Web Development

How Important Web Security In E-commerce Industry during Covid-19 Pandemic

Web Security

How Important Web Security In E-commerce Industry during Covid-19 Pandemic

Today, no industry has been completely immune to any kind of cyberattacks. The sad part is that the cybercriminals have not even spared any sector and have managed to infiltrate into their networks using malicious practices. The number of e-commerce sites are growing every year, resulting in more number of connected devices. This huge number of connected devices has indirectly exposed the e-commerce sector to vulnerable cyber threats. Like any other industry, the e-commerce industry also has crucial data assets that have to be properly secured.

The Wave Of Cyberattacks On Retailers

As countries across the world are shutting down their borders, isolating their cities, and retailers are going into hibernation, cybercriminals are becoming more active than ever. Amid the coronavirus fears, they are more likely to accelerate their infection-spread.

According to a report by Sophos Labs, more than 42,000 websites have been created with domains that are named after “COVID.”

A lot of these websites are doing the rounds since January and do not look legit. Therefore, it is only apparent how opportunistic cybercriminals are and how eagerly they are trying to exploit fears to gain advantage from the pandemic.

Consequently, scams are being devised for retailer customers. There is a surprising influx of spam emails containing links for COVID-19 updates, social media ads, and ads redirecting to unsolicited websites.

So, the following are major ways in which cyber attackers penetrate the networks.

Phishing Scams

In a phishing scam, an email is designed in a way to fool the user to fall into the bait of virtually-trusted websites for gaining access to their credentials, be it- student-critical data or any confidential research carried out by the students and faculties. Hackers usually deploy this method to target this sector.

Ransomware and Malware

As we have seen in the case of IIT-Madras, the Windows users were denied from accessing their network and files leading to mass disruptions. The advanced form of this threat is when the attackers hold user files for ransom. Ransomware and malware are injected into systems of the educational institutes by either a file or an attachment that might look legitimate.

Which Data is at Risk?

Based on the recent cybersecurity attack trends, it has been observed that the education sector continues to be the top target for cyber attackers. This is because of the fact that most of the educational institutes do not take the security challenges seriously and miserably fail to understand the impact of a cyberattack. The educational institutes have large volumes of personal data of students, admin staff.

So, let us understand what types of data are at risk in the education industry.

1. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

A DDoS attack involves your website’s servers being flooded with requests from potentially thousands of untraceable IP addresses. Often driven by the manipulation of IoT devices, today’s more sophisticated attacks can cause your entire site to go offline, leaving it wide open to more vicious attacks, such as a malware infection.

The frequency of these security threats to e-businesses is on the rise, particularly during peak sales periods. For example on Cyber Monday 2018, eCommerce sites experienced a 109% increase in DDoS attacks compared to the rest of November.

This security threat can cost your business thousands in lost revenue and mitigation (<$55,000 per attack, in some cases). However, the costliest damage done by DDoS attacks is often reputational – losing your customers’ trust and confidence. That is, according to 78% of security professionals in a survey by Corero Network Security.

With 69% of security professionals reporting they experience, on average, one DDoS attack a day, it’s clear that eCommerce sites should take every precaution to  this risk.

2. Credit card fraud

The old classic, credit card fraud, remains the most common security threat facing eCommerce sites, in part due to the fact it’s so difficult to trace. Detecting that a fraudulent transaction has taken place is a crucial first step, but it isn’t easy, especially if your site processes hundreds of transactions a day. Here are a few tell-tale signs to help you spot an instance of credit card fraud:

  • An order that’s set to ship to an address other than the billing address
  • A sale of a much higher value than you’re used to receiving
  • A successful order preceded by multiple unsuccessful ones
  • A customer’s IP address is not in the same location as the billing information on the order

It’s important to try and verify these kinds of  before any payment is taken. If you fail to do this, not only will you lose valuable inventory, but it’s your responsibility to pay back whoever’s card has been scammed.

This all adds up to a considerable sum of money. And this is before you consider the damage this will do to your company’s reputation. Staying vigilant against card fraud is essential to protecting your business and maintaining great eCommerce customer experience. 

3. E-skimming

E-skimming refers to hacker methods of stealing personal data, such as credit card information, from payment card processes pages on eCommerce sites. It’s a significant security risk in eCommerce, as shoppers can be misguided by misleading external links and portals to payment pages. Or, cyber-criminals gain access to your site via a third-party, a successful phishing attempt, or cross-site scripting.

These methods allow hackers to capture shopper payment information in real-time, as soon as the customer accesses the payment page. To avoid this, ensure your website is secure, remind customers to never enter their details on unverified websites, and prompt them to check whether a payment page is genuine. 

Challenges Faced by the Industry

Every organisation has several departments and many users have access to these from remote locations. A huge volume of data flows in and out of the network system and this, in turn, has increased the challenges that are faced by the industry. Some top-challenges that this industry faces include.

Lack of Centralized IT Systems

Most of the departments in the Business institutes have their intra-departmental IT systems, leading to no centralized IT infrastructures. All these departments have several systems connected to these local networks based on their individual requirements. With no centralized IT system in place, it becomes difficult to uniformly implement security policies across the organization.

Rise of BYOD* Culture
(*Bring Your Own Device)

Most of the educational institutes allow the students to bring in their own devices for storing data. To carry out their projects simultaneously, students bring their USB drives and connect to the systems that are available to them. In most cases, it has been seen that students do not have anti-malware software installed in their systems. This leads to students going for a pirated version of the required software. This free software enters the institute’s network once the student’s infected device gets connected to a system on the network. 

Internal Threats

In any industry, internal threats are one of the main reasons for data breach and loss. An insider attack can take place by the means of a phishing email or even transferring crucial information across personal and insecure devices on the network. Sometimes, the login credentials of an employee/student can be compromised by an insider resulting in loss of sensitive information. 

Overcoming Challenges

Once the above-stated threats and their channels have been identified, the following are some countermeasures that the industry can deploy to safeguard their crucial information.

Identifying the top assets and securing them with a security solution
Creating a detailed analysis of potential risks and vulnerabilities to strengthen the current security posture
Implementing a strong access control system based on the User’s authentication role to stop any unauthorized access on the network
Creating strict cyber security policies and enhancing the awareness levels inside the e-business institute 


The first step to thwarting hackers is understanding their most common modes of operation. Once you know the different types of threats in eCommerce, you can take the necessary steps to protect against attacks and mitigate any damage done.

Do the right thing – for your business and your customers: take precautions to ensure your eCommerce site is well defended against cyber-criminals, so your shoppers get a friction less shopping experience. To learn more about designing an eCommerce website with great user experience.