Nearly 80% of Retailers' Data at High Risk

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Robert Siciliano

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The PCI Security Standards Council is an open global forum, launched in 2006, that is responsible for the development, management, education, and awareness of the PCI Security Standards, including the Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS), and PIN Transaction Security (PTS) requirements.

Now, after five years of pushing standards out to merchants and retailers, a Verizon study has found that 79% of retailers are noncompliant. That means your credit card data is at risk in 8 out of 10 transactions.

InformationWeek reports numerous reasons why credit and debit card data is at risk. The first is that the burden posed by PCI causes businesses to view PCI as a nuisance, rather than a standard. Instead of working towards better security, they shun it.

Another risk factor is that most merchants only maintain basic compliance. Credit card processors hold merchants’ feet to the fire by requiring that PCI standards be met, but only audit annually so merchants don’t maintain security throughout the year. When it comes time to be audited, merchants will often fail because they’re unprepared or because the rules have changed.

Finally, lack of awareness increases risk. According to Verizon, “the greater awareness of PCI found in a business, the greater the actual compliance.” Jennifer Mack, director of global PCI services, says, “The more aware your organization is of the standard, the more prepared you are for the type of approach you take.” Seems like common sense to me!

No matter how you slice it, retailers are a target and must employ multiple layers of fraud protection to thwart cyber criminals.

One way that retailers are uncovering suspicious activity on their site is by utilizing powerful tools for early detection. iovation Inc., the leader in device recognition technology, allows retailers to create multiple rules and adjust them as threats emerge and evolve. They do this without collecting any personally identifiable information (PII) from the retailer.

As devices (such as computers and mobile devices) with fraudulent histories connect to the retailer’s website, the business is alerted in real time. And when velocity or geolocation alerts are triggered, the retailer knows in real time. 

iovation’s living database of device intelligence is shared across its global base of finance, gaming, travel, shipping, dating and retail clients. They share information to detect fraudulent activity as soon as possible, before product is shipped and chargebacks and fees are incurred. They call it device reputation.  I call it another bit of common sense for retailers.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation, discusses credit card fraudon NBC Boston. Disclosures

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