Dangers of ransomware and cyberattacks in digital commerce


For e-commerce sites, hackers and cyberattacks will always be a risk to the job. For thieves and their technical know-how, ecommerce sites are gold mines of personal and financial data. In addition to this, for businesses of all sizes, the cost of a breach both in loss of data and customer trust can be hugely damaging. Yoav Kutner, Co-Founder and CEO of Oro Inc, considers why e-commerce business owners need to remain vigilant.

E-commerce business owners are all too aware of these issues and are increasing their security measures. The VMWare Carbon Black 2020 Cybersecurity Outlook Report found that 77% of businesses surveyed had purchased new security products in the last year and 69% had increased security staff. 

Cybersecurity is essential for e-commerce, as it is the combination of people, policies, processes, and technologies employed to protect its cyber assets. Cyber attacks result in loss of revenue, data and overall viability for businesses. For online sellers especially, it is not just their physical computer systems which are at risk of e-commerce security breaches, but also their software, networks, and infrastructure.

Are there different types of cyberattacks?

The answer is yes - which is why it’s more important than ever to have security measures in place. Here are three of the most common attacks to be aware of.

  • DoS attack

A denial-of-service (DoS) attack is designed to overwhelm the resources of a system to the point where it is unable to reply to legitimate service requests. A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is similar in that it also seeks to drain the resources of a system. A DDoS attack is initiated by a vast array of malware-infected host machines controlled by the attacker. These are referred to as ‘denial of service’ attacks because the victim site is unable to provide service to those who want to access it.

With a DoS attack, the target site gets flooded with illegitimate requests. Because the site has to respond to each request, its resources get consumed by all the responses. This makes it impossible for the site to serve users as it normally does and often results in a complete shutdown of the site.

  • MITM Attacks

Man-in-the-middle (MITM) types of cyber attacks refer to breaches in cybersecurity that make it possible for an attacker to eavesdrop on the data sent back and forth between two people, networks, or computers. It is called a ‘man in the middle’ attack because the attacker positions themselves in the ‘middle’ or between the two parties trying to communicate. In effect, the attacker is spying on the interaction between the two parties.

In a MITM attack, the two parties involved feel like they are communicating as they normally do. What they do not know is that the person actually sending the message illicitly modifies or accesses the message before it reaches its destination. Some ways to protect yourself and your organisation from MITM attacks are by using strong encryption on access points or using a virtual private network (VPN).

  • Whale-phishing Attacks

A whale-phishing attack is so-named because it goes after the ‘big fish’ or whales of an organization, which typically include those in the C-suite or others in charge of the organisation. These individuals are likely to possess information that can be valuable to attackers, such as proprietary information about the business or its operations. 

If a targeted ‘whale’ downloads ransomware, they are more likely to pay the ransom to prevent news of the successful attack from getting out and damaging their reputation or that of the organisation. Whale-phishing attacks can be prevented by taking the same kinds of precautions to avoid phishing attacks, such as carefully examining emails and the attachments and links that come with them and keeping an eye out for suspicious destinations or parameters.

When it comes to security, Oro is the optimal choice – it allows you to focus on growing your B2B e-commerce business safely and worry-free. Oro applications are built from the ground up to support sizable B2B enterprises and complex, multi-level organisational hierarchies with thousands of employees and millions of website customers. 

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