A New Age of Threats in Online Shopping: Cybersecurity Tips

By Dorota Wróbel, Chief R&D Officer at G2A.COM [ Join Cybersecurity Insiders ]
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The rise in online shopping brings more than just the ease of overnight shipping and competitive pricing – it also gives hackers more opportunities to take advantage of financial and personal information.

According to Veriff, there was a 40% increase in identity fraud in 2023 compared to 2022. Payment industries also saw a 54% increase in the net fraud rate to 6.28% over the same period.

It seems like every week another major retailer is getting hacked. Ticketmaster recently fell victim to a security breach, potentially impacting 560 million users’ personal information ranging from identities, addresses, card numbers’ last four digits, and expiration dates. The amount of customer data stolen is nearly unfathomable.

How do we begin combatting this costly issue that’s growing more complex? It starts with your cybersecurity approach.

How to Keep Shoppers Safe in the Evolving Cyber Threat Landscape 

For e-commerce organizations, strengthening cybersecurity approaches is more than just about preventing financial losses. Consumers need to trust who they give their money to and where they spend their time. They want to have confidence in sellers, knowing that their information is kept safe.

At G2A.com, we provide a trusted and highly secure marketplace by rigorously verifying all our sellers. Only business-verified sellers are allowed on our platform, ensuring the highest standards through our strict KYC (Know Your Customer) process. Not only do we safeguard the transactions between our sellers and their customers but above all, we strengthen their credibility. Sellers on their own traditionally don’t have quick access to state-of-the-art technology and security. When they tap us, they can confidently meet their customers with the best possible quality.

Both consumers and sellers benefit from knowing that their transactions are protected. Let’s take a look at a few different ways to remain proactive in your approach and benefit all parties.

Tap AI But With a Human-First Focus 

AI has become a crucial tool in recognizing ongoing and potential cybersecurity threats.

AI systems can quickly analyze vast amounts of data from network traffic and user activity to establish a baseline understanding of what “normal” behavior looks like. They can be programmed to immediately recognize indicators of fraudulent activity in tandem with the transactions made. By learning from historical data, AI can then identify future threats, such as unusual login attempts, data infiltration, and malware.

But AI can’t withstand the entire battle on its own. As AI models are continuously learning and evolving – and may not yet be trained on the newest hacker tricks – a human-first focus is necessary. Humans have a better grasp of contextual awareness surrounding attacks that are out of the norm. Where AI may not pick up on cues like language and tone in phishing, spoofing, or identity-based attacks, human gut instinct will.

Use AI models to handle the mundane elements of cybersecurity and make sure humans can focus on strategic responses, assessing threats, and developing state-of-the-art defense mechanisms.

Foster a Culture of Cybersecurity Awareness 

Your organization’s safety ultimately lies in the hands of your employees.

Keep employees aware of the cybersecurity risks at hand while educating them on the evolving threats that may arise. Give them the hacker’s point of view – even consider putting them in the hacker’s shoes with some role-playing, simulated fraud attempts, and more. – to show them how these bad actors create scams and target their prey.

Also, build continuous awareness by offering always-on training modules and keep lines of communication open for in-the-moment updates on the cybersecurity landscape. For example, create a dedicated Slack channel where everyone can flag attempted phishing scams they’ve received, ask questions, and share threats happening within the industry. This way everyone understands they’re not alone in being targeted and has easy access to solutions to halt attacks.

Educate your consumers, too. Empower customers with knowledge and tools on what to look out for when shopping online. This includes raising awareness of common fraud tactics and risks. Share tutorials and guides depicting different behaviors or topics like creating a safe password while providing them with real-life examples of how they present themselves.

Have a Long-Term View 

In e-commerce, it’s easy to get caught up in loss aversion. This mindset can create a blindspot for organizations in their cybersecurity approach.

Suppose organizations are solely focusing on quick fixes to plug open gaps at the moment. In that case, they’re missing out on the opportunity to create a stronger, more comprehensive approach that keeps them better protected in the future.

Solidify your incident response plan from the start and regularly check in to see what’s working, what needs adjusting, and so on. Update and test your prevention playbooks and employee training to safeguard your strategy as more sophisticated threats arise.

Consider external cybersecurity partners and experts to bring new perspectives to light. Combining your organization’s internal technologies with external expertise ensures that customers are safe as they browse and make purchases.

We’re entering a new era where hackers can strike in the least expected ways. Remain proactive and prepared by investing in a long-term approach to cyber safety while continuously educating both employees and customers. The sooner you start refining your approach, the harder it becomes for these bad actors to strike.

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