Nowadays, the world has become closer to each other, from communicating with individuals in other countries to contracting business bargains, everything has turned out to be quick and fast.
The growth of internet is the reason of this massive change as it has made life easier and simpler by offering plenty of options, for example the shopping experience is now more comfortable and enjoyable because you can obtain almost all your needs through online shopping.
This boom can be called “e-commerce” boom which is recently one of the foremost developing divisions in the internet field which has been a total changer for the way of shopping. It gives the opportunity to flexibly shop online, transact online, transfer money online and much more for e-commerce users. E-commerce is not just growing fast but it is also regularly changing. The buyer today feels confused between the different online options which were not existing or even thinkable few years ago.
However, as the development of e-commerce expands, security should also be taken into account to guarantee safe transactions to its users.
One of the sectors that is well known in dealing with e-commerce is the banking sector which means it needs to be more aware about security requirements to prevent any risk.
E-commerce security must ensure major security features of cryptography such as privacy, authentication, access control, confidentiality and protecting data from any unauthorized access.
2. E-COMMERCE SECURITY THREATS
E-Commerce is facing a lot of challenges, typically security challenges. This is due to so many reasons like systems built inefficiently which makes them unprotected in the right way. The arrangements taking place are not secured well which causes them to be exposed to cyber-attacks. Some of the threats are accidental, some are purposeful, and some are due to human errors. The commonly known security threats include phishing attacks, money thefts, data misuse, hacking, credit card frauds and unprotected services. These are some other important e-commerce threats:
2.1 Inaccurate management – One of the main threats to e-commerce is poor management. When there are no proper budgets set for the purchase of anti-virus software licenses. This causes the networks and systems to be vulnerable and at a high risk of receiving any kind of cyber-attack.
2.2 Price Manipulation – E-commerce systems are often faced by price manipulation issues. These systems are entirely automated. Price manipulation is mostly used for the sake of stealing. They can allow intruders to install lower prices into a URL and get all the data.
2.3 Snowshoe Spam – Spam now is taking a new whole level, it has been so common to every one of us, and where it is sent by one sender. Spam messages have developed to what is called “Snowshoe Spam”. Now, it is possible for multiple users to send the spam message at the same time, even anti-spam softwares cannot stop such messages.
2.4 Malicious code threats – Viruses, Worms, Trojan Horses are the most common code threats.
Viruses are external threats that can be very dangerous and can destroy computer systems as well as damaging the normal working of a computer. They can corrupt files on a website if they find a way to the internal network. Viruses always need hosts in order to spread as they cannot spread on their own.
Worms are much different from viruses. They can place themselves directly through internet, and can infect millions of computers within a few hours, which make them much more serious than viruses.
Trojan horses are programming codes that can perform destructive functions. They usually attack a computer when it downloads something. Thus, it is always recommended to check the source of the downloaded file.
2.5 Hacktivism – It is the short form for “Hacking Activism”. Some may think that they might not be a target for “Hacktivists”. But that is not actually the case, as Hacktivism could include all aspects related to the society, not only the political aspects. There are also social motives, where for example social media platforms could be used to bring attention to certain social issues. It can also be used to flood an email address with too much traffic to shut it down temporarily.
2.6 Wi-Fi Eavesdropping – This is one of the easiest ways to steal in e-commerce if a Wi-Fi network is not encrypted. It is considered a “virtual listening” of personal data. It can take place on public as well as on personal computers.
2.7 Other threats – Other threats include data packet sniffing, IP spoofing, and port scanning. Intruders can use data packet sniffing (referred to as sniffers) to attack a data packet flow and scan individual data packs. IP spoofing makes it very difficult to track an attacker. It changes the source address and makes it look like as if it is originated from another compute
3. E-COMMERCE SECURITY COUNTERMEASURES
E-commerce security is the protection of the various forms of e-commerce assets such as Intellectual property, Web server and its hardware from unauthorized access.
Some of e-commerce countermeasures are:
Encryption is the process of protecting data as it is known as the process of transforming normal texts into encoded texts that can’t be read by anyone except by the person forwarding and receiving the message.
3.2 Digital SSL certificates
There are various types of digital certificates such as Wildcard SSL, SAN, SGC, Exchange Server certificate and others. You can choose the one that is most suitable for your website. One major type of SSL certificates is called “EV SSL Certificate” which is issued by a third party trustworthy company. The usefulness and importance of this certificate is that it provides your website a high level of authentication. The purpose of this kind of certificate is to protect an e-commerce website from different attacks such as “Man in Middle” attack.
3.3 Perform a security audit
Security audit should be a regular examination of the firm’s security operations. It can be used to help discover doubtful activities such as foot printing or possible password cracking attempts before a hacking actually happens. In addition, it helps in dealing with the threat of repudiation. Thus, a user won’t be able to deny committing a crime because a series of log entries on different servers will show that the user performed a transaction.
3.4 Strong passwords
One of the main reasons hackers can attack your accounts easily is the weak, common and repeated passwords. Thus, using strong and unique passwords is a must to protect your data from hackers.
3.5 Security-aware employees
Since employees and their work places are the main purpose for hackers, it is essential to keep them aware of the latest hacking techniques used by hackers. In addition, they should inform their security department with about any suspicious activities they face.
The word “Fire” is used to refer to unauthorized accesses that is protected by a wall called “Fire Wall”. A firewall is one of the most essential computer security systems that will reduce your concerns about losing your data because of hackers. Internet connection is the main entry point for hackers, and here is the role of the firewall; because it works as a barrier to keep hackers away from attacking the network. It sets rules about what data packets will be allowed to enter or leave the network which means it filters the packets travelling over a public internet that can impact the security of a private network.
3.7 Setup system alerts for suspicious activities
Tracking user activities on a website is an important way to maintain security, for example your e-commerce platform should save every login and logout of a computer to know how frequently strangers try to access your system plus the location of their IP address. Tracking such information will help you discover hackers trying to make different attacks on your website such as XSS and SQL injection.
E-commerce has massively grown with the increase of activities on Internet, and this increase has resulted in different security risks. As with any other means of business, it cannot be assumed that all players will abide by a code of moral conduct. This essentially means that all users of e-commerce, whether they are on the consumer or supplier side, must be aware of the problems that this technology can present. Both the legal and illegal services present a unique set of security risks that can present immense problems to anyone who is affected by them. In order to combat these problems, the user must first understand them, only then they will be able to take proper action, so as to protect themselves from the risks Therefore, organizations should draw more attention to security trainings and workshops to expand people’s knowledge and attention to security on internet, because by understanding these threats and being aware of the different methods used by hackers and their goals they will be able to think about more effective solutions to security threats.