E-commerce and IT security: companies must protect users
Thousands of products are purchased online per hour, at any time and from any device. How do we prevent virtual fraud? This is what you have to know.
Whether carried out through mobile devices or desktop computers, e-commerce is no longer a new consumption model. Moreover, the virtual shopping growth forecast is nothing but positive. According to a report published by Business Insider, a business and finance site, 20% of Latin American residents shop online and Internet sales are expected to amount to 85,000 million Dollars by 2018.
Undoubtedly, this scenario is encouraging for a sector which became more than a positive factor considering the less favorable economic context. However, some episodes related to IT fraud, account hacking or online scams make both consumers and e-commerce companies more sensitive when operating online.
Cristian Amicelli, Chief Operating Officer of Mkit, a company specialized in IT security solutions, points out that “even though both consumers and online stores can be fraud victims, the latter oversee the enforcement of strict protection measures. In general, some companies think about their own security after an incident has occurred, when the process should be in reverse: prevention comes first".
In his view as an IT specialist, Amicelli celebrates e-commerce figures in the region; however, he stresses that “in a context where cyberattacks are becoming more and more sophisticated, the user –the consumer who is shopping at online stores– should be a top priority for protection".
Desktop versus Mobile commerce– which one is more vulnerable?
Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, entails 20% of all e-commerce in Latin America. This is the fastest-growing purchase system due to the low cost of devices versus desktop or laptop computers and due to the portability of devices. Does this mean m-commerce is more vulnerable to hacking?
“In both cases, there are not any big differences regarding a possible attack itself. It could be thought that using cellphones can sometimes make us view less information of some sites because they have a smaller screen, but this may be solved with the potential of apps, since they are in charge of protecting”, states Amicelli.
Taking some necessary measures for protection in order not to be a victim of an attack is something not as unattainable as a few years ago. Mkit experts recommend, on the one hand, that end users never access e-commerce sites by way of links coming from e-mail or any other messaging system. Purchases must be made though a secure channel identified with HTTPS and, as evident as it may seem, it is always good to remember checking that the online platform of the store is secure.
On the other hand, e-commerce platforms must be at the first line of defense regarding cyberattacks and preventive measures against them. “It is necessary for them to deploy secure development policies and perform periodic auditing to minimize security holes. It is also necessary for these platforms to be informed on the vulnerabilities arising from protocols, services and products they use for their platform to take fast and efficient countermeasures”, Amicelli concludes.
The end of the year is nearby, a time to celebrate and make gifts. Nothing more comfortable than e-commerce for this type of purchases, always taking measures to avoid fraud and deception at a moment of the year when all we want is to enjoy this festive season.