Ecommerce Security: Protecting Against Cyber Threats in 2022
The main change caused by the pandemic was the rapid shift to digitalization. And we seem to benefit from it. Technological advancements help us automate workflow, gather data, and prevent cybercrimes. But what about the pitfalls? Technology also leads to more ransomware, phishing, and other attacks as cybercriminals have profited from data moving online.
A case in point is AI. It can detect suspicious activity on the website and notify you to take precautions. At the same time, it can serve cybercriminals in developing more sophisticated ways of deceiving victims.
Just look at the impressive numbers concerning eCommerce. Sophos claims ransomware attacks alone harmed 44% of online retailers in 2020. These statistics don’t include DDoS attacks, malicious bots, and other threats damaging databases, reputation, and revenue.
Sooner or later, cyber security will remind you of itself. For this reason, we’ve prepared an article about three cybersecurity trends, including:
artificial intelligence adoption;
the Internet of Things usage;
threats caused by ransomware.
We also provide tips to protect yourself from cybercriminals.
The Top 3 Cybersecurity Trends in eCommerce for 2022
What security measures should eCommerce businesses take to minimize the risk of potential problems due to cyber-attacks?
Below we’ll talk about what cybersecurity trends will be relevant in 2022 and beyond and what you need to do to avoid becoming a victim of cybercriminals.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Application
Just as they are applied in the financial industry and bankingto detect fraud, AI solutions can help identify malicious activity in the online retail sector.
How do they work? In simple terms, AI recognizes unusual patterns that indicate a cyberattack attempt. The main advantage of AI is its ability to spot suspicious activity in systems operating with a vast number of actions per second. In fact, those are the points of business that cybercriminals usually target.
How else does AI help with e-security?
Scanning vast volumes of data, which is impossible for a human to do.
Interception of suspicious actions, not just untrustworthy data.
Recognizing the efforts of bots pretending to be humans and vice versa.
💡 How Do You Defend Your Business Using AI-based Cybersecurity Systems?
ECommerce companies need to invest in more advanced, AI-based cybersecurity systems. AI capabilities are used in a wide range of measures. Let’s list a few of them.
Protecting passwords and the authentication process with advanced AI-running biometric techniques.
Vulnerability management analysis and evaluation of security measures using AI capabilities.
Identifying spam emails and preventing phishing attacks powered by machine learning and AI.
In 2022, the use of AI-based solutions in the online retail business will expand significantly. But unfortunately, attackers are also aware of the benefits that AI technology offers, which means they are also using AI capabilities and learning how to bypass security systems. This makes the application of AI to eCommerce business e-security even more necessary.
2. Threats Related to the Internet of Things (IoT) Usage
We live in the era of the growing number of IoT (connected devices). By 2030, IoT devices are expected to grow to about 25.4 billion. Compare this proliferation with more than 10 billion devices in 2021.
The problem, however, is that a growing number of opportunities for cybercriminals come along. The fact is that IoT capabilities allow hackers to use various electronic devices to gain access to the networks, accessing smartphones and computers where important data is stored.
As the IoT becomes more and more complex, its vulnerability also grows. For example, digital twins are becoming increasingly common in IoT in eCommerce. These are some kind of digital models of physical objects, virtual replicas of real objects. Digital twins allow online retailers to test product designs before producing them in the real world, allowing them to figure out customer behavior patterns and get feedback on new products.
Their operating principle is as follows. Digital twins collect data with IoT devices and sensors, which companies then use to run simulations. Such models are often paired with operating systems to simulate the data they collect, making them vulnerable access points for attackers.
The average number of attacks on IoT devices is around 5200 monthly. It will undoubtedly increase in 2022. And computer devices that store data closest to the point of collection and cloud systems are considered the most vulnerable.
💡 How Do You Defend Your IoT Systems?
What steps can you take to minimize the risk of hackers accessing confidential data via the IoT?
The best measures remain education and awareness of the employees regarding the possibilities of such threats. In addition, a holistic approach to IoT cybersecurity is needed, which includes multiple layers and integrates many vital functions related to the four components:
Among other measures to be taken to protect IoT systems are the following.
Limiting data access and enhancing security measures for identification.
Maintaining data accuracy on all IoT devices, their lifecycle, and characteristics.
Monitoring devices for suspicious activity.
Performing regular backups of information.
Keeping the software up-to-date.
Considering all of the above mentioned, it is evident that the demand for cybersecurity specialists in IoT will grow exponentially soon.
3. Rising Threat Caused by Ransomware
Another serious type of cyber threat to eCommerce companies is ransomware attacks. This is a form of financial fraud when hackers use malicious software files to infect the target computer.
As a result, all essential data (photos, documents, databases, and so on) get encrypted and locked. In some cases, the whole system is invaded. This can cause harm and even completely stop the work processes of an eCommerce company.
The scammers aim to demand payment for the data recovery process. In some cases, a ransom is asked in exchange for the nondisclosure of stolen data to publicity. They usually accept payment in bitcoins, so the criminals are generally tough to track down.
The process of data recovery is very complicated and expensive. Specialized organizations help victims of ransomware scams recover data, but not every case can be fixed.
How can ransomware infiltrate the system?
Through phishing emails, which are spoofed to look like emails from trusted sources. Scammers often include a masked link in such emails by clicking on which the user downloads the virus.
Via visiting infected web pages by company’s employees.
Direct infection via USB devices by people who have access to the organization’s devices.
This type of cyber fraud, of course, is not new. However, it will remain widespread in 2022 and beyond. According to a survey of UK executives conducted by PwC, we expect a 61% increase in ransomware attacks in 2022. The reason for this is the ongoing pandemic and rapid activity growth in the digital environment.
And some more curious statistics. In 2021 the damage from ransomware attacks was estimated at $20 billion. Then by 2031, this amount is predicted to grow to $265 billion.
💡 How Do You Defend Your eCommerce Business from Ransomware?
As with other cyberthreats, it is essential to educate employees on basic e-security rules, such as:
recognizing phishing emails;
avoiding clicking on suspicious links;
preventing external access to company equipment;
What other steps can be taken to prevent such cyberattacks?
Conducting regular backups.
Using advanced antivirus software and updating it in time.
Enabling the “Show file extensions” function in the PC settings.
Exploiting VPN services when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.
Applying only reliable download sources.
Of course, all these measures do not guarantee 100% protection from ransomware attacks, but they can significantly reduce the risks.
The cyber threat in eCommerce is real, and the situation will only worsen in 2022. Cybercriminals will continue to plague online retailers, becoming more and more creative with their skills.
Don’t assume that you will be lucky and the danger will pass you by. To protect your business effectively, it is crucial to be aware of possible risks and take all the possible steps to minimize them in time.
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