Platforms like Shopify have made life so easy for new and emerging businesses. With over 1 million stores under its umbrella, Shopify is already empowering e-commerce businesses like anything.
The remarkable feature of transforming a Shopify web store into an iOS or Android mobile app enables entrepreneurs to streamline their business and enhance functionality even further. And, with over 1.5 billion smartphones shipping each year, those shifting to the ‘app economy’ are surely ahead of others.
But, all of this comes with a huge basket of security risks too.
According to Cybercrime Magazine, online retail will be one of the most attacked businesses between 2019 and 2022.
Another Cybercrime Study reported that e-commerce is the highest vulnerable industry. It experiences around 32.4% of attacks in various forms. The details can be found in the infographic below.
Clearly, hackers are on a constant lookout for chances to break into such apps, and eventually into the e-commerce businesses.
Even a small loophole may put your customer and business information at serious risk. Therefore, if you are a Shopify store owner, securing your Shopify store mobile app from vulnerabilities becomes a major concern.
So, let us take a look at why Shopify store mobile apps are vulnerable and what business owners and service providers (those who develop such apps) can do to safeguard them.
How Your Shopify Store is Converted Into a Mobile App
You may have a fancy list of items in your store and numerous enticing offers to lure your customers. But, there are always a number of other similar stores that can steal your customers by offering something extra. So, it’s better to think of innovating consistently.
One of the ways of achieving that is by turning your Shopify store into a mobile app. As most of the people around us are already spending 90% of their free time on their smartphones, it sounds like an amazing idea too.
To convert your store to an app you just have to follow some simple steps. You can choose a specialized Shopify service for mobile app building from the official app store like Plobal Apps. After signing up there, enter your Shopify domain and get your Shopify app ready within no time.
These apps not only enable you to create fully-functional iOS and Android apps but also ensure added features like advanced analytics, diverse checkout options, support, etc. All of this seems so fascinating, right? But, is it?
How Shopify Store Apps And Associated In-app Purchases Are Vulnerable
When you allow these Shopify apps (like Plobal Apps) to create an app for your store, they ask for several permissions. These permissions range from viewing your product catalogs and managing your orders to managing your entire online store. Now, it’s up to you to allow them to either ‘view’ that data or ‘modify’ it. But, allowing modifications may expose your business to vulnerabilities which you would not even imagine in your worst nightmares.
With a simple Google search, intruders may break-in to your business. They can steal important user information like credit card info, usernames, passwords, and whatnot. They can also sniff into your security systems via other methods like DDoS attacks. By taking advantage of load balancers, they may also add more bot traffic to shut down your app completely.
Moreover, there are tonnes of websites out there with detailed tutorials on how to hack in-app purchases, modify app permissions and remove ads.
Why Securing of Shopify Apps Becomes So Important
Your entire e-commerce business relies on the safety and security of user information. That is why you can’t risk your users into falling prey to some hackers who are after their payment info. You can’t even risk your own revenue by letting others hack into your business and avail in-app purchases for free. Thus, using reliable methods to secure your Shopify app thus becomes really important to safeguard your entire business.
What Measures Can Be Taken to Secure Shopify Apps
When it comes to securing the mobile apps of Shopify stores, the responsibility must be shared equally between both the business owners as well as the service providers like Plobal Apps.
As the majority of security risk is the responsibility of service providers, they must ensure that they follow certain cybersecurity best practices. Here are a few of them:
1. Invest in Penetration Testing: Securing apps is a never-ending process. New threats emerge constantly and it becomes unavoidable to introduce new safeguards as well. Regular penetration testing will keep your security parameters updated and check for vulnerabilities as well. Around 70% of the organizations are already doing timely pen-tests. So, make sure that being a trustworthy service provider, you are doing it too.
2. Integrate authorized API’s only: Loosely coded API’s can lead to grave results. Hackers could use that opportunity to gain authority over the entire system. That is why experts recommended having a centralized API authorization for the entire system to ensure maximum security.
3. Follow the principle of least privilege: Developing an app for a Shopify web store is a serious task. That is why service providers need large chunks of the user and business data to make matters successful. However, it is advisable that the app should ask for minimum permissions. It is as simple as that. If you don’t require a piece of information, simply don’t ask for it.
Customer information is one of the most targetted data categories in the cybersecurity domain. Evidently, businesses must do everything in order to protect it. Around 64% of the customers say that they will never do business again with stores that were hacked at some point in time. That is why even the store owners must stand true to the basic security expectations. They should:
- Restrict access to plugins or service providers as much as possible.
- Check the trustworthiness of the app developing services on the Shopify app store.
- Prompt users to go for multi-factor authentication.
- Always back up data to prevent losses in case of app crash.
Customers put a lot of trust in the e-commerce shops they buy from and it’s up to the business owners to retain that trust. In a world full of threats as well as opportunities, Shopify stores can only rise to the top if they take security seriously. Staying aware of cybersecurity threats and being ready to counter them will not only help build long-term relationships with customers but also put your business miles ahead of your competitors.