on the pulse of ShipHero’s major initiatives, his entrepreneurial spirit, and keen business acumen. His leadership of ShipHero is grounded in providing excellent customer service that drives improved business operations. His passion for ShipHero comes from the culture and his ability to have an impact on the lives of employees, customers, partners, and investors.