As 2019 draws to a close, merchants, retailers, and consumers can all benefit from looking back at the cybersecurity trends that dominated this year. Merchants – who are at risk of incurring losses – especially have to be aware of the various threats the ecommerce industry faced this year, as they will likely spill over to the next.
Read on to find out the five crucial trends that merchants should know about:
Phones are quickly becoming an extension of our identity, and are now a necessity in most aspects of users’ lives. In fact, Tech Jury reveals that the global mobile population is at a whopping 3.7 billion users – a figure that is expected to steadily increase in the coming years. In this regard, it’s not surprising that hackers are taking advantage of this platform to inject malware and steal information. Android users are particularly at risk from vulnerabilities that allow hackers to spoof caller IDs, make unauthorized calls, and execute malicious code on those devices. Merchants have to be familiar with such risks due to the growing popularity of shopping apps that consumers access through their phones.
Prolonged Data Leaks
Hackers are learning to be subtler in how they steal sensitive data. Instead of going all-in and stealing copious amounts overnight, they’ve become more cunning by inconspicuously taking bits of data over long periods of time. While consumers are generally more aware of these risks nowadays, this type of prolonged data leakage makes it harder for users to notice that their accounts have been compromised in the first place – and by the time they do, it is often too late. On the one hand, Marcus emphasizes the consumer’s responsibility to regularly check their online bank account and financial statements to watch out for unusual activity. This should be done alongside regular basic cybersecurity practices like strengthening passwords and securing connections. However, this same responsibility falls on merchants, who should be proactive about data leakage and hacks as well.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud remains one of the biggest threats to both consumers and merchants, who have to shoulder significant fees. A study on ‘The True Cost Of Fraud’ found that merchants pay $3.13 per lost dollar on average – costs resulting from chargebacks, fees, merchandise redistribution, and IT security, among others. Ensuring security measures are in place is sometimes not enough to prevent innovative fraudsters, or actual customers pretending to be victims. Thankfully, merchants can use innovations like Real-time Resolution that can communicate directly with banks when dealing with chargeback and friendly fraud disputes. This will help merchants avoid revenue and merchandise loss by preventing invalid disputes.
This year, more advanced phishing emails have become almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Despite consumers being aware of such scams, some still fall victim to the smarter phishing tactics. CNET highlights the steps consumers can take to protect themselves against phishing scams, which include a healthy dose of suspicion and a reliable anti-malware program. As mentioned earlier, merchants still have a role to play in warning their users of potential scams. After detecting the spread of these emails, texts, or even social media messages, it’s crucial to shut them down by immediately releasing warning statements to users.
As more businesses put up their own websites, the pool of potential cyberattack targets also continues to grow. Fintech News claims that a staggering 70% of breaches reported last year were web injections that compromised customer payment information. Merchants have to be more cautious about online payment portals, as hackers are quick to find vulnerabilities and page entryways that they can exploit.