One of the many benefits of operating an ecommerce business is that the barriers to entry are low compared to starting a brick and mortar business. The costs of starting one are relatively low and therefore the consequences of failure are not as severe as those of an offline business. Operating an ecommerce site is also more convenient and the profits can be immense.
The very same benefits that make ecommerce attractive to entrepreneurs also make it an attractive target for criminals. There are fewer barriers to entry and it is convenient. No weapons or getaway cars are needed and there are no physical risks. The consequences of failure are not as severe if you live in a country different from that of the owners of the ecommerce site. In addition, the monetary gain from a successful attack can be immense.
Cyber criminals can exploit weaknesses in ecommerce content management systems as well as the themes and plugins that are used. Even shopping cart software is not exempt from cyber attack. Usernames and passwords can be guessed using special scripts that relentlessly guess login entries using algorithms developed and passed around by the hacking community.
Databases full of credit card information have been cracked using various techniques such as cross site scripting and backdoors. Servers that host ecommerce sites are also targeted. Server software with known bugs can be exploited when the criminal analyzes the bug as well as the patch used to fix the bug. The criminal can then attack servers that haven’t installed the patch or similar types of servers that can be exploited in a similar way. This is just one of many techniques used to access servers.
What can you the ecommerce site owner do to ensure safety? Beyond standard technological solutions such as use of SSL and two factor authentication, you should use the latest versions of your content management system, theme, plugins, and transaction software. Stay current with all security issues that affect the software that you are using. When customers set up accounts, require them to use strong passwords. This can be accomplished by using software that doesn’t accept weak passwords.
In addition to the above, make sure that you use a security-minded web hosting service so that cyber criminals can’t gain access to the servers that host your ecommerce site. At Applied Innovations, all of our customers’ sites are protected by our unique 7 point security system. For more information about this, please contact us.
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