The rise of automation has led to an increase in the sophistication and frequency of cyberattacks on online retailers. Automated threats such as account takeover, web scraping, and DDoS attacks are causing significant damage to the eCommerce industry. According to a recent report by Imperva Threat Research, automated attacks were responsible for 62% of security incidents among online retailers. Retailers need to be more vigilant than ever to protect their customers’ data and maintain the trust of their user base.
The Scope of Automated Threats
Automated threats have become a pervasive problem in the digital landscape, with an increasing number of businesses falling victim to these attacks.
Bot attacks are one of the most common types of automated threats and involve the use of software to carry out a range of malicious activities. This can include web scraping, spamming, and credential stuffing, among others. Bot attacks are particularly problematic because they can cause significant damage to a business’s reputation and financial wellbeing. For example, bot attacks can lead to a loss of revenue due to fake transactions, damage to brand reputation due to fake reviews, and legal liabilities resulting from fraudulent activity.
Web scraping is another common form of automated threat that involves the use of software to extract data from a website. This can include sensitive information such as customer data or product listings, which can then be used for malicious purposes such as identity theft or intellectual property theft. Web scraping can also be used to gain a competitive advantage by gathering data on competitors’ products and pricing. This makes it a serious threat to businesses operating in industries where data is a key competitive advantage. Overall, the scope of automated threats is vast and constantly evolving, making it crucial for businesses to remain vigilant and employ effective security measures to protect against these threats.
The Impact of Automated Threats on eCommerce Security
The impact of automated threats on eCommerce security can be significant and costly. These threats can cause a range of problems, from stealing customer data to disrupting business operations. Account takeover attacks, credit card fraud, and web scraping are some of the most common automated threats that eCommerce sites face. Account takeover attacks occur when attackers use stolen login credentials to access user accounts and steal sensitive data such as credit card numbers or personal information. Credit card fraud involves using stolen credit card information to make unauthorized purchases. Web scraping involves the unauthorized collection of data from eCommerce sites, which can be used to gain a competitive advantage or to sell counterfeit products.
The financial impact of these threats can be substantial. In 2021, it was estimated that eCommerce fraud would cost businesses $20 billion globally, with account takeover attacks being one of the main contributors. Additionally, web scraping can cause significant losses for eCommerce sites by allowing competitors to gain access to pricing information and undercut their prices. The cost of mitigating these threats can also be high, as eCommerce sites may need to invest in advanced security solutions, such as bot management tools, to protect themselves.
The reputational impact of automated threats can also be significant. A successful attack can damage the trust that customers have in an eCommerce site, leading to decreased sales and a loss of business. In addition, the public disclosure of a security breach can lead to negative media coverage and damage the brand image of the affected business. This can be particularly damaging for smaller eCommerce sites that may not have the resources to recover from a major security incident. As such, it is essential for eCommerce sites to take a proactive approach to security and implement robust security measures to protect their customers’ data and their brand reputation.
Strategies to Mitigate Automated Attacks on Retailers
One of the key strategies for mitigating the impact of automated attacks on retailers is stress-testing infrastructure. Stress-testing is the process of subjecting a website to a simulated load to identify potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities. This process can help retailers identify bottlenecks, improve performance, and detect any malicious traffic. By identifying and addressing potential vulnerabilities in advance, retailers can prevent automated attacks from gaining access to sensitive information.
Another effective strategy for retailers is the implementation of bot management. Bot management involves the use of tools and techniques to identify, analyze, and manage bot traffic. This includes the use of bot detection technology to identify malicious bots, bot fingerprinting to track bot behavior, and bot blocking to prevent malicious bots from accessing a retailer’s website. Retailers can also use machine learning algorithms to analyze bot behavior and identify any patterns that may indicate malicious activity.
It is also important for retailers to monitor and secure their APIs. API security involves protecting the application programming interfaces (APIs) that are used to connect a retailer’s website to third-party services, such as payment gateways and shipping providers. Attackers can use APIs as a pathway to exfiltrate sensitive customer data and payment information. Retailers can use a range of security measures to protect their APIs, including the use of API gateways, authentication and access control mechanisms, and API rate limiting to prevent malicious traffic. Additionally, retailers can use multi-factor authentication to protect against account takeover attacks and regularly update their software and applications to ensure that any known vulnerabilities are patched.
The rise of automated threats is a significant risk to the eCommerce industry, with online retailers facing higher security risks during the holiday shopping season. To protect their customers’ data and maintain the trust of their user base, retailers need to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity. This includes monitoring and securing APIs, implementing bot management, and regularly updating software and applications. By taking these steps, retailers can mitigate the impact of automated attacks and protect their business from cyber threats.