More than 4.1 billion consumer accounts fell victim to data breaches during the first half of 2019 — to the tune of $4 million in lost revenue per breach. This comes to approximately one hack every 39 seconds, and affects a wide range of businesses and customers.
Many of these data breaches are the result of phishing, which dupes victims into giving up login credentials or other sensitive information that is either used for account takeovers or sold on dark-web marketplaces. Phishing attempts increased approximately 65 percent in 2019, and cost businesses more than $12 billion in stolen funds, victim payouts and opportunity costs.
Luckily for the business world, fresh solutions are being developed, with strategies put into place to combat rising digital fraud. The January edition of the Digital Fraud Tracker explores recent developments, including a cyberattack that caused the city of New Orleans to declare a state of emergency, new employee training techniques to fight phishing and DocuSign’s best practices for fighting digital fraud.
Digital fraud on online marketplaces — such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and WhatsApp — is extremely common in India, with 46 percent of residents reportedly scammed on them. The country’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs is considering regulations to curb the problem and bring these marketplaces in line with other eCommerce businesses, which currently follow a different set of fraud prevention regulations.
The U.S. is facing fraud problems as well. More than 90 percent of Americans have fallen victim to online scams, data breaches, identity theft or other forms of fraud, though certain varieties are more common than others. Online scams were the most prevalent, consisting largely of fake money-transfer requests that affected 63 percent of consumers. Many Americans have admitted to risky online behavior that increases the chance of being a fraud victim, such as responding to unsolicited romantic requests.
Fraudsters are interested in more than individuals and corporations, though, often targeting municipalities and governments. For example, New Orleans was recently hit with a city-scale ransomware attack that infected more than 4,000 government computers. The city was forced to declare a state of emergency and shut down its entire government computer network, taking many services offline, and causing more than $1 million in losses. This is the city’s second attack in recent months, following a hack on the Office of Motor Vehicles that shut down its services for several days.
For more on these and other digital fraud news items, download this month’s Tracker.
Phishing is an enormous fear for businesses, with attacks accounting for 90 percent of data breaches. It is an especially pertinent concern for electronic verification company DocuSign, which processes nearly 800,000 authorized documents every day, making it a prime phishing target.
In this month’s feature story, Emily Heath, DocuSign’s chief trust and security officer, told PYMNTS how the company deploys threat intelligence and employee awareness to protect itself and vulnerable user data that could be ruinous if exposed.
Phishing poses a unique threat to businesses, especially with so many employees working from home without the same cybersecurity oversight as their in-office counterparts. It is also a leading cause of data breaches, which rose in cost by 1.5 percent in 2019 to $3.92 million per breach.
This month’s Deep Dive explores the dangers of phishing in the workplace, and how companies are doubling their infrastructure and security efforts to stop their firms from being the next data breach victims.
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