Why E-Retailers Need Web Application Security

April 19, 2021 • Published Categories PCI 101 Tags ,

Protecting online data should be high on your list.

How much faith do you have in the security of your online business’s web applications? If your website is like most, it runs applications for everything from product searches to backend analytics to the shopping cart.

According to the most recent (2021) Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, in the EMEA region basic web application attacks are involved in approximately 54% of all data breaches; while in North America basic web application attacks, along with social engineering and system intrusion, account for 92% of breaches. The prevalence of web application attacks is not going away and is only likely to increase. Why is this? For one, the U.S. migration to EMV credit cards for in-person payments has ushered in a new era of fraud activity in the world of ecommerce. For another, COVID lockdowns drove many more consumers and many new-to-ecommerce merchants online – worldwide retail ecommerce sales posted a 27.6% growth rate for 2020. In North America, online sales growth was even more pronounced: a 31.8% jump. What’s more, the continued pervasiveness of web application security vulnerabilities makes e-retail sites ripe for the picking.

It’s important that e-retailers respond by understanding and proactively addressing their web application security. Let’s delve into your first step to accomplishing this.

For web applications, security testing is a must.

Web application penetration testing is a must-do for verifying the security of your website. This kind of testing is designed to expose the threats your setup may be vulnerable to, whether it be cross-site scripting, SQL injection or another attack scheme. Penetration testing goes deeper than vulnerability scanning and needs to be done at least annually.

Even companies that effectively address network security are often unaware of the vulnerabilities that exist at the application layer. If you use a hosting provider, do they protect the application layer or are you responsible for that aspect? Beware that if you host your own web server, the responsibility fully rests with you.

Make your plan for strong web application security.

As mentioned above, security testing is just a first step in strong web application security. Continue reading here for some additional tips to ensure your site isn’t compromised. You can also learn more about the details and related costs of web application penetration testing by completing this form.