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Site Security for the Holidays

Posted on 11.20.2012

E-commerce retailers need to prepare their websites for not only an increase in traffic and conversions this holiday season, but also for online fraudsters.

While retailers should always watch out for cybersecurity threats during the holiday season, the growing usage of mobile makes this more important than ever before. This is because the number of transactions that originate from a mobile device has been on an uptick, and retailers who don’t have a system in place to manually accept or reject suspicious transactions increase the risk of fraud.

“Mobile consumers typically store their credit card information in retail accounts, rather than entering the information during each transaction, making online retail account takeovers more profitable, and therefore, more attractive to fraudsters,” said Alisdair Faulkner, chief products officer, ThreatMetrix. “During the holiday season in particular, consumers find it much more convenient to keep credit card information stored online as they make such a high volume of purchases. This is especially risky if consumers use the same email address and password for several websites – doing so initiates a trail of destruction that is equivalent to unlocking every door in the house, easily allowing criminals to hack numerous accounts at once.”

According to cybercrime prevention solutions provider ThreatMetrix, account takeover is among the biggest security threats attributed to the rising usage of mobile. This is because many retailers don’t have a mobile security strategy set in place and are not equipped to efficiently secure a large volume of mobile transactions during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which could make consumers’ account and credit card credentials vulnerable. Furthermore, retailers should watch out for “clean fraud,” which often passes security screens and appears to be a legitimate transaction, but is really a fraudster who is hiding behind a virtual private network (VPN) – making it difficult for retailers to identify authentic transactions.

“Cybersecurity should be a top priority for retailers this Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday season,” said Faulkner. “Especially with so many consumers traveling at this time, retailers need to put forth extra effort to assure transactions are originating from authentic networks. The last thing retailers and consumers want is to wake up on Black Friday with a ‘turkey hangover’ and a compromised credit card.”

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