Cyber Monday a fraud bonanza day

News by Tony Morbin

Fraud and disruption attacks are set to result in losses of £2.1 million per hour on Monday December 2, the busiest day of the year for daily online and mobile retail sales to consumers taking advantage of Cyber Monday discounts.

Fraud and disruption attacks are set to result in losses of £2.1 million per hour on Monday December 2, the busiest day of the year for daily online and mobile retail sales as consumers take advantage of Cyber Monday discounts in the run up to Christmas.

While online sales surge 55 per cent, the same online stores face their biggest fraud challenge according to a new report* from RSA and the Ponemon Institute following a survey of 1,100 IT staff at retail organisations in the US and UK.  And now that Cyber Monday, which began in the US on the Monday after Thanksgiving, has become a marketing event used internationally by online retailers in Canada, the UK, PortugalGermanyChileColombia, and Japan, the implications have become global.

Although 64 per cent of organisations responding reported a significant increases in attacks on Cyber Monday, only 23 per cent of attacks can be detected quickly and remediated, and 70 per cent of organisations surveyed do not plan to take additional precautions. Some sixty-six per cent of respondents confirmed that disruption would result in customer churn that would damage reputation and brand.

 “It's probably already too late to draft in extra staff – that sort of preparation should have happened months ago. But it will need a human review of what is happening," Demetrios Lazarikos, IT Threat Strategist, RSA, The Security Division of EMC, told SC Magazine. "Retailers need to ensure they are extra vigilant. They need to look at what practical measures they are taking to identify behaviour analytics in real time. It is critical that they identify and respond to any anomalous or suspicious behaviour, with security happening in the background and not causing sales delays."

The main threats organisations face, described as difficult or very difficult to detect, include:

  • Botnet and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
  • App Store Fraud
  • Mobile Access/Account Compromise
  • Click Fraud
  • Stolen Credit Card Validation
  • eCoupon Abuse
  • Account Hijacking
  • Electronic Wallet Abuse
  • Brand Promotion Hijacking

Based on current capabilities, 51 per cent say that they do not have real-time visibility into web traffic making it difficult to identify the root cause of such attacks – leaving only 23 percent feeling that most attacks can be quickly detected and remediated. 

“The competitive climate and the unpredictability of the economy does not leave organisations much margin for business error," Lazarikos concluded. "Unfortunately, the stealthy and savvy cybercriminals have advanced to a point where traditional security and fraud defences on which businesses rely on are at best insufficient and at worst….obsolete. Business logic abuse hides in plain sight because it uses ‘legitimate' processes for illegitimate gain. The problem requires universal visibility, a risk layered approach, and a new way of understanding the adversary. Isolating the outliers in crowd behaviour that indicate attacks is critical for identifying malicious behaviour and business logic abuse.”

Larry Ponemon, PhD, Chairman and Founder, The Ponemon Institute, CIPP, adds, “Forward-thinking organisations that have the agility to break from the status quo and embrace innovation can not only better protect their business, but also gain a massive advantage. Reducing losses from fraud and increasing trust in the brand can propel a business ahead of its competitors.”

*The 2013 eCommerce Cyber Crime Report: Safeguarding Brand And Revenue This Holiday Season

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Video and interviews