Editors´s note: This is a guest post by John, a huge fan of WordPress & design.
The Internet is the biggest store there is. It is undeniable that eCommerce has been on the rise for the past couple of years. eCommerce is reigning supreme on the Internet and is bringing in huge sales for online businesses. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, in 2015 alone, eCommerce sales has reached more than $342 billion, and this is expected to be greater year by year. One of the main reasons why eCommerce is such a hit is that it allows consumers to buy anything they want, wherever they may be. eCommerce makes globalization of businesses possible even without the need of physically going to another country. With a partnership with different courier services worldwide, you can now deliver your products to every part of the Earth. And the fact that an estimated 47% of online orders include free shipping makes eCommerce even more attractive. One more reason why eCommerce is very popular is that buyers find it convenient to transact online and use online payment processing instead of engaging in traditional over-the-counter transactions. A lot of online transactions capitalize on the tagline “hassle-free shopping”, referring to the impression that buyers don’t have to fall in line and wait for their turn. Learn in this article, how to protect your ecommerce from cyber attacks and what makes online payment processing secure.
Threats to Cybersecurity are threats to eCommerce
eCommerce lives and breathes through the Internet, but we all know that perpetrators have also gone online. To ensure that eCommerce will flourish, cybersecurity must be stronger and more powerful, worthy of defending businesses and consumers alike. In RiskIQ’s research on Compromised eCommerce Sites Lead to Web-Based Keyloggers, they found out that even major ecommerce companies were affected by a keylogger called “Magecart”. Some of the victims were an international clothing brand, a well-known luxury fashion accessories and apparel in New York, a prestigious London publishing house, and even a finance website. This only denotes that no one is safe from people with malicious intent. However, this also means that even major businesses are lax with regards to security. Most of the time, cyber threats are only dealt with once the problem goes out of hand; a practice that should be discouraged and thus, prevention and protection is the key.
Cybersecurity refers to the protection of cyberspace – the world created by computers, networks, and the Internet. Cybersecurity includes the protection of the information that flows to and from computers of all sorts.Cyber threats are mockery against cybersecurity. They are not a laughing matter because they involve serious crimes including identity theft and fraud. Some of the biggest cybersecurity breaches are the following:
- In 2013, it was found out that over the course of seven years, five cyber offenders hacked Nasdaq stock exchange servers, stole more than 160 million credit card and debit card numbers, and attacked more than 800,000 bank accounts, leading to at least $300 million in losses.
- Target was also a victim of a massive credit card breach from November 27 to December 15, 2013. The breach affected as much as 70 million persons as their names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses have been taken. Also, as much as 40 million credit card and debit card numbers were taken.
- Ebay also suffered a massive cyber-attack in 2014 which compromised user information such as names, passwords, email addresses, phone numbers, and birthdays. Good thing is that the debit card and credit card numbers were stored on another storage.
True enough, threats to cybersecurity are the biggest problems for eCommerce. And to ensure a brighter future for eCommerce, cybersecurity must be able to defeat these threats, making the cyberspace a safer place to transact on.
How can we make transactions secure?
Companies are investing on tougher cybersecurity systems and programs in order to protect not only their businesses but also their customers. Businesses take a bigger hit because more than the losses on sales, they will also lose credibility and the trust of their customers, further losing potential future sales. One of the aspects of online sales transactions that are the target by cyber perpetrators are the online payment processing systems. This being the reality, companies are also putting this on the focus of what should be protected. Breaches on the online payment processing systems expose the financial information of consumers, allowing the felons to use this information to their favor.
To ensure the protection of online payment processing systems, you may employ one or more of the following measures:
PAYMENT CARD INDUSTRY DATA SECURITY STANDARDS (PCI DSS)
PCI DSS is the standard set by the Industry Security Standards Council for the security of branded credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB). PCI DSS includes three steps: the assessment of vulnerabilities related to cardholder data, IT assets and procedures related to payment card processing; the remediation of such vulnerabilities, including the elimination of cardholder data storage when absolutely necessary; and the compilation and submission of reports to banks and the card brands. In summary, the PCI DSS is more of compliance to a set industry standards to ensure that companies engaged in online payment processing manifest the best practices to ensure the security of financial information acquired from payment processing systems.
Tokenization refers to the substitution of sensitive data by a non-sensitive data such that only the non-sensitive data is transferred to as the token. The token can map back to the sensitive data only through the tokenization system which must be secured and protected with the highest standards. Tokenization is different from encryption where the latter refers to the translation of the sensitive data into an unreadable information using an unchanging encryption rules or algorithms. To decrypt the data, a key is required so the security of the key must be maintained. Tokenization is different because tokenization relies on random substitution and not a set algorithm. Both tokenization and encryption offer a significant level of security but to ensure better protection of online payment processing systems, a mix both is also ideal.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
SSL is the standard for the security of linkage between a web server and a web browser. All information that passes through the secured link are protected and are kept private. However, in 2015, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has announced that SSL is no longer accepted by the council as its standard for data protection. PCI SSC has always listed SSL as a measure for strong cryptography. If your business is still using SSL (especially version 3.0 and below), you would need to update or reconfigure to ensure security. For small to medium sized businesses, there are Free SSL certificates that you can get from trusted certificate authorities like Let’s Encrypt.
3D Secure is an additional security layer for online payment processing. It works by authenticating the identity of the cardholder at the time of the purchase. You can identify that a site has 3D Secure when you see “Verified by Visa”, “Mastercard SecureCode” or the likes. When a cardholder makes a purchase, he will be redirected to the websites of the bank issuing the card and he may be requested to authenticate himself. The downside is that if the actual holder has not registered to 3D Secure, he is still vulnerable.
Fraud Prevention Tools
There are a couple of fraud prevention tools available. Whichever one you choose, make sure that the tool you select is able to detect fraudulent activities instantly, that the tool can guarantee chargeback when fraud is confirmed, and that it supports your eCommerce site or your online store, and that your tool contains other nifty features that ensure security of your online payment processing system.
Do you look for a Payment Provider with secure payment processing system? PAYMILL simply provides all you need from an online payment processor. It is available worldwide, accepts extensive payment methods, can easily integrate in your platform, provides integrated payment analytics and importantly, with built-in fraud prevention.
We cannot deny that there will always be criminals waiting to make their next move. Even in cyberspace, felons are abound. To ensure the security of your business and your customers, you must employ security measures that promise results, and would actually provide the safeguard you need. Again, even popular CMS platforms like WordPress and Drupal are vulnerable to cyber attacks, so be on the guard.
We know that online payment processors are a favorite among cyber offenders. These must be defended by the highest level of protection available. There are a lot of measures that you can tap, but as to which one is best would be up to your own discretion. Whether your small business sell clothes online, offer refurbished gadgets, market organic food, or a simple online retailer, you can never go wrong with a better payment processing option like PAYMILL.
But whatever you decide on, you must always keep in mind that for your business to grow, for your customers to continue to trust you, and for the future of the eCommerce industry to be brighter, cybersecurity is the priority. Invest on the strongest guard for the biggest store there is.
Author Bio: John is a huge fan of WordPress & design. He loves to code websites, make them visually appealing as well as improving them UX wise. When he’s not grooming his beard, John is working hard to get more visibility and traffic to Hosting Facts, home to unbiased, best web hosting reviews.