A number of online stores is greater than a number of all physical outlets of all retail brands put together. eCommerce has grown by leaps and bounds to become a steady presence in our daily lives.
It has revamped permanently the way we buy groceries, clothing, electronic appliances, why almost everything we used to buy from a real store.
According to eMarketer, global retail eCommerce sales will touch $1.915 Trillion this year. By 2020 the sales volumes could be as high as $4 Trillion.
Still, there is a fear that grips us before we enter our credit card number and place an order. Why?
There is fraud all around us
Symantec in its Internet Security Threat Report for 2016 has stated that 75% of all existing websites have some sort of vulnerability that puts users at risk.
Almost every eCommerce store, except for very few have fallen prey to phishing and hacking attacks. Even the tech giant Sony was not spared. eBay, Target are some other brands that fell prey to online phishing attacks.
To make things worse, hackers are becoming smarter by the day. They are deploying botnets, writing codes that cheat firewalls and even developing mobile apps that will dupe the original.
All this happening when online stores are gearing up to meet increasing demand for their wares.
eCommerce store owners, existing as well ones planning for to take the dive, the market forecast is definitely a reason to cheer. However, it should also be taken with a grain of salt. More sales means more chances of fraud.
The volume of vulnerabilities as determined by Symantec is nothing but scary. Not many customers will want to buy from your store if your store also exhibits such vulnerabilities.
Here are some ways you can try to prevent cyber security threats and to maximize the conversion rates for your eCommerce store.
The PCI (Payments Card Industry) is a global conglomerate of online payment processing companies. It is founded by credit card and banking institutions like MasterCard, Visa, Discover Financial Services, American Express, etc.
With their combined intellect in online payment processing and awareness of security loopholes, the PCI has come up with security protocols that any merchant or organization processing online payments must process. Collectively, it is known as PCI Data Security Standard (DSS).
The primary motive of PCI DSS is to ensure that all credit card information is processed and stored safely to avoid any security issues. Depending on the volume of transactions transacted, the merchant has to adhere to various levels of compliance (Image).
Image Source: Incapsula
PCI compliance raises your store’s security level to that of industry-grade that ensuring that your store has the guards put up against common hacking attempts.
HTTPS encryption (mandatory requirement for PCI compliance) is a modern way of securing the connection between web servers and user browsers. It is done using tiny sized encryption technology files called SSL certificates.
For instance, a single domain SSL certificate is perfect for bloggers, personal websites or small enterprise websites. Whereas, for eCommerce stores, banks or anybody else processing online payments would require Organizational Validation or Extended Validation SSL certificate to secure their domains. EV SSL certificates establish the owner’s entity status, provide detail about their location and the domain name as owned by the owner. It is issued by a Certificate Authority who verifies the ownership of the domain.
HTTPS encryption help enhance the trustworthiness of an eCommerce store. They make customers trust the website with sensitive information like their personal credentials, credit card information, location, etc.
But, does that make HTTPS encryption mandatory for all web pages of an eCommerce store? Not necessarily. That could slow down the store and meddle with the shopping experience in the page. HTTPS encryption for login pages and payment gateways would serve the purpose.
Denial of Service and Distributed Denial of Service are two major threats that eCommerce stores face today. Hackers use botnets to prevent genuine users from accessing the website by flooding the network with too many requests.
Image via: Bleepstatic
For an eCommerce store which is primarily dependent on its inbound traffic for conversions, this could mean a loss of sales and permanent disengagement of customers, which is nothing but fatal for business.
Denial of Service primarily uses a single system while Distributed Denial of Service uses several distributed systems to execute the attack.
A firewall is a turnkey software that regulates the flow of data between the Internet and the web server. It is literally a gateway that permits authorized information to come in or go out of the network while keeping unauthorized and malicious traffic from entering the network.
There are various types of firewalls, the most important ones being:
2. Stateful Inspection
3. Packet Filtering
5. Black Box
Proxy firewalls are the best for online retailers and eCommerce websites since they help isolate the retailer’s internal traffic from any sort of violation from an external network. The act as intermediary connections helping to launch a new network connection from the proxy firewall thus layering the level of security between the retailer’s network and the outside network.
Bringing it all together
That wraps up how your business can stay safe in the eCommerce industry. Market forecasts predict that the industry is up for a surge in sales volumes in the coming years.
Omnichannel selling is also heating up, which means more security problems for online retailers. These security measures will stay safe and protect sensitive customer information and store records that hackers always have an eye for.
Following these steps will ensure that you can build customer trust and brand image easily without breaking your bank.