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Fraud & Cybercriminals: How do you and your payments stay safe?

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Cyberattacks seem to spread as fast as the pandemic: in March, Cyber Criminals have ramped-up social engineering attacks over 667%. This is not only pretty annoying because of all the data you might lose on your laptop, but extremely dangerous for your company or your personal finances. In times of Home Office, protecting yourself from Hackers is way more than just a recommendation.

What is Social Engineering?

Social engineering is the art of manipulating people so they give up confidential information, like credit card numbers, bank passwords or simply access to your computer. In fact, it’s much easier to fool someone into giving you his password than it is to try hacking his password.

How does it work?

Three main types of spear-phishing themes have been detected:  54% have been scams, 34% were brand impersonation, and 11% blackmail. The most common ways to get to our personal information are: 

Phishing: Probably the most popular form we all have encountered at some point. Scammers try to use deceptive e-mails or websites to extract sensitive information like your credit card details or social security number. 

Smishing:  Smishing is just the SMS version of phishing, also known as SMS phishing. The text message you receive on your smartphone is designed to trick you, asking you for bank account information for example.

Vishing: This variation of phishing uses the phone, including landlines and mobile phones to obtain personal information or money from the victim. This type of scam calls have risen significantly over the past couple of years. 

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What else can you do as a Merchant to stay safe from Cyber Criminals amid Covid-19?

One of the greatest threats businesses face in today’s digital environment is revenue loss due to chargebacks. Read more about this specific fraud in our specific blog. Be prepared and consider the crisis as an ongoing test of resilience and emerge stronger than before. 

Secure supplier portals and other externally facing applications using multifactor authentication and risk-based authentication, especially for applications that would allow a supplier (or a cybercriminal posing as a supplier) to change bank account information, divert payments or make other changes that could impact financial payments.

Strengthen financial and treasury controls to require call-backs or confirmations of emailed payment and change requests.

Team up with other functions — including Financial Controls, Treasury and Fraud teams — to improve fraud detection and monitoring. Broaden your view of threats and risks during the crisis.

Strengthen your digital perimeter. Use security solutions to identify and deflect threats before attackers can penetrate your systems. Minimize your exposure to attack and limit access to your data as much as possible.

Strengthen your remote access management policy. Implement multi-factor authentication for VPN access, IP address whitelisting, limits on remote desktop protocol (RDP) access and added scrutiny of remote network connections.

Do you want to read more about COVID-19 impact on Payment Solutions in Emerging Markets? We asked our specialists in the field. Read more here.