The Importance of eCommerce Cyber Security

Ecommerce cyber crime can affect businesses of all sizes, despite 54% assuming they are too small to become victims of an attack.

The Importance of eCommerce Cyber Security

The rise of eCommerce over the last three years has opened a lucrative avenue for cyber crime, with cyber criminals increasingly targeting eCommerce businesses in a constant game of cat and mouse.

Ecommerce cyber crime can affect businesses of all sizes, despite 54% assuming they are too small to become victims of an attack.

Higher volumes of attempted fraud and cyber crime are anticipated during events with increased online shopping volume; such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and sale seasons. Businesses must wise up to the latest methods of attack and strengthen their eCommerce cyber defence, with hackers targeting store admins, users, and employees through various malicious techniques.

Defensive and offensive security are two of the most critical lines of protecting against eCommerce cyber attacks. What are the major security threats to an eCommerce website, and how can you best protect your business?

Why is Security Important in eCommerce?

Cyber crime is at its peak - global losses have increased by 14% in the last year alone - with no signs of slowing down any time soon.

eCommerce sites are treasure troves of personal and financial data, resulting in these devastating global eCommerce losses. Security threats to eCommerce cause havoc in online trading, with the industry experiencing up to 32.4% of all successful threats annually. Fraudulent chargebacks also cost businesses worldwide approximately $40 billion every year.

“Online shopping already accounts for 10% of retail sales and is expected to grow at a year-on-year rate of 15%.”


One of the most dangerous eCommerce security threats is a sensitive data leak, resulting in severe financial and reputational harm. The cost of a breach can be hugely devastating for businesses of all sizes, with 60% of small businesses forced to shut down within half a year following cyber attacks.

With eCommerce organisations acquiring an ever-increasing quantity of data than ever before, including credit card information, consumers' addresses and email addresses, businesses are at an increased risk of attacks. Data protection in eCommerce is one of the biggest concerns for digital consumers. Building trust with customers can take ​​years, but one negative experience can be a massive blow to your business.

eCommerce Security Risks

The best way to stay ahead of eCommerce cyber crime is to be aware of the risks involved and the security best practices to be on the lookout for.

The security threats to eCommerce are often intentional, with fraud, data misuse, security breach and disruption to business in mind. In contrast, many eCommerce threats are accidental or a result of human error.

Data privacy is the number one risk for eCommerce businesses, with DDoS attacks and financial fraud the two most frequent threats. The most common cyber threats to eCommerce businesses include:

  • Financial fraud (eCommerce fraud risks include including credit card fraud and fake return/refund fraud)
  • DoS & DDoS Attacks
  • Bots
  • Malware
  • Spamming
  • Phishing
  • Smishing (SMS phishing)
  • Brute force
  • SQL injection
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS)
  • E-skimming
  • The exploitation of known vulnerabilities

eCommerce malware attacks are a particularly great concern for retail businesses, since most small online businesses fail to securely back up their data and are especially vulnerable to this attack.

Changing customer behaviour, new technological trends, and complicated attack vectors will continue transforming how eCommerce businesses operate from a cyber security standpoint.

Payment Innovations

As the number of consumers using online retail increases, so will the development of modern banking transactions. The progression of artificial intelligence and data analytics is expected to contribute heavily towards introducing new payment innovations, intending to make payments more secure than ever.

Adoption of AI for Fraud Detection

AI has and will become increasingly vital in developing new behavioural biometrics solutions to develop authentication methods within eCommerce and the financial services sector.

Artificial intelligence can boost eCommerce security by analysing vast volumes of data much more quickly while detecting unauthorised and suspicious activity. Visa and MasterCard continue to develop learning technologies to predict financial fraud and, most importantly, prevent it from occurring.


E-skimming is the practice of hackers gaining access to online stores by injecting malicious skimming code into payment processing segments of the website - extracting data. These attacks are often launched to steal customer information and have multiplied in recent years.

Hackers can insert a skimming code in your eCommerce site, including payment processing pages where confidential information passes through. eCommerce businesses are advised to comply fully with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a set of security standards designed to ensure all companies are accepting, processing, storing or transmitting credit card information and maintaining a secure environment.

Strengthening Defences

While your eCommerce business will always be vulnerable to cyber threats, taking precautionary measures is vital by performing an in-depth cyber security analysis of your business and strengthening your eCommerce website security.

eCommerce shopping is on the rise, and with that in mind, so are cyber attacks on eCommerce. There is no specified timing for a cyber attack, and no one can anticipate them, highlighting the importance of remaining up to date on industry security trends to give an edge over threat actors.

TryHackMe consists of over 560 real-world training labs to teach offensive and defensive topics in action, arming your team with the knowledge needed to protect against eCommerce cyber threats.

Our training pathways explore high-level offensive and defensive cyber security for eCommerce, allowing security teams to stay on top of new threats and advances in the eCommerce industry.

Launch defensive cyber security training for your team.