E-Commerce Security

18 Feb

For most, the internet has benefited and changed their lives for the better. The global market on the internet provides access to goods, services and business worldwide, making it possible to buy anything and everything online. Sadly, criminals are not left out from this apparent convenience.

For criminals, the internet has created new and lucrative ways for them to steal from more than 1 billion consumers! Imagine the opportunities! Furthermore, the ability to remain anonymous online gives the perfect climate for cybercriminals to strike.  Actions of cybercriminals are costly for both businesses and consumers, who are then subjected to higher prices and additional security measures. Hence as consumers or merchants, it is important to ensure a secure commercial transaction so as to protect individuals and organizations from unexpected behavior in the e-commerce marketplace.

So, what exactly is good e-commerce security?

1) Integrity

We have to ensure that information has not been altered in any way by an unauthorized party. Take for example, a cybercriminal may alter the contents of an online communication, causing a  redirection a bank wire transfer into a different account. Also, merchants may claim the authenticity of their products, but mail you a replica or imitation product instead.

2) Nonrepudiation

This is this ability to ensure that e-commerce participants do not deny their online actions. Setting up an email account is easy, and we do not even need to provide any real information about ourselves. This makes it easy for people to order merchandise online, and then deny doing so. Credit card companies by default, have to side with the customer because the merchant has no physical copy of a signature and hence, no legal valid proof that the customer ordered the merchandise.

3) Authenticity

When we’re doing transactions online, we have to be sure who exactly are we dealing with. Is the person on the website we are communicating with really who we think he/she is? Spoofing is common, and we really have to be on our guards.

An example of a spoof website, thewhitehouse.org

4) Confidentially & Privacy

In my opinion, I believe this is the most important dimension in e-commerce security. We have to ensure that messages and data we send, is only available to those who are authorized to view them. We also must ensure we have control over the use of information about him or herself to the e-commerce merchant. This is especially so for credit card and personal information. Hacking to gain these information violates confidentially of data and the privacy of individuals who supplied the information.

Are your mails and communication records really safe?

5) Availability

This refers to the ability to ensure that the e-commerce site continues to function as intended. Imagine purchasing products from a website, only to have the entire site gone and deleted without a trace before receiving your items!

Who would you buy from? eBay at 80% of the price, or a shabby blogspot at 40% of the price? Too many a time, many of us are attracted by the low prices provided by some online merchants.

It is important to note that before we make our decision, we have to decide if the deal is really indeed, too good to be true!


One Response to “E-Commerce Security”


  1. Week Seven: Cybercrime In Singapore « thefirstbyte - March 28, 2011

    […] mentioned in my post in Week Four, the ability to remain anonymous online gives the perfect climate for cybercriminals to strike. […]

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