3 Main Payment Security Threats to Be Aware Of


Regardless of the size or type of business you own, security threats are a common problem and can cause serious financial damage. As a business owner, it is imperative to integrate comprehensive payment security features and stay informed of the latest security threats to keep both your business and your customers safe from instances of fraud.

Here are the 4 main payment security threats to be aware of in order to protect your business:

  1. Ransomware

Ransomware has been an international issue for years and has grown to become a major security threat. Ransomware occurs when hackers send out e-mails that look to be normal and legitimate, but actually contain malicious links or attachments upon opening. After a user downloads or clicks on the items, the malware compromises the computer hardware and the user no longer has access to their computer. Hackers will then send out a ransom request ranging from a small amount up to thousands of dollars in order to obtain access to the computer hardware again. During 2016, approximately 48% of businesses experienced a ransomware attack.

“Ransomware has become one of the most successful forms of cybercrime in 2016 and is on the top of every security professional’s list of most prolific threats,” said Jeremiah Grossman, Chief of Security Strategy at SentinelOne. “It’s not surprising to see high levels of apathy towards traditional antivirus software, and we don’t expect the ransomware epidemic to slow down anytime soon.

  1. Phishing Attacks

Another cyber security threat affecting businesses are phishing attacks. Phishing attacks are malicious e-mails or fraudulent sites that fraudsters create to manipulate users into passing over confidential data and information. Fraudsters achieve this by sending out an e-mail and disguising themselves as a reputable bank or business and will request the user to open an attachment or click on a link. These e-mails are typically very convincing as they can contain reputable contact information, tracking/shipping information, and even include correct logos of businesses.

Phishing is an attack that relies primarily on fooling people, rather than highly sophisticated technical implementations,” said APWG senior research fellow Greg Aaron, who is also a vice president at Princeton, N.J.-based iThreat Cyber Group, in a statement. “For that reason, phishing remains both popular and effective. Truly, phishing is more pervasive and harmful than at any point in the past.”

  1. POS Malware

Point-of-sale (POS) malware allows fraudsters to steal confidential customer data directly from payment cards and is one of the most popular forms of in-store fraud. Small businesses specifically are at the highest risk of experiencing POS malware, with around 45% of SMBs becoming victim at some point. This could be due in part that many small businesses are an easier target since they may not necessarily have robust security solutions in place to protect against data breaches.

“PoS malware has been around for at least a decade, and retailers have been continually targeted since that time,” said Nicholas J. Percoco, vice president of strategic services at cybersecurity firm Rapid7. “The issue is that traditional antivirus does not typically detect variants of this malware since it only targets a fraction of their customer base.”

As payment security threats continue to remain an on-going issue, businesses of all sizes and types need to become proactive on staying informed on what the latest attacks are and install security features to help protect their business as well as their consumers.

SignaPay offers several fraud prevention options to help protect business and reduce the likelihood of fraud from happening. Learn more about our fraud prevention solutions and tools by clicking here.

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