Ensuring the security of a businesses’ information and assets is a critical part of a company’s success. The many facets of the World Wide Web have made protecting data a critical function for companies world-wide. Companies owe it to their customers to maintain proper security regarding sensitive information obtained when processing services or storing sensitive data. Electronic commerce, or E-Commerce for short, is a type of industry where consumers buy or sell goods and services, by using the web and other computer networks during the life-cycle of a transaction, from start to finish. As various schemes are being developed by hackers as well as others with malicious intent to breach a wide array of security measures put in place by companies conducting e-commerce, we will look at ways that companies are battling these threats with the use of firewalls, proxy servers, and other forms network security.
Companies have made note that the internet has eliminated the limits by which they are able to reach consumers, something that has always traditionally plagued businesses trying to reach a broader audience. An economic idea, also known as the “law of diminishing returns,” which states that business realize smaller, incremental gains for each new consumer, either does not apply in the realm of e-commerce, or sets it at a very high level. The internet also provides flexibility when facilitating transactions with vendors, employees as well as other stakeholders, thus decreasing the number of staff needed to perform these functions.
Security threats that e-commerce businesses face on a daily basis, can fall into several categories, which can be tied motives behind a security breach. Some threats are designed to funnel money from one account to another or to cover up an unethical or illegal act. This type of data manipulation can prove to be very harmful to a company’s bottom line. Other types of threats can also include spoofs, Trojan horses, worms and viruses.
Trojan horses, worms and viruses are typically designed to destroy important data. A Trojan horse is a program that disguises itself as a safe, known function and designed to copy and/or destroy data when ran. Worm threats inflict their damage by spreading from one computer to another, when sent by an unsuspecting user via email. A virus is a type of code that fragments and copies itself, ultimately infecting a larger portion of the system it resides in.
Companies who conduct e-commerce must also be concerned with protecting the integrity of the data used by their company, their vendors, and other 3rd party entities that conduct business with them. Consumer data, marketing information and sales are among some of the most sensitive data that must be accurate in order for a business to function, at even the most fundamental level. This type of data integrity allows for information to be kept secure from prying eyes or from people with more depraved purposes.