Voice of the Industry

Benjamin Hosack, Foregenix: "The importance of payment security in multi-channel business models"

Monday 29 September 2014 13:59 CET | Editor: Melisande Mual | Voice of the industry

The threat of cybercrime has proved itself a very real danger to businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Some of the biggest names in retail including Target and Neiman Marcus have recently fallen victim to cybercrime, the Target breach alone reportedly cost the retailer a staggering USD 3.5 billion. As the threat to the point-of-sale environment grows, so does the potential risk to multi-channel retailers who need to look to protect all platforms. In the wake of the recent breach at Home Depot, over 1000 businesses in the US have been infected by Backoff POS Malware, causing them to leak sensitive data to fraudsters with potentially every card purchase taken in-store.

The destruction and damage left behind after a cybercrime attack can be irreparable and even the most established business isn’t prepared for the long term effects it can cause. Most breaches are aimed at removing sensitive and personal data, such as card details. In these cases, it’s the customer who is directly affected resulting in a damaged business reputation as well as a lack of customer trust, which is hard to restore. Of consumers who have been affected by a security breach, 79% are more likely to use cash instead of credit cards, meaning they will spend less money, 85% will tell others about the incident and 34% will complain on social media.

Another potential loss to businesses is the significant penalties imposed by regulators, who can enforce hefty fines on companies who lose or inadequately protect consumer information. Following the theft of personal data from Sony in 2011, the Information Commissioners Office fined Sony GBP 250,000 for having inadequate cybersecurity. Perhaps the most serious effect that a breach can have, is the significant financial loss. From hacked bank accounts, stolen card data, identity fraud as well as loss from disruption, the monetary effects can be permanent.

In 2013, Foregenix investigated the largest security breach in South African history, under attack from a particular aggressive malware infestation. The attack spread nationwide, severely affecting over 500 store locations extracting private and confidential data. Foregenix used their forensic investigation knowledge to create an antidote to the malware, which came in the form of Serengeti. Tailoring the software to the infestation, Serengeti was able to be rapidly deployed across a dispersed estate, locating the virus on each POS and then removing it as quickly as possible. This is just one example of the many breaches that have occurred in recent times, highlighting the increasing threat to not only in-store, but multi-channel businesses. It also shows that such an event can be prevented, if businesses have the right tools in place.

As consumer habits have shifted to more digital means and shopping online and via mobile apps have increased in popularity, and will only continue to grow, the focus on protecting all platforms has never been more paramount. There are many solutions out there to protect businesses from the many forms of cybercrime and many of them are very simple to integrate. The world of cybercrime can also be a technical mine-field and not all businesses have the knowledge or man power to invest time in looking for the right solution. The security solutions that Foregenix offers, such as Serengeti or Foregenix Web Shield, can be integrated remotely, without disruption and be managed by a knowledgeable and experienced team.

The threat of cybercrime has proved itself a very real danger to businesses of all shapes and sizes, but by implementing a full proof security solution that protects your business on a multi-channel scale, will mean a safe and secure future for your business.

About the Author

Benjamin Hosack is a Director and Co-Founder of Foregenix, a specialist information security and data forensics business that offers simple, effective and strategic consultancy services and industry leading data security solutions to its global client base.

With over 15 years in the international payments industry, Benj is a Qualified Forensic Investigator, intrinsic to the industry and has worked with all types of companies in the payment chain, including Acquiring banks, Processors, Hosting Providers, Web Designers, Merchants, Systems Integrators etc.

Company description

Foregenix are global leaders in data forensics, information security and innovators in cyber security solutions and after investigating some of the world’s biggest data breaches, Foregenix has developed a range of easy-to-use cyber solutions to help business take control of their data and protect themselves from fraudsters.

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Keywords: multi-channel, business models, payment security, Backoff POS Malware, Foregenix, online security
Countries: World

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