Protecting an Ecommerce Store from Cyberattacks

Alex Sheplyakov Alex Sheplyakov 21/08/2023 5 min read
cyber security


Amidst the contemporary age of technology, as online enterprises thrive and prosper, the significance of cyber security for ecommerce has surged to the forefront across all operational domains. 

For entrepreneurs, and owners of e-commerce stores, protecting their digital assets, customer data, and financial transactions is not only a must but also a moral obligation.

Why Cybersecurity is Vital for an Ecommerce Store

Cybercriminals continually evolve intricate tactics to exploit vulnerabilities, steal sensitive information, and disrupt business activities. The aftermath of a successful cyberattack can be catastrophic, resulting in financial setbacks, reputational harm, legal entanglements, and erosion of customer trust.

Key Cybercrime Statistics:

  • Enterprises incurred an average cost of $4.35 million due to data breaches in 2022.
  • The initial half of 2022 witnessed approximately 236.1 million instances of ransomware attacks worldwide.
  • About 1 in 10 US organizations remained susceptible to cyber assaults.
  • During the first six months of 2022, roughly 53.35 million US residents grappled with the repercussions of cybercrimes.
  • The most prevalent cyber threat faced by both businesses and individuals is the deceitful practice of phishing.

Top 10 Ecommerce Cyber Security Threats

  1. Phishing Attacks: Attackers send fraudulent emails or messages to customers and employees, posing as a legitimate ecommerce site or service. These emails often contain malicious links or attachments designed to steal login credentials, payment information or spread malware.

    Real story: Around 900 fraudulent Amazon-linked websites emerged on Amazon Prime Day. While shoppers indulged in discounts on July 12, cybercriminals worked diligently to create imitation sites. Of all retail brands targeted, Amazon was the most exploited, with over 1,633 suspicious sites detected in the preceding 90 days. Despite efforts to shut them down, 897 of these deceptive sites were active on Prime Day.
  2. Payment Card Fraud: Attackers might exploit weak points in payment processing systems to steal credit card data during transactions. This data can be used for unauthorized purchases or sold on the dark web.
  3. SQL Injection: Attackers exploit vulnerabilities in e-commerce websites by injecting malicious SQL code into input fields. This can manipulate the database, gain unauthorized access, or extract sensitive customer data.
  4. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): Attackers insert malicious scripts into a website's code, which is then executed when users visit the compromised page. This can lead to session hijacking, data theft, or defacement of the website.
  5. Magecart Attacks: Attackers compromise third-party scripts used by e-commerce websites, such as payment gateways. They inject malicious code into these scripts to steal payment information as customers enter it.
  6. DDoS Attacks: Distributed Denial of Service attacks overload a website's servers with traffic, rendering it inaccessible. Attackers might use this as a distraction while carrying out other attacks or to disrupt business operations.
  7. Credential Stuffing: Attackers use stolen username and password combinations (often obtained from previous data breaches) to gain unauthorized access to e-commerce accounts. This can lead to account takeovers and data theft.
  8. Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: Attackers intercept communication between a user and an e-commerce website to capture sensitive information, like login credentials or payment data.
  9. Malware and Ransomware: Attackers may infect e-commerce websites or users' devices with malware or ransomware, demanding payment to restore access or prevent data leaks.
  10. Insecure APIs: If an e-commerce platform uses insecure APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), attackers can exploit these interfaces to gain unauthorized access, manipulate data, or steal information.

Ways to Protect Your Business From Cyber Attacks

Step 1: Conduct a Security Assessment. Use software tools like Nessus, Qualys, or OpenVAS to identify vulnerabilities and perform thorough security evaluations.

Step 2: Enforce Access Management. Strengthen access controls with unique user accounts, robust passwords, and multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Step 3: Strengthen Your Website. Activate HTTPS encryption and routinely update your CMS, plugins, and themes to address security vulnerabilities.

Step 4: Deploy a Web Application Firewall (WAF). Select a suitable WAF solution, set it up, configure it, and customize its rules for enhanced protection.

Step 5: Engage in Continuous Monitoring. Set up real-time monitoring with Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS). Modify rules, review alerts, and continuously improve the system.

Step 6: Train Your Team. Familiarize your workforce with cybersecurity best practices, such as recognizing phishing emails and promptly reporting suspicious activities.

Step 7: Backup Data Regularly. Systematically backup essential data and keep the backups securely off-site to guarantee uninterrupted business operations.

What to Do If a Cyberattack Succeeds?

Despite robust preventative measures, determined attackers can still breach your defenses. When facing such scenarios, the immediate action involves isolating the compromised systems to curb the attack's spread. This might entail a temporary shutdown of the affected systems. Subsequently, notifying clients about the breach becomes crucial. Transparent communication regarding the breach's extent and the necessary self-protective measures aids in upholding client confidence.

If needed, get help from ecommerce cybersecurity experts to understand the attack, see how bad it was, and help fix things. If the attack is severe or if there are specific rules, you might have to tell the police or official groups about it.

Conclusions should be drawn, and the error should serve as a lesson to avoid its recurrence.


E-commerce security is more than just a to-do list; it's about fully protecting your business. Stay ahead of new threats, use strong safety steps, and be ready for any challenges. This way, online businesses can move forward, feeling sure and strong in the online world.

Alex Sheplyakov
Alex Sheplyakov
Chief Technology Officer
Being passionate about all things tech, I convert vast working knowledge of software architecture and designing scaled solutions into easily-digestible posts. Stay up to date on the latest and greatest in the tech world. If you want to keep in touch, follow me on LinkedIn.