6 Common e-Commerce Security Vulnerabilities and How to Prevent Them

photo by Creative Art

Online selling is booming and e-commerce sales are expected to grow almost twice by 2022. One of the most important factors for each website and mobile application, but especially for e-commerce platforms, is security and data privacy. With technology changing and evolving constantly, so do hacker attacks and e-commerce retailers should pay more attention to privacy and security issues. Read on to find out the most common e-commerce security vulnerabilities and how to prevent them. 

Online payment fraud

Recently the shift from physical to online transactions is more and more prevalent. Online payment fraud is one of the most popular e-commerce security vulnerabilities and is expected to continue to grow. The most common types of online payment fraud are identity theft, triangulation, friendly fraud, and clean fraud. 

There are several ways to prevent online payment fraud. Some of these include: 

  • Maintaining PCI standard to ensure that collection and storage of credit card information is secure
  • Using SSL certificates to guarantee secure storage of sensitive communication on the website
  • Switching to HTTPS protocol to protect sensitive information and customer data. 
  • Using CVV for e-commerce transactions 
  • Having multi-factor authentication and encouraging customers to create strong passwords.

Misconfigured web applications 

E-commerce businesses rely on different web applications to meet the needs of their customers. With these apps, websites can provide functionalities such as the creation of lists of products, personal profiles, product details, shopping carts, and secure payment options. E-commerce retailers should take into account the configuration of web applications to ensure security and reduce the risk of malicious code installation and compromised user accounts, which can lead to lost revenue and customers, as well as damaged brand reputation. The most common web application attacks include cross-site scripting, SQL injection, cookie poisoning, remote command execution, and file-path traversal. 

You can prevent web application attack by: 

  • Choosing the right web hosting for your website 
  • Introducing effective alerting and monitoring to identify malicious attacks and respond effectively to prevent any loss
  • Applying penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities that can be exploited
  • Not using cookies for the storage of highly sensitive data 

Denial of service attacks 

These attacks crash the web server by overwhelming the system with fake traffic coming from multiple compromised devices. You can notice an attack by an increased amount of spam emails, internet disconnection, slower file access. 

You can prevent a denial of service attack by: 

  • Leveraging a DDoS mitigation solution to filter traffic and block attacks 
  • Configuring the router and firewall to block DNS responses coming from outside your network
  • Moving to a cloud-based provider to have multiple point-of-presence and higher bandwidth 
  • Setting up a load balancer to improve server, network, and app performance. 

Bad bots 

These behave like real users and can steal credit card information and login credentials. They can also be used by your competitors to clock shopping carts, manipulate your prices, or slow down your website by creating an artificial traffic spike. 

You can prevent bad bots by: 

  • Investigating traffic spikes and evaluating traffic sources
  • Monitoring for failed login attempts
  • Using web app firewalls 
  • Using a CAPTCHA test
  • Protecting mobile apps and APIs

Customer journey hijacking 

This security thread includes an injection of advertisements on your website that can not only damage the customer journey but also pose a threat as they often are powered by malware. This is one of the top concerns for online retailers are there are not a lot of ways to prevent these types of attacks. Some of the actions you can take are to encourage users to install antimalware and antivirus software or use a virtual private network. 


One of the most dangerous security attacks in which hackers inject malicious code in payment processing pages and capture credit card information while the user enters it. The data is later used for fraudulent purchases or being sold. 

You can prevent this type of attack by: 

  • Using anti-malware and antivirus software
  • Implementing multi-factor authentication
  • Creating unique and strong passwords
  • Configuring firewall
  • Monitoring and analyzing weblogs to search for unknown domains
  • Regularly checking JavaScript code to detect changes.