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More breaches = wary shoppers

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Wednesday April 15, 2009 )

The latest Symantec Global Internet Security Threat Report provides an yearly overview of global Internet threat activity. The report states that attackers are increasingly concentrating on financial gain.

Some of the key findings:

– During 2008, 78 percent of confidential information threats exported user data, and 76 percent used a keylogger aspect to steal information such as online banking account credentials.

– 76 percent of phishing targeted brands in the financial services sector and this sector also had the most identities exposed due to data breaches.

– 12 percent of all data breaches that occurred in 2008 exposed credit card information. In 2008 the average cost per incident of a data breach in the United States was $6.7 million, an increase of 5 percent from 2007 and lost business averaged $4.6 million per breach.

While attackers seem to be focusing more on the big guys as they can get more bang for their hacking buck, the net result is that consumers will become more wary of who they provide their financial details and credit card numbers to.

This is a good thing. However, the average shopper doesn’t know it’s the big financial institutions lack of security that is the problem; they tend to think it’s the little online merchant. This means that smaller merchants will need to do even more to reassure their visitors and to minimize shopping cart abandonment.

On the flip side; more breaches means more cards being used in fraudulent transactions; which means loss of goods, profit and the spectre of chargebacks – and too many of those can threaten your merchant account; so it’s wise to brush up on your credit card fraud screening strategies.

Download the full Symantec Global Internet Security Threat Report (PDF: 3.57 meg)


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