Security scans on 60,000 websites shows 78% of e-commerce websites at risk

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Security scans performed on 60,000 Magento websites, the most popular e-commerce platform, show that 78% are missing critical security patches, while 5% are confirmed to have payment card data harvesting malware stealing their customer details.

The findings follow a number of high profile breaches of customer data over the past year, involving companies including Oracle, Cisco and Yahoo.

The cyber security company Foregenix, which is renowned globally for its work with banks and payment providers, has an active threat intelligence team researching and analysing attack trends, with a strong focus on the e-commerce sector.

Cost of PCI breach

Benjamin Hosack, co-founder of Foregenix, said the rise in cybercrime threatens to undermine confidence in e-commerce, especially in markets leading the way in online sales such as the US and UK. While heavy penalties by card providers could put many smaller traders out of business in the year ahead.

“Breaches of security are also getting more expensive and it’s the small firms which are worst affected. Visa for example imposes a fine of up to €18 for each stolen set of card data from European merchants, according to Barclaycard. Given that it takes six months for the average trader to realise they have been hacked, those for example with 100,000 transactions a year, could face a fine of roughly €450,000 – a sum beyond the means of many SMEs.

“Magento and other e-commerce platforms release regular software updates in response to threats. These security patches, if not applied, can leave websites highly vulnerable to hacking.  However, most website developers and owners are very slow to update software, mainly because it’s a fairly complex and costly process.

“As in-store payments become more secure, cyber crime is migrating online,” explains Hosak. “This is particularly true in the US which finally began to migrate to chip and PIN (EMV) in 2015. With lists of online stores readily available, it’s easy for hackers to attack them en masse. The massive growth in cyber crime could make consumers more reluctant to buy online, especially from smaller traders.

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