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Protecting Your Digital Storefront: 5 E-Commerce Cybersecurity Threats to Monitor

Protecting Your Digital Storefront: 5 E-Commerce Cybersecurity Threats to Monitor

Cyber attacks on e-commerce are a continuously growing threat, with criminals targeting customer data, ransoming companies, and stealing. In 2023 alone there were hundreds of thousands of attacks on major companies including PayPal, Shopify, and Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). These attacks are developing in complexity and frequency, so if you want to keep your platform and customer safe you need to be aware of these popular cybersecurity threats to your business. Let’s take a look at five threats your e-commerce platform will face.


One of the most common threats e-commerce faces is phishing attacks, whether aimed towards your customers or your employees. Phishing attacks are a social engineering attack in which the attackers send scam emails, texts, phone calls, messages, etc. in a bid to trick people into clicking malicious links, giving away personal data or fishing for information that can be used to guess or extract credentials, such as passwords or security answers, (What’s your mom’s maiden name? Did you have a pet? What was its name?). You may have even gotten a few phishing emails or texts (or more than a few) before yourself.

Data breaches

Data breaches are an extremely common cyber security threat to e-commerce platforms. A data breach occurs when an unauthorized person gains access to data they shouldn’t have access to, a simple concept. The type of data breach we will focus on is when mass user data is collected by an unauthorized person. The data gathered from data breaches varies depending on what data is stored and collected by the affected website. Typically this includes emails, passwords, user names, contact information, credit card numbers, and social security numbers. This data can be then either used by the attacker or sold on the Dark Web to other malicious actors.

Credential stuffing

Credential stuffing, an attack in which the attackers will use, or “stuff” user information, such as password and email combinations, that they have obtained from the data breaches of other websites, in the hopes that your users will use the same email and password combinations across the web, to gain access to their accounts.

Now, you may think, how successful can this attack be? What are the odds that users in the data breach would be users of my platform and that they used the same email and password combination? You would be correct in thinking that each credential stuffing attack has a low success rate. However, what makes credential stuffing so popular despite its low success rate is that data breaches are extremely common and the data is sold and traded amongst attackers, the prices varying depending on what is in the data. Password and email combinations can go for relatively cheap and these lists can be used across several different websites, including yours. Combine that with a bot network and the low successes of the credential stuffing attack start to add up, leading to a relatively low effort and profitable attack.

Magecart attacks

Another big security threat to look out for is Magecart attacks, aka carding or skimming, in which hackers steal payment data from online retailers by injecting malicious code onto your platform. Magecart attacks started on the Magento platform but have since spread to most other platforms. Magecart attacks are notoriously difficult to detect as they do not attack the source code, but instead occur on the clients’ browser, making most cyber security measures such as firewalls, ineffective.


DDoS or a distributed-denial of service attack is a common type of attack in which malicious actors will use a botnet to send a flood of traffic to your platform in hopes of overwhelming your platform’s servers, rendering your platform unusable. This can be quite disruptive to your business, leading to customer frustration, loss of trust and financial losses, which can be a devastating blow to your platform. Don’t think that your platform is safe either, whether it is a small or large platform. Any platform can affected by a DDoS, just look at Google Cloud, Cloudflare and Amazon Web Services (AWS) who reported the largest DoS attack to date on October 10. 2023.

If you notice your platform is slowing down, examine the traffic and try to determine if an attack is occurring. Receiving unexpected spikes of traffic, or a lot of traffic originating from the same IP address are good indicators. Block the offending IP addresses. Keep in mind however that some malicious traffic can look like legitimate traffic.


So what can you do in general to keep your platform and users safe? Cyber security is both proactive and reactionary. You need to make sure your platform’s security is tight and every third party software you use is up to date, to avoid malicious attackers exploiting bugs and security weaknesses that may have existed in previous versions. Use standards for encrypting your data, they are tried, true, and tested. Home brew encryption will generally not be very good and may in fact be easily exploited. Get your cyber security plan audited. Another important thing to have is a recovery plan, as mentioned above, which should include plans on how to swiftly contact potentially affected users, and law enforcement, about the data that has been compromised and what your users are at risk for. One important thing to keep in mind is that no matter how small or large your platform is, it is always a potential target. Any company is at risk, no matter its size, as proven by the various attacks on both small and large companies you hear about. Just take a look at the recent Xfinity data breach which affected almost 36 million of its users.

If you require help in keeping your platform safe, selecting which or setting up secure third party software to use on your platform, or want to know how to monitor your traffic for suspicious activity, Idextrus is here for you.

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