As the world transitions to digital commerce, including across internet of things (IoT) devices and apps, online shopping has skyrocketed in popularity. With convenience at the touch of a button, and a device in almost every consumer’s pocket, potential consumers have more shopping power at the tips of their fingers than ever before.
Hackers and cybercriminals have taken note of ecommerce’s growing popularity, which makes it an attractive target. Attackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated with their attacks and are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities in payment systems, login portals, and inventory. Many attacks have caused havoc for online businesses, and their customers, in recent years.
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Protecting Shopper Trust – The Role of Early Fraud Detection in eCommerce Account Security
Why are ecommerce platforms targeted by cybercriminals?
Ecommerce platforms are alluring targets for cybercriminals who aim to obtain confidential customer information such as credit card numbers, passwords, and other financial data. Cybercriminals use methods like e-skimming, phishing attacks, cross-site scripting, and many more to gain access to customers' information and other sensitive data. Additionally, poor security measures on ecommerce platforms can leave them vulnerable to cyberattacks, exposing data leaks, a damaged supply chain, and reputational losses, like a poor Google or Facebook review.
In fact, each individual user account can be a potential avenue for a cybercriminal to gain access to a customer’s sensitive information or even confidential business systems, like servers or the very APIs that can power digital transactions.
The data and sensitive information found on ecommerce platforms can be sold on the dark web by hackers looking to make a quick buck. When done at scale, cybercriminals can make a significant amount of money solely off of stolen sensitive information, like login credentials or individual email addresses and passwords. This doesn’t include the potential for fraudulent transactions that can be made with stolen credit card information that can be found on each account. Hackers can also snipe inventory from ecommerce platforms and sell them for upcharge prices online.
What are the latest ecommerce security issues?
Over the past few years, cybercriminals have been targeting ecommerce websites to steal sensitive customer data like bank information, addresses, phone numbers, and more. To accomplish this task, hackers utilize a variety of tactics aimed at not only stealing sensitive information from customers, but theft of inventory as well. Here are some common threats facing ecommerce platforms, that when left unmitigated, can cause data breaches, stolen inventory, damaged reputations, and more.
One of the latest eCommerce security threats is spam. Spam is an email sent to a large number of recipients with the intention of deceiving them or gaining an advantage. These emails often use urgent language to persuade an unsuspecting user to click on a malicious link. In addition to the fact that spam messages annoy users, spam costs businesses almost $21 billion annually1. For ecommerce platforms, spam can damage a website’s security and credibility, especially in instances where a spam message impersonates a brand. Even more concerning, spam can be deployed using malware on ecommerce websites to collect sensitive information like credit card details and login credentials.
Phishing and social engineering
One of the most common types of eCommerce security threats is phishing attacks, where criminals create fake ecommerce sites that imitate legitimate ones. Cybercriminals often use these phishing sites to steal credit card data and personal information from users to commit downstream attacks, like credit card fraud and unauthorized transactions.
These sites often advertise heavily on social media platforms, which is why security teams and customers alike should keep an eye out for any anomalies while browsing. For instance, domain names for phishing sites are usually newly registered, with the registrants hidden or anonymized, or there may be slight misspellings or typos on the site that can be difficult to catch at first glance (like a zero instead of an o).
Account takeovers (ATOs) occur when a malicious user gains access to a legitimate user's ecommerce account. Many eCommerce sites allow, and encourage, returning customers to log into an account they've created previously, making it an easy target for hackers. If a cybercriminal succeeds in taking over an account, personal data, including credit card numbers, that are found in each account is at risk for financial fraud, like unauthorized charges that could be made without the account owner's knowledge.
Businesses can make some best practices to protect their accounts from cybercriminals, such as implementing CAPTCHA forms, security questions, and ensuring customers create strong passwords. Additionally, consumers should be reminded to only enter their details on verified websites and to double-check whether a payment page is genuine before entering any personal or financial information.
Credential stuffing, much like ATOs, is a tactic in which cybercriminals gain access to online accounts using stolen login credentials, often done at scale. Credential stuffing is often conducted through deceptive emails masquerading as communication from legitimate sources, or rely upon credentials that were leaked as part of a data breach. Cybercriminals can also use malicious code to capture customer transaction data as they complete purchases on a website. It is essential for ecommerce businesses to implement robust security measures to protect their customers' data and prevent unauthorized access to their accounts. This includes measures such as multi-factor authentication, and encryption. Customers should also regularly change their passwords and avoid reusing the same password on different accounts.
Did you know that Arkose Labs provides a $1 million credential stuffing warranty? Learn more here.
Inventory scraping and denial
One of the latest eCommerce security threats is inventory scraping. Cybercriminals will often use bots to scan eCommerce sites for specific pricing, product, and inventory information. Fraudulently purchased inventory can also be sold on the dark web or be used as part of a refund scam.
With the rise of ecommerce, there has been an increase in cyberattacks on these platforms, particularly during peak sales periods like Cyber Monday. An additional attack that has become increasingly prevalent is inventory denial. This can occur when botnets are used to tie up valuable inventory in shopping carts, or scrape competitor's pricing and inventory information.This prevents customers from making legitimate purchases and can sometimes be used by cybercriminals to disrupt a competitor.
Strategies to ensure data privacy and integrity
An eCommerce platform must ensure that its customer's data and their privacy is secure. In order to achieve this, various strategies can be implemented to reduce risks like unauthorized access or tampering. One effective approach is encryption of sensitive information and the payment gateway, such as credit card details, as well as setting up firewalls to protect against cyberattacks. Multi-factor or two-factor authentication (MFA) and one-time passwords (OTP) can also be implemented, which helps ensure that the person accessing the account is who they claim to be.
Additionally, ecommerce security teams need to be on the lookout for bot and botnets. Advanced bot technology has become an enabler for many popular cyberattacks. For instance, bots can be used to send spam or phishing emails and can also be relied upon by cybercriminals to intercept MFA or OTP as a way to break into a user’s account. Additionally, bots can be programmed to quickly swipe inventory for popular items or have those items sit in a checkout cart as part of an inventory denial. Bots can also be used as part of a credential stuffing attack as they can be used to try different username and password combinations until they are able to successfully log into a legitimate user’s account. Botnets, on the other hand, can be used for a denial of service (DDoS attack) or brute force attack that can take an ecommerce site offline.
Arkose Labs secures ecommerce platforms from cyber threats
In today's digital-first world, ecommerce platforms need security that meets modern automated threats like bots head on. These threats, along with a security breach, can harm any online store by compromising customer data and their privacy, and also a business' reputation. While there are many solutions on the market, not all are designed to detect and mitigate advanced threats while not harming the good user experience.
Arkose Labs provides security solutions to protect ecommerce platforms from these cyber threats. A cybersecurity strategy with real-time bot mitigation can be a key differentiator for eCommerce sites. While providing a frictionless, yet secure, customer experience may seem challenging, there are solutions like the ones provided by Arkose Labs that deliver just that while protecting against a multitude of cyber threats.
At Arkose Labs, we raise the stakes for cybercriminals by making fraudsters invest more time and money into their attacks, eventually making them reach a tipping point where an attack is no longer profitable.
What makes Arkose Labs a great solution for eCommerce enterprises is that while non-human or malicious users will be presented with increasingly difficult Arkose MatchKey challenges that frustrate their attacks, most good users will experience little to no friction while conducting business on your site.
If you would like to learn more about how Arkose Labs can help to secure your business from cybercriminals, book a demo with us today.