Back in the year 2020, more and more people came on to the habit of purchasing online from their home with limited mobility due to the COVID-19 related restrictions everywhere. Along with the demand for online purchases, it had also become important than ever to secure online businesses against possible security threats. As a result, many customers moved to online ordering of things and the gradual increase in this number over the last 5 years suddenly spiked in 2020 to four or five times. This article will take a detailed look at the retail cybersecurity risks and some measures to protect against those.
Protecting customer data
One of the key aspects of the retail cybersecurity practice in e-commerce is increased complexity when it comes to consumer data security. To digitalize their services, retailers need more and more access to data. For example, they need to explore the customer demographics to refine the market campaigns and inventory status to take fresh stocks. They also need their customers’ financial and personal information to give them a customized experience to seamlessly shop and pick up from where they left off last time.
The retailers also need to store this data and use it in a meaningful way. Many of them invest in cloud storage solutions and featured web stores, and point of sales terminals are being redesigned for the mobile apps. All these assets tend to increase the amount of data that is passing through the network. Unfortunately, this also creates some new entry points from which hackers may also try to gain access and launch their attacks.
As a real-time example, we can see that the threat actors are largely turning away from the traditional POS malware and turning towards credit card skimming. The latter may involve injecting malicious codes into the e-commerce pathway as on checkout pages were with self-removal and other techniques to evade detection. As a real-time example, we can see that the trackers are largely turning away from the traditional POS malware and into credit card skimming. The latter may involve injecting some malicious codes into the website pages and conceal those with some shadow or image over the data. For database security best practices, consult with expert providers like RemoteDBA.
Retail cybersecurity threats
The retail cybersecurity threat is not doing any favor to the business owners. A 2020 survey showed that about 34 % of the respondents explained their concerns surrounding cybersecurity as a primary challenge on moving forward with their digital plans. This same proportion of the survey participants also cited that retail cyber-attacks and privacy threats are the most crucial digital threats they faced over the last several years. Considering these retail cybersecurity threats, among other challenges, things are really difficult for retailers to proceed with their digital transformation. About 85% of the digital transformation plans are failing even before they take off the ground. Just about 15% of those fail after the retailers launch an attempt to shift more into e-commerce.
Cybersecurity best practices for retail e-commerce
Take Benefit of SSL:
SSL encrypts the communication between the server and the user. It is a wise decision to take an SSL certificate being a part of cyber security. If you are an ecommerce owner then, a wildcard SSL from the reputed brand can be a great choice; for example, a comodo positiveSSL wildcard or wildcard cert from other brands could provide you multiple subdomains’ security along with the price saving. Once you install it on the server, you can add a number of subdomains without paying any extra cost.
Planning for long term
Retailers and e-com organizations are now looking for more future by trying to strengthen their digital defense. More than half of the survey respondents said that bolstering retail cybersecurity was among their top business goals. About 2 out of 5 of the respondents also said the same about their long-term business goals. In light of this objective, about 40 % of the retailers find that they are planning digital efforts surrounding risk management over the last couple of years. In contrast, about 41% say that they already have projects in these areas.
Retail cybersecurity best practices also involve securing your computer networks. It begins with the use of network segmentation to keep all the personally identifiable information safe. It includes financial data of the customers as well as the POS details. Within each segment of the retailers, they will be able to implement network monitoring tools for detecting any signs of adversities involving sensitive customer data.
For example, the industry giants like Microsoft and Google adopted network segmentation, which can go a long way in reducing any impact of possible attacks. On segmenting the network, they divide into various smaller networks, and each of them acts as a small standalone network known as a subnet. With subnet, it becomes easier to control the traffic between these subnets by letting or disallowing the traffic based on different parameters. Segmented networks can help boost the overall performance as a particular portion needs to handle only a part of it and help localize any possible network issues.
Another assistive factor in network segmentation is to funnel the network traffic through various points to inspect, control, and filter the traffic. Here, different choke points act as the routers to move the traffic from one subnet to others, and the firewalls or proxies tend to control the traffic which is moving within the networks.
At this point, retailers and e-commerce shops may focus more on defending against any specific POS threats. Retailers need to make sure that good malware detection solutions are running in the background of the entire network. Users must leverage these management systems to keep the POS terminals up-to-date and implement the patches from time to time.
Retailers also need to ensure that they do not take their digital safety measures for granted. One way they can ensure it is by investigating the threat intelligence streams from time to time. They may use the resources to stay on top of all the latest digital trends, targeting their specific sectors. At this point, they may also use the knowledge to defend against any such problems. These include using some security awareness training to educate the workforce and make them responsible for cybersecurity.
So, shifting to e-commerce presents various cybersecurity challenges to the retail e-commerce businesses. However, all of these can be effectively prevented by using the best practices. Your e-commerce store can complete the digital learning and continue to attract a large number of customers, and incorporate their changing preferences successfully.