Three key security threats for ecommerce businesses in 2021


Date: 1 June 2021

Hand of hacker on computer keyboard with unlocked icon

All businesses should be aware of the threat of cyberattacks, but ecommerce businesses are particularly vulnerable. A serious cyberattack can cripple a small business and many small firms struggle to bounce back following an attack. Constantly updating your security software and plugging vulnerabilities is the only way to protect yourself.

It's much easier to be prepared if you know what you are up against, so all ecommerce businesses must be aware of the most pressing data security issues. These are the biggest security challenges that ecommerce businesses face in 2021. 

DDoS attacks 

A DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack is designed to crash your website by sending large amounts of fake traffic to it at once. As your business grows and you employ an ecommerce marketing agency to promote the business, you will see a steady increase in traffic. Managing your hosting services properly will help you accommodate this.

However, if you notice a sudden, massive influx of traffic and your site is struggling to cope, it's likely that you are the victim of a DDoS attack. Your entire site could crash and you might end up losing a lot of money while you are trying to get your website back online.

Using a web application firewall will automatically stop fake traffic from reaching your website. You can also look at the source of the traffic and if it's all coming from a specific country, you can use geo-blocking to filter it out. However, you risk blocking aby genuine traffic coming from that company when using this method. 

Phishing attacks 

Phishing attacks are one of the most common forms of cyberattack. They can be a huge data security risk. They work by sending emails or creating websites that pose as an organisation you know and trust. They then encourage you to click malicious links or input sensitive information.

The emails and fake websites can look incredibly convincing, and many people get caught out by them. Training your staff to spot them is key. You should also be using filters to catch as many of them as possible. However, filters won't stop all phishing emails so you need to remain vigilant at all times. Remember, hackers may also pose as your business in an attempt to steal personal information from your customers. Sending out email alerts letting customers know about the risks can help to combat this. 

SQL injections 

SQL injections are another common form of cyberattack that ecommerce businesses should be aware of. They can affect any site that is built using an SQL database. Successful attacks allow hackers to manipulate your site's code and perform commands. This gives them access to sensitive data and allows them to shut the site down completely.

Updating your website on a regular basis is vital in the fight against SQL injection attacks. Using whitelists to limit the number of people that can access certain parts of the website will protect you too.

If you run an ecommerce business, you need to be aware of these big security challenges so you can take steps to protect yourself. 

Copyright 2021. Article made possible by site supporter Jeremy Bowler.

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