Cyber Security

Cyber Security For E-Commerce Businesses

Imad Adileh
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The e-commerce industry in Saudi Arabia is booming and businesses are increasingly turning to online platforms to sell their products and services. However, with this growth comes greater vulnerability to cyber-attacks.

Data protection and payment security are of paramount importance for any e-commerce business, and there are several steps that businesses can take to mitigate the risks. With a little planning and forethought, businesses can ensure their e-commerce operations are secure and safe from potential threats. This will protect not just your business, but also your customers and their personal data.

The Growing Threat Of Cybercrime In KSA

Saudi Arabia is no stranger to cybercrime. In the first quarter of 2020, there were over 7 million attempted cyber-attacks in the Kingdom with businesses of all sizes falling victim. The cost of these attacks is significant and can range from compromised data and reputational damage to financial losses.

The government of Saudi Arabia is aware of the threat posed by cybercrime and has taken steps to combat it. The Saudi Arabian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) was established in 2017 to help organisations and individuals protect themselves from cyber-attacks. CERT provides a range of services, including training, incident response, and threat intelligence.

In addition to CERT, the Saudi Arabian government has also established the National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA), which is responsible for developing and implementing the Kingdom’s cybersecurity strategy. The NCA works with a number of partners, including the private sector, to raise awareness of cybersecurity threats and help organisations protect themselves.

Thanks to the concentrated effort of this government-led initiative, Saudi Arabia now ranks second globally in its commitment to cybersecurity. However, business owners must continue to take responsibility for the safety of their online operations. This means being aware of the risks and taking steps to mitigate them.

How E-Commerce Businesses Are Vulnerable

The e-commerce industry is particularly vulnerable to cybercrime as businesses hold large amounts of customer data, including personal and financial information. This data is a valuable commodity for cybercriminals, who can sell it on the black market or use it to commit identity theft and fraud.

There are several different types of cyber-attacks that businesses need to be aware of. This includes:

  • Phishing attacks: These are emails or messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or retailer, but are actually from a cybercriminal. The message will often contain a link that leads to a malicious website or downloads malware onto the recipient’s device.
  • Malware: This is software that is designed to damage or disable computers. It can be installed on a device without the user’s knowledge and can be used to steal data or take control of the device.
  • SQL injection: This is a type of attack that exploits vulnerabilities in a website’s database. The attacker can insert malicious code into the database, which can be used to access sensitive data or take control of the website.
  • Denial of service (DoS) attacks: These are attacks that aim to make a website or online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple devices. This can be done using a botnet, which is a network of infected computers that are controlled by the attacker.

How To Mitigate The Risk of Cybercrime

As an e-commerce business, it is important to protect both customer and company data. There are several steps you can take to do this, including:

  • Encrypting data: This means converting data so that it can only be read by authorised individuals. Data can be encrypted using software or hardware, such as a security token.
  • Storing data securely: There are many cloud-based storage solutions available, which provide a high level of security.
  • Restricting access to data: Only give employees access to the data they need to do their job. Use role-based access control to ensure that only authorised individuals can view or edit data.
  • Backups: Keep backups of your data in a secure location, such as an off-site server or cloud storage. This will ensure you can recover your data if it is lost or corrupted.

When it comes to payments, it is important to use a secure payment gateway, such as SSL to protect customer data. You should also ensure that your website is PCI DSS compliant. This is a set of standards that businesses must adhere to in order to accept, process, and store credit card payments. If e-commerce businesses follow these main guidelines, they reduce the risk of successful cyberattacks and ensure the security of vital customer and company data.