Online security is important for both private and professional matters. Yet the importance of security measures for businesses surpasses the matter even further. Companies that operate online need to put an emphasis on security protocols regardless of the industry they work in.
When it comes to e-commerce, a complete stream of income happens online, making such businesses susceptible to various types of scams. Shopping scams happen to be more than a third of all online fraud occurrences. This number should warn entrepreneurs to be more careful about their e-commerce businesses.
Thankfully, there are many security protocols that you can implement that will enhance your defense against malicious attacks. But before you jump to the methods of preventing fraud, it’s best to understand some of the common threats and concepts in this field.
Security protocols explained
The term “security protocols” sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. Security protocols in our situation don’t refer to glowing red lasers that protect an artifact from thieves, but rather to a set of guidelines that protect online transactions.
Online security protocols are measures against cyber threats, just like cameras and security guards are there to prevent theft in physical stores. These measures are there to protect both customers and online business owners.
Security protocols are both technical and human-related, allowing businesses to increase security in various ways. The most basic way of protecting your website is by utilizing communication protocols such as SSL and HTTPS.
These communication protocols ensure that the connection between the user and a website is encrypted and secure. Since customers can see whether a website has these protocols implemented, they can see whether a business is legit in a straightforward way.
Furthermore, when talking about security protocols, two-factor authentication, firewalls, and user education are also quite crucial and minimizing chances of intrusion.
Importance of cybersecurity for e-commerce
We’ve seen the demise of many corporations because they haven’t been careful with their user’s data and cybersecurity. The damage that hackers can cause is quite dangerous to everyone involved in a certain business, going from customers to employees to stakeholders.
If a scammer, for example, poses as a person who’s working as customer support for your business and contacts a user, asks for their credentials, and manages to steal their data or money, this can be troublesome for your reputation. Even though you haven’t done anything, if the users didn’t get notices about such occurrences, they might blame your business for that.
On the other hand, if your company didn’t implement security protocols that are advanced enough and hackers get to valuable data, then the responsibility is all yours. According to new regulations, businesses are responsible for handling user data with great care.
If an individual user has their login info leaked on the internet through your website, then the responsibility falls on you.
With that being said, cybersecurity is there to help companies from suffering blows to their reputation, as well as having financial losses. This can also impact the personal reputation of an owner, slowing them down in their future ventures.
Common security threats
There are many different types of cybersecurity threats, and unfortunately, they are constantly increasing. Many hackers have found ways to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to make cyber attacks on individuals and businesses more sophisticated.
Credit card fraud
This type of fraud is dangerous for any individual as there are many ways in which can be conducted. There are two main types of credit card fraud, one where the card needs to be physically present, and when it doesn’t have to be.
Crequire physical cards are not present fraud is a common type of online fraud as online shopping usually doesn’t require a card to be physically present. Whether they use the card for subscriptions, physical items, or donations, both e-commerce businesses and individuals are damaged financially.
If a scammer uses a stolen credit card to purchase items from your e-commerce business, once they are caught, you have to go through a process of refunding the money to the original user.
This can take time and resources, and if you’re not capable of conducting this on time, you will likely suffer a blow to your reputation.
Thankfully, there are many online credit card fraud detection techniques that you can utilize.
E-commerce businesses can defend themselves from credit card fraud by requiring additional verification, such as 2FA or requiring biometric scanning.
Furthermore, artificial intelligence can be used to do a wide-scale analysis of transactions to determine whether some transactions are potential frauds.
Distributed Denial of Service is an old-school method of doing harm to a website. It’s conducted by trying to overwhelm the servers where the website is hosted with internet traffic. It usually involves multiple devices or servers that do this simultaneously.
At one point, DDoS attacks dropped as more modern computers and servers had better protection against this type of threat. Unfortunately, DDoS attacks have risen in sophistication and they experienced unprecedented growth during 2023.
Online stores can defend from DDoS attacks by utilizing DDoS mitigation services or other software in the category. However, one of the easiest ways of limiting the danger of DDoS attacks is by limiting traffic from countries that are notable for these attacks.
You’ve likely received emails from scammy emails that ask you to confirm your account or credit card while they posed as customer support for some company. This type of scam is conducted by copying a certain website and then purchasing a domain that’s similar to the target website.
This way, individuals are deceived into giving their info to a random hacker who set-up an identical website of another legitimate business. While you aren’t responsible if your customers fall for this type of scam, it’s advisable to add disclaimers that you won’t ever ask for their credentials in this way.
What’s in your power is to purchase other web domains that are similar to yours and that are common typos. This way, hackers can’t use similar domains to set-up phishing websites.
Best practices for security in e-commerce
Now that you understand what are the common threats to e-commerce businesses and customers, let’s observe some ways that can be used to prevent them.
Online fraud detection for online businesses has significantly advanced throughout the last decade. Since more people had the opportunity to make their own stores, hackers were quick to notice that these websites were convenient for attacks.
Fraud detection software has been constantly advancing as well, implementing the latest technology and trends such as AI and ML. Usually, fraud detection software requires a monthly fee, yet it helps you defend your business in many different fields.
Of course, the best way of protecting your company is by training your employees how to recognize and handle cybersecurity threats. Depending on the size of your company, you need to spend resources on courses that will improve the cybersecurity knowledge of your employees.
There were many cases in which a single employee was responsible for accidentally infecting the whole company’s system with ransomware. Every employee needs to have at least a basic level of knowledge, as it can help you save a lot of money in the long run.
Cybersecurity training also lowers the chances of misusing data, which can lead to lawsuits and penalties.
With the latest content management systems, e-commerce owners don’t even have to worry about finding and installing security protocols on their own. This process is commonly streamlined through built-in plugins that everyone can install on their website with a few clicks.
Of course, the free versions of these plugins don’t usually have everything that a large website with serious profit might require, but it’s still good to have them. More expensive security plugins can be of great help, but it’s best to do research on the most effective plugins for your situation.
Effective security protocols can save your online business
Whether you’re a small or medium-sized enterprise or you have sales in hundreds of thousands, you shouldn’t risk a dime of your profit. Implementing effective security protocols can save your reputation, time, and money, and sometimes these processes require minimal investments.
It’s advisable for business owners to hire cybersecurity specialists who will do security audits of their e-commerce businesses. This can help them understand what are the best practices for security in their online stores.
Keep in mind that a combination of different measures can make the likelihood of suffering from online fraud extremely low, but never zero. New ways of fraud are constantly emerging and hackers are finding new and sophisticated ways of conducting fraud.