With working and staying at home being the new normal now, ecommerce portals have become the new go-to shopping platform for most people around the globe. Such a shift in buyers’ behavior has turbocharged the online shopping market, thereby bringing in a lot of competition.
Businesses know that customers love a seamless shopping experience. Therefore, providing the customers with a flawless and user-friendly ecommerce application, can help enterprises stay ahead of the curve.
For ecommerce businesses, providing a secure shopping interface is another important factor that drives customer loyalty for a brand. In a 2019 Cisco survey, 32% of the customers agreed to have switched brands due to security concerns. So, besides ease in the shopping experience, ecommerce platforms must provide secure applications to remain competitive in the market.
Is conventional penetration testing enough to validate your ecommerce application security?
Traditionally, ecommerce portals ascertain their application’s security by running it through penetration tests before making it fully operational. However, conventional penetration testing mechanisms are not able to comprehensively identify vulnerabilities present in ecommerce applications.
This form of penetration testing (or pen testing) focuses on WASC or OWASP standards such as XSS, SQL injection, etc., which is usually considered ineffective in the rapidly evolving cyber threat environment. Additionally, there are vulnerabilities related to functional modules and third-party integrations in ecommerce applications that cannot be validated using conventional pen-testing.
So, how can Ecommerce businesses protect their application from cybersecurity threats?
Specialized pen testing is customized to ecommerce for validating functionalities and zeroing in on the vulnerabilities that are specific to design, payment gateways, third-party integrations, etc. So, only by running such specialized penetration tests on these applications can businesses identify these flaws and accordingly safeguard their applications.
Safeguard transactions & order management flaws.
Transaction and order management issues have the potential to harm your business from both ends. While misuse of order management gaps by hackers may lead to direct revenue loss for your ecommerce business, an unsafe transaction raises privacy concerns and, therefore, can dissuade customers from transacting online.
Other examples of misusing the vulnerabilities of order management are – obtaining cash-back without canceling the order, booking orders using a fake account, post order placement manipulation of the shipping address, so on and so forth.
To protect your ecommerce application from such misuse, you need to run a specialized penetration test on each order-related functionality.
Protect the misuse of discount codes and reward coupons.
The coupon generation and redemption functionalities are complex in nature. Any minor anomaly in the process or its functionality can significantly damage the business’s trust and cause revenue loss. So, it is crucial for companies to validate their applications for potential flaws.
Some of the most common examples of misuse are – redeeming coupon post order cancellation, using multiple coupons on the same order, bypassing coupon validity, etc. Ecommerce businesses cannot check all these functionalities using the conventional pen testing process.
Specialized penetration testing ensures end-to-end quality assurance for every functionality, which is why it is the best bet for ecommerce applications.
Eliminate security lapses in payment gateway (PG) integrations.
Some of the most common examples of misusing the payment gateway flaws are buying a pizza for just 1$ or customer’s money getting deducted, without the payment being completed. Additionally, vulnerabilities in payment gateway processors can lead to compromising the financial data of customers, thereby adding a dent in the customers’ trust in your platform.
Here, conventional penetration testing can take care of most payment-related vulnerabilities. However, tailoring your testing process to create a specialized penetration testing framework can help businesses identify and tackle both business logic vulnerabilities as well as third-party PG integrations.
Mitigate security concerns in the content management system (CMS).
Almost every Ecommerce application has a content management system (CMS) in the back end to upload or update content. This CMS is usually integrated with affiliates, resellers, partners, third-party plugins and content providers.
Since there are multiple integrations involved here, the complexity of testing a CMS is also high. With conventional testing, businesses can only evaluate the basic vulnerabilities such as Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, File inclusion vulnerabilities, or Directory Traversal.
However, there are numerous other sub-vulnerability types such as RBAC (Role-Based Access Control) Flaws, Notification System Flaws, Flaws in Integration with Point of Sale (PoS) Devices, 3rd Party APIs Flaws, etc. Most of these need a complex testing framework, which only customized pen testing can handle.
There are multiple, open-source penetration testing tools available for companies to check their application security. Additionally, enterprises can train their IT security management team to keep a close eye on priority vulnerability areas.
However, not every ecommerce business has the required skillset to undertake specialized pen-testing procedures. So, seeking guidance from experienced quality engineering and business assurance service providers is another way forward for ecommerce businesses.