eCommerce websites and their users have grown exponentially over the years. Amidst growing competition to offer more personalized services that are rich in functionality and offer more mobile-friendly experiences, eCommerce applications have become more complex. Today, eCommerce websites process a lot of users’ personal and financial data. Hence, they have become more prone to cyber-attacks. Hackers have become more innovative in misusing the platform’s shortcomings to steal data and cripple online sales platforms.
Offering a secure and reliable eCommerce platform has become one of the primary objectives of eCommerce businesses to become more competitive and drive growth. With stricter regulatory compliance including EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); data security has become a norm for every digital platform. A Gartner report uncovered that worldwide information security spend will exceed $124 Billion in 2019.
Why eCommerce Security Testing?
eCommerce security is not just about rolling out security features, it is more about making every component of the platform secure. An efficient security testing of eCommerce applications can help businesses identify and resolve security issues in advance, avoid financial risks and comply with international practices to reduce cyber threats.
Here are some essential points that should be kept into consideration while executing eCommerce security testing.
#1 SSL and PCI Compliance
To safeguard user information, it is essential to encrypt the data in the web browser. This is important because customers share their data online that is passed through multiple channels before reaching the destination server. Such a long chain could compromise or corrupt the data if it is not encrypted through a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate. SSL certificate enhances the credibility of an online business portal as it ensures the security of personal and financial data.
Aside, it is the basic norm for every eCommerce website to stay PCI DSS compliant to ensure secure financial transactions. It is also a basic requirement from all major credit cards and internet banking providers. PCI DSS compliance helps in a significant reduction of financial fraud while improving the security framework of the eCommerce platform. Testing of encryption with RSA20148 of ECDSA 385 should also be done to ensure strong cryptography.
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#2 Static Application Security Testing (SAST)
SAST or static analysis is done to analyze the source for security vulnerabilities that could make your eCommerce application vulnerable to a cyber attack. SAST is done at a very early stage of the software development life cycle (SDLC) as it can be implemented without the execution of code. It is also termed as white box testing. It assists test engineers in identifying vulnerabilities at a very initial stage to resolve gaps without breaking builds and ensuring a completely secure final release.
SAST enables a thorough analysis of the codebase at a much faster pace. It can scan millions of lines of code within a few minutes while automatically identifying critical vulnerabilities including SQL injection, buffer overflows and cross-site scripting. It enables the integration of static analysis into the SDLC to ensure more secure code development.
Static application security testing ensures assessment of the security of the eCommerce website through checking applications, associated database and servers. It enables test engineers to analyze applications thoroughly.
#3 Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST)
DAST helps in identifying the vulnerabilities that can be detected only in a simulated or live production environment. Through dynamic application security testing, test engineers can identify real-world hacking vulnerabilities that could cripple the eCommerce website by mimicking real-world hacking attacks on the target application.
Dynamic application security testing helps in ensuring a comprehensive security analysis of sophisticated web applications and services while finding exploitable vulnerabilities.
#4 Zero-Day Vulnerability
The zero-day vulnerability can affect the network, hardware, data or even the entire system. The term “Zero-Day” refers to the fact that developers have a zero day to fix any issue that has just been revealed or may have been exploited. In the majority of cases, any vulnerability is only fixed after it has been exploited by hackers. It can happen through threats including viruses, polymorphic worms, Trojans, and various kinds of malware.
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How Zero-Day Vulnerability Happens?
In majority of the cases, cyber attackers leverage exploit code however, in some cases vulnerability could be a part of an email or attachment.
Here is how attackers take advantage of Zero-Day vulnerability:
- Searching for Vulnerability: Hackers scan the eCommerce platform for vulnerabilities. In some cases attackers even sell vulnerabilities to other attackers.
- Identifying Vulnerability: Hackers use the unnoticed security bug in the platform or OS.
- Creation of Exploit Code: Hackers create the exploit code.
- Launching Exploit Code: Hackers plant a malware or virus aramed with the exploit code.
How to Detect Zero-Day Attack?
Here are a few effective Zero-Day vulnerability detection techniques:
- It can be detected through signatures made, created through known exploits
- Detection in real time can happen through building attack profiles using historical data
- Defense model can be created by analyzing the interaction of exploit with the target
- Test engineers can also create the right blend of above mentioned approaches to detect vulnerabilities
How to Prevent Zero-Day Vulnerability?
Zero-Day vulnerabilities can harm the organizations through data theft and acute financial losses. Test engineers can take proactive and reactive security measures to prevent zero-day vulnerability attacks, which include:
- Deploying a highly credible security software that not only covers known threats but is also effective with unknown threats.
- Ensuring regular updates of software to keep the system ready with the latest security patches to prevent any sort of intrusion.
- Most of the zero-day vulnerability attacks happen through outdated web browsers.
- Browsers updates are normally automatic however, it is crucial to check they are updated regularly with security patches.
- Ensure security best practices are implemented in the system and among employees.
#5 Blocking Carts
Checkout cart is where all the shopping items can be added and accessed before making the final payment. Attackers target carts by sending malicious bots that add multiple products in the cart from different IPs. These false transactions are done to make products out of stock. It results in repelling genuine customers, who are not able to buy specific products which leads to a financial loss for the eCommerce organization.
This vulnerability becomes even more frustrating for customers during flash sales, when products are available at highly discounted prices. The frustrated users then tend to post bad reviews about the organization on various social media platforms and may never return for shopping.
Bad bots can also ruin the analytics data and mislead eCommerce website owner by reflecting increased traffic and sales.
In today’s data sensitive environment where enterprises are accused of stealing or misusing customer data; it has become crucial for eCommerce platforms to provide end-to-end security to their customers. Efficient security testing of eCommerce websites and applications not only keep them immune from any kind of cyber attacks but also helps in winning the trust and loyalty of customers.