With more people than ever before shopping from home, e-commerce is experiencing a boom. This is great for shop owners, who don’t have the overhead that comes along with a physical location and opens up the target customer base. It’s also great for the shopper, who can do their shopping anytime from anywhere it suits them.

Take advantage of the moment by propelling your business to the next level, but before you do, get to know the main cybersecurity threats it will face — and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Maintaining a secure platform for your shoppers is one of the most important things you can do for your business. This keeps your customers coming back and your business flourishing. If your website isn’t properly encrypted and secured, it’s possible for a third party to steal critical customer information during a monetary transaction. Choosing to use a reputable, secure platform for transactions is crucial.

Customers are more comfortable using platforms they are already familiar with and have had positive experiences with. Using an existing payment platform can save you the expense and headache of creating your own. Your business will also benefit from using a system that provides some protection for you, as well, should fraudulent purchases be made.

In addition to these steps, it’s always in your best interest to monitor transactions that are happening through your e-commerce business. Report any concerning or unusual expenditures that may indicate credit card information has been stolen to get ahead of a potential problem. Your customers will appreciate your diligence, and your business won’t suffer from lost merchandise.

2. Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attack

This style of cyber-attack involves overwhelming your service. As a result, your website can have difficulty processing requests, or even become entirely unavailable to your customers. While your website is down, you’ll likely experience a drop in processed sales, and may lose customers or repeat business as well.

DDoS attacks are a real threat, and even big names like Twitter and Reddit have been victims of a targeted attack. Operating on a secure network with installed security software can help reduce the likelihood that you’ll be on the receiving end. Just in case, though, having an established emergency plan to follow in the event of a DDoS attack can save you precious time and get you back up and running more quickly.

3. Phishing Schemes

Phishing schemes that use businesses as their platform impersonate businesses — either using similar URLs or email addresses or by sharing information or products from your website. The hope is that your customer will not realize they’re being targeted and will give away important information or download malware.

One way you can help prevent such phishing schemes from being successful is by maintaining ongoing communications with your customers. Format your emails and information consistently and your consumers will notice if someone is doing a poor job of impersonating you and your business. Choosing a recognizable logo and including it in your emails can also assure your shoppers they’re dealing with a trusted business and not falling for a scam.

Best Security Practices for an Online Platform

At the end of the day, one of the best things you can do for your e-commerce business is to make sure your network and website are as protected as possible. Just like you wouldn’t walk away from your brick and mortar store and leave the door unlocked, you can’t leave your internet connection vulnerable. You’ve invested the time and money into creating a business, now is not the time to cut corners and risk undermining your work.

Choosing to install a VPN can help provide the kind of complete protection your network — and business — needs. A secure VPN can encrypt any information sent or received, ensuring protected internet connections. Used with the safe practices suggested above, it can take your cybersecurity measures to the next level and help reduce the likelihood of your e-commerce business becoming a victim of cybercrime.

Cybersecurity stock photo by NicoElNino/Shutterstock