Have you ever wondered where your credit card information goes after you submit it to pay for an online purchase? Although you may think that the data goes directly to the merchant, as it passes over the Internet it actually travels through intermediary networks before it reaches its targeted location. As a result, the Internet is often referred to as an ‘open’ system.
Due to the open nature of the Internet there is increased security risk. For instance, when customers provide their credit card information over the Internet to purchase online, this data is at risk of being intercepted as it travels from a customer’s site to the merchant’s site. If the data is intercepted the order can be stopped, the payment information can be altered or someone other than the cardholder can use the credit card information.
Six main security elements are required in an E-commerce transaction. From a consumer’s perspective, they are as follows:
- Non-repudiation: The consumer cannot deny having made an order.
- Confidentiality: The consumer’s personal information is protected from unauthorized access as it travels through intermediary networks and computers.
- Access Control: The consumer’s personal information can only be accessed by those who are supposed to have access.
- Integrity: The consumer’s personal information is protected from unauthorized modifications.
- Authentication: The identity of the consumer is verified.
- Availability: The consumer is assured that the system and data are accessible when needed.