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The adoption of EMV technology (Eurocard, Mastercard, and Visa) spelled good news for businesses selling through a physical storefront, but not so much for online retailers. The EMV chip cards do a pretty good job of protecting sensitive data through encryption. Still, that protection doesn't extend to online purchases. And fraudsters know that… and now they've had a year to plan and perfect their schemes.
During the first quarter of this year alone, online retailers suffered a drastic increase in fraud attacks, up over 125% from the second quarter of 2015. In addition, the number of attacks on those who operate in the luxury goods space was up twice as high. And those who offer digital goods and services? They were attacked almost three times more.
And the news doesn't get much better from there because it's not only the sheer number of attacks increasing, but it's also the increased sophistication of the attacks. There's no question that botnets are on the rise. Up more than 30% from Q1 of 2015, they were the source of nearly 80% of fraud attacks in Q1.
It's not just computers being used to put together an attack force for a botnet, either. Today we have all sorts of gadgets and devices connected to the internet… your home security camera, your smartwatch, your lights controlled through an app on your phone, your Amazon Echo, or possibly even your car. All these things, the IoT, are potential targets.
So it's not too surprising that a recent study estimates we'll continue to see an increase in fraud, $10 billion worth, by 2020.
But what can you do? While no one can be 100% bulletproof (as we've all seen with the massive companies being taken offline recently), it still certainly helps to be proactive and be as ready as you can. That means if you're still relying on software or equipment from ten years ago for transactions and security, it's probably time for a change. It's doubtful that it's up to par with today's growing technology… unlike the hackers and fraudsters that are.
You should also take a good look at the platform you run your site on too. They can all have particular security vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. Finally, make sure you're running the latest version of everything – the platform itself, any themes or plugins you're using, etc.
If your site gathers sensitive information in any way and you're not on dedicated hosting or at least a virtual private server, that needs to happen now. And ideally, you want to have premium DDOS mitigation ready to roll if needed. Having a dedicated server minimizes risk. However, if you're on a shared hosting plan, anything that happens on another site sharing that server can also affect your site.
We have a variety of options to choose from, and we work with you one on one to custom-tailor it to fit your needs. So check out our dedicated servers and contact us today to help you get ahead of the game now.
Written by Hostwinds Team / December 1, 2016