What is cyber security and why is it important?

29 Sep 2022

Taural Rhoden Executive Director Operations & Delivery

The online transformation of daily activities from personal finance management to grocery shopping has increased the need for comprehensive cyber security.

In 2020 retail eCommerce sales amounted to 4.28 trillion US dollars worldwide, according to Statista. These figures are projected to grow to almost 6.4 trillion US dollars in 2024.

The digitisation of the industry is a double-edged sword. The increased efficiency and reduced overheads associated with eCommerce also comes with risk.

Cyber attacks have become a fixture of eCommerce, for which the best defence is robust cloud security.

Executive Director of Strategy and Growth at Accel and former member of the US intelligence community Dannielle K. Pearson believes eCommerce security is vital for any modern-day business.

“It involves being informed and staying abreast of trends so that an organisation can quickly prioritise as necessary,” she said.

What are the main security issues of eCommerce?

The security issues plaguing online enterprise have continued to grow.

“As dynamic as technology is, so are the security threats and risks in an ever-changing environment,” Pearson said.

There are a number of ways cyber criminals compromise online retailers and attack eCommerce platforms.

Pearson said credit card fraud is one of the main forms of cyber attack. “Fraud-based practices are used to gather credit card details or trick a consumer into entering their card details into a ‘look-alike site’ in an attempt to gain CC details,” she said.  

Small and medium-sized retailers (SMEs) are also exposed to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and DOS (Denial of Service) attacks. These attacks inundate a server with untraceable requests, causing the site to crash and making it inaccessible for online visitors.

To access hidden data on eCommerce platforms hackers are also known to use SQL injections. SQL attacks inject malicious code into online query submission forms to manipulate, erase, and collect data.

Phishing, spam, cross-site scripting, and brute force attacks are other cyber threats that can be used to access personal information and confidential data such as customer logins and passwords.

While the vast landscape of cyber threats poses a significant risk for online retailers, these can be offset by leading cloud security solutions.

Why is eCommerce security important?

To protect against cyber attacks and secure a business SMEs need to adopt eCommerce security.

A report released in June 2021 by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) found that 36% of SMEs surveyed had experienced a cyber incident in the last five years.

SMEs are increasingly concerned about cyber security and the ramifications that follow an attack. According to ENISA’s report, 85% of SMEs agreed that a security issue would have a detrimental impact on their business, with 57% saying they would most likely go out of business.

Reputational damage, a diminished customer base, and financial loss are just some of the risks organisations take on if they remain lax about eCommerce security.

To mitigate the risk of cyber attacks organisations need to be proactive in establishing all-encompassing cloud security. Protective protocols and advanced safety measures are necessary to ensure the safety of a business. 

“Many customers, particularly those managing an eCommerce platform are often unaware that routine updates or the implementation of new features or plug-ins can change the software's settings – unintentionally enhancing the threat landscape,” said Pearson.

Infallible cloud security solutions shore up an organisation’s eCommerce security posture and increase consumer confidence.

Secure acceleration starts here

Get the crucial advice your business needs to adopt leading cloud security solutions by partnering with Accel.

In the complex, ever-evolving cyber landscape, our services work to protect your business. We design and build highly secure eCommerce and website experiences – making the online marketplace a safer place for businesses and customers alike.

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