Ecommerce is exploding. Online shopping has evolved significantly in recent years, but it has become an essential service in the aftermath of the global pandemic.
According to reports, retail ecommerce sales will have increased by 27.6% in 2020, amounting to $4.280 trillion in annual growth. Online sales are sometimes the primary business model, but they have also emerged as a viable alternative for businesses experiencing a decline in brick-and-mortar customers.
However, there are some drawbacks to consider in addition to the benefits.
While an ecommerce platform eliminates the risk of customers stealing merchandise from the store floor, many other potential issues and risks are unique to digital businesses.
These risks include illegal data sharing, fraud, malware, and other security breaches, vulnerabilities associated with working with third-party platforms, data privacy laws, online security regulations, and customer service issues.
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10 Ecommerce Risks You Should Be Aware Of Ecommerce businesses are distinct in many ways. Their entire focus is on selling online, so it is critical that their site is secure and their data is protected in every way possible.
Any downtime can be disastrous and expensive for an ecommerce store. If an online shopper believes that an ecommerce store is not secure or that the customer experience (CX) is poor, they will quickly move on to a competitor.
Ecommerce vendors have a lot to protect, but understanding the risks makes it easier to fortify their defenses. As always, a dependable backup solution is essential.
Though online backups cannot protect you from every possible ecommerce risk, they can provide you with some peace of mind and assist you in getting back up and running quickly.
So, let us begin by outlining the top ten ecommerce risks and then look at some actionable tips to help you solve them.
1. Risks to Data Privacy and Online Security
Hackers are becoming more sophisticated by the day. Malicious actors can enter your systems more easily from the inside, obtaining employee credentials through phishing or deploying malware and ransomware through fraudulent links in emails. A data breach costs an average of $4.24 million, but reputational damage could cost you even more.
Preventing a data breach is the best way to avoid one. Create and enforce strong data privacy and online security policy, and train and incentivize your employees to become data security champions. To add an extra layer of accountability, use protocols such as two-factor authentication (2FA).
Unauthorized Access is the second risk.
Not everyone requires Access to all company files. Unauthorized Access is responsible for a significant portion of data loss. Sometimes it’s innocent; other times, it’s not. There is, fortunately, a lot you can do to prevent unauthorized Access, and these strategies should be part of your overall data security posture.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent unauthorized Access:
Limit Access. Employees should only have access to the files they require. Your content creators, for example, do not require Access to your back-end code.
Use two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA adds an extra layer of accountability by preventing users from using login credentials that do not belong to them.
Make use of a single-sign-on solution. You can restrict and monitor Access to company files with a single sign-on.
Set up role-based Access. Most file systems can restrict Access based on role or credentials. Look for a single-sign-on solution with these features, such as 1Password.
Passwords should be changed regularly. To prevent unauthorized access, enforce password changes across your network.
When employees leave or are let go, revoke their credentials. Maintain strict control over credentials and immediately cancel them when an employee leaves.
3. Risk: Vulnerability Exploitation
Malicious actors are constantly on the lookout for vulnerabilities in your network. Unpatched software, legacy systems, and insufficient endpoint protection leave you vulnerable to attack.
Maintained software, SaaS, and plugin updates. Remove and uninstall incompatible plugins and themes as soon as possible. Turn on firewalls and virus protection, but don’t rely entirely on your device’s settings. Investigate more comprehensive solutions based on your data protection requirements.
To understand their vulnerabilities, larger organizations may consider periodic security audits or penetration testing.
4. Danger: Human Error
We’ve all deleted a file or “lost” a folder at some point. Human Error remains the most common cause of data loss, and most of the time, it is an unintentional error.
Install a backup and recovery solution such as Rewind. Rewind online backups enable you to quickly restore and recover after an error, reducing downtime and allowing you to get back to work faster.
5. Danger: Platform Downtime
Even the most reputable platforms, such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and QuickBooks Online, require scheduled downtime to update servers, security, and code. Prolonged or frequent rest, on the other hand, will have an impact on your productivity and reputation.
Do your research and make an informed decision. Examine what other people say about the company in reviews and on user forums. Examine comparison websites to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each platform. Select a company that has a good reputation and a high uptime.
This includes any third-party apps or SaaS you choose. Dependencies between apps may cause your website to lose functionality if one of them fails.
6. Danger: Invalid CSV Files
CSV files are a great way to upload large amounts of data quickly, but they don’t always work. The issue is that you frequently need to find out where the Error is. If you’re on a tight deadline, this can be a significant issue, affecting sales and causing stress.
Installing a backup and recovery solution will not fix your corrupted CSV files, but it will assist you in returning to a pre-error state until you identify the problem.
7. Danger: Noncompliance
The regulatory framework for data privacy and protection is strict, with severe financial penalties for noncompliance. The risks are numerous, as outlined in HIPAA, the GDPR, PCI, and other regional and international data privacy legislation.
Essentially, these policies state that you must follow their guidelines if you conduct business online. Data protection is a serious business, and if you continue to operate without regard, you endanger your company’s survival.
If you sell internationally, ensure that your company adheres to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s ecommerce policies.
Make sure you understand your responsibilities under all applicable data privacy laws.
Do not assume that you are exempt from the GDPR.
Update your websites and online properties to use the most recent versions.
Completely vet and qualify all vendors, as who controls data and where it is stored may become an issue if there is a breach or complaint.
Ascertain that all third-party SaaS is following international data privacy and security laws.
8. Danger: Incompatibility with Software or Plugins
We all rely on third-party SaaS to simplify our lives, but not all apps are created equal. You may read about a solution and become excited about the possibilities. Still, if it is incompatible with your platform, theme, or other apps, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise when nothing works or appears as it should.
Additionally, new app companies fail at an alarming rate. Your ecommerce store may still be vulnerable if there is no support or updates for the app.
Use reputable vendor software plugins and add-ons. Before you deploy, do your homework. Update and audit regularly to ensure there are no problems.
9. Risk: Poor CX These days, customer experience (CX) is everything. If your site takes too long to load, visitors can’t find what they’re looking for, your site is challenging to navigate or understand, or your content (images, descriptions, blogs, etc.) is of poor quality, most will click away—and they won’t return.
Put time and effort into improving the look of your website and store.
Make sure your ecommerce store is responsive, which means it looks and performs the same on any device.
Place your most popular products at the top of the page and create landing pages for your ads.
The goal is to make doing business with you as simple as possible for your customers. Good customer experience leads to loyalty, which leads to increased sales. And the bottom line is always the same.
10. Risk: Premises Loss As a result of the disaster
Disasters happen, and they take many forms. The list goes on: fire, flooding, building collapse, electrical grid failure, power surges, internet failure, and so on. Having the proper safeguards in place will assist you in getting back up and running so your ecommerce business can continue.
Solution Create and implement a disaster recovery plan (DRP) that addresses all potential scenarios.
Every business is unique, so it’s critical to examine your business model and determine what makes sense. DRP templates are available online to help you get started, but they are only a starting point. An effective DRP is a living document that you will update as needed throughout the lifecycle of your business.
Cloud backup and recovery software is an essential component of any comprehensive DRP. With your ecommerce store and all of its data stored in the cloud, you can rest assured that no vital data will be lost, no matter what happens.
We’ve gone over various scenarios and discussed ways to mitigate the risks associated with running an ecommerce store.
Risk management is ongoing, so you can never relax your guard. The burgeoning threat environment of today is just one of many concerns, and none should be dismissed lightly. Smaller ecommerce operations may believe that they are not appealing to malicious actors, but the opposite is true.
Ransomware attacks businesses of all sizes and shapes. Cybercriminals frequently know that smaller operations are easier to access—often because companies with only a few employees do not have or enforce a security policy, nor do they train their employees about the risks of security threats.
Considering Today’s Ecommerce Risks and Advice
Take the necessary precautions if you do not want your company to become a statistic. Implementing the solutions outlined above will reduce risk, lower liability, and assist you in recovering quickly if an incident occurs.
Check that your security protocols are up to date.
Implement strict password and work device security policies.
Monitor for suspicious or fraudulent activity regularly.
Use firewalls and security platforms.
Create, implement, and enforce a robust security policy.
Teach your employees how to detect incoming security threats.
Provide regular security training to all employees and contractors.
Work on your DRP and keep it up to date.
Working with a company that understands the ecommerce environment and knows how to mitigate best any situations that arise is beneficial when attempting to reduce risk. Whether you are a large corporation or a small startup, protecting your ecommerce website and digital assets means safeguard your customers and their data.
Describe the risks inherent with online websites and/or social media. Identify opportunities for effective use of online health information websites and/or social media.
Your presentation should include the following:
1. One social media in health care or public online health information site.
2. An overview of the use.
3. Their benefits and risks of use.
4. Your recommendations for nursing regarding appropriate use.
Presentation is original work and logically organized in current APA style including citation of references.
Incorporate a minimum of 4 current (published within last five years) scholarly journal articles or primary legal sources (statutes, court opinions) within your work.
PowerPoint presentation with 7-8 slides, excluding the tile slide and the reference slide.
The presentation is clear and concise and students will lose points for improper grammar, punctuation and misspelling.
Speaker notes expanded upon and clarified content on the slides.