Written by Guest Writer: Lindsey Patterson
The recent surge of e-commerce is the answer to a specific problem, but the rise of e-commerce has otherwise been steady. The explanation for this is simple. Customers like more options and convenience from the brands they love, and businesses benefit from an increase in sales associated with the increase in accessibility of their products and services. However, e-commerce is necessarily online, and all online activity presents a degree of risk. E-commerce infrastructure needs to accommodate for, and reduce the presence of, the risk of cyber attacks, with the use of API Security, Encryption, and Decryption. Here’s what you need to know in order to secure your e-commerce venture.
Encryption and Decryption
The foundation of any good e-commerce infrastructure is a company website. Giving your customers an online destination where they can interact with your products and services from the comfort of their own homes. However, simply owning a website is only the beginning. Despite the essential nature of encryption and decryption as cybersecurity features, they are not a fundamental part of the internet at large. Instead, the individual holder of a given website is responsible for obtaining TLS certification, for example.
Encryption is the process of scrambling information so that it can’t be read if it happens to be intercepted, and decryption is the process of decoding that data back into its original form. This is important, because it prevents hackers from getting their hands on meaningful and actionable information. Where this concerns e-commerce is specifically in terms of the personal and financial information of your customers. This kind of data is the primary objective when hackers target businesses, although you can’t discount the importance of market data and trade secrets in the equation, either. Protecting your customers often directly overlaps with protecting yourself.
Once you have an e-commerce website up and running, there’s still room to grow. E-commerce apps are incredibly important not only for e-commerce, but also for commerce as a whole these days. While creating a secure website for your customers to use is a good foundation, many users prefer a more mobile shopping experience. E-commerce apps meet that demand by offering nearly unlimited access to the goods and services they need. This can benefit your customers, but it also benefits your company with an influx in sales, up to and including more frequent impulse purchases that wouldn’t be worth the effort of making a shopping trip.
Developing an e-commerce app has been greatly simplified with the use of APIs. Application Programming Interfaces are software development kits purpose built for the development of e-commerce apps, and they can save companies a lot of time and money by providing a much needed shortcut to the otherwise time consuming and costly venture of software development. Essentially, APIs give companies the keys to the kingdom, but this comes with an insidious downside that needs to be taken into account.
APIs are widely available to anyone who can pay the price, and that means that they are just as available to hackers as they are to businesses. What this means is that hackers can get their hands on an API and scout it out for weaknesses, and those weaknesses will most likely be present in the final products companies develop using the API. For this reason, you’ll need to invest in API security in order to root out and seal up any potential back doors in the code that hackers can exploit in order to get their hands on your customers’ personal information. APIs are valuable tools in today’s market, but they are a double-edged sword without taking the necessary steps to foolproof the end result.
E-commerce has only grown in popularity since its inception. Any business that can should implement their own e-commerce strategies, but doing so also entails accepting and addressing the risk of cyber attacks. Luckily, there are ample tools available that can help you to secure your e-commerce infrastructure, and these tips can help.