Today, the computer can be used to do buy and sell things and this functionality is only becoming more popular each day. It is very convenient unlike the traditional method and takes much lesser time. You can complete your buying and selling transactions right from the comfort of your home. However, the major concern of the people doing ecommerce on the internet is “Security”.

Ecommerce or electronic commerce refers to any business or transactions where information is transferred across the net. There are many different forms of ecommerce.

Business to Consumer

In this form of ecommerce services or products are directly sold to the customer by the company. It mostly happens through e-shops.

Business to Employee

This is also referred to as the “Intranet”.

Consumer to Consumer

This type of ecommerce involves transactions which are done electronically between customers. The best example for this type is Online Auction, where customers try to outbid each other to buy the product.

There are many other types like G2B and G2G.

Security and Ecommerce

Any ecommerce system has to provide 4 requirements:

  • Privacy – information should be kept in a safe place so that is cannot be seen by others.
  • Integrity – any message or information that passes through the system should not be tampered with.
  • Authentication – recipient and sender should be able to provide proof of their identities to one another.
  • Non-Repudiation – proof for the receipt of the message should be given to the sender.

These measures are needed so that the transactions are done in a safe and secure manner without any interference from any third party.

How to implement these requirements?

For this purpose, you have to implement one or more of the suggestions given below:

  • PKI or Public Key Infrastructure – this provides authentication and privacy.
  • Digital Signature – this provides integrity and authentication.
  • SSL or Secure Socket Layer – This provides authentication and privacy.
  • Time Stamp and many others.

The most advanced and popular security system for ecommerce applications is the SSL or Secure Socket Layer. The reason for this is; it has the best functionalities from PKI. SSL technology uses Digital Certificates and PKI to provide authentication and privacy. The process is: the client asks permission to exchange data with the server; the server sends a reply that has the digital certificate. Using the PKI system, the client and server negotiate and create the session keys. Then, the client and server can communicate using these keys and the digital certificate. To confirm whether a website is using SSL, look at the address bar: if you see “HTTPS” and a padlock icon then you can be sure that this page is safer that the others.

Is it just safer, or totally safe? It is just safer because totally safe sites don’t exist. The ecommerce providers mostly leave the task of securing their website to an IT hosting company. However, it is better if you are aware of how it secures your site and what the responsibilities from your side are. Contact one of our helpful account representatives to assist you in the setup of a high risk merchant account or offshore merchant account for a high risk merchant.