Security & Fraud

Hackers Won’t Hurt Consumers’ Cyber Monday Ambitions

Cybersecurity Cyber Monday

Despite the growing threat of cyberthieves, shoppers still have their eyes on the prize when it comes to Cyber Monday. TransUnion Vice President Heather Battison recently joined PYMNTS to discuss how consumers are overcoming their cybersecurity fears to hunt down bargains online.

According to a new survey from TransUnion, data breaches aren’t standing in the way of holiday shopping this year. While it’s no surprise that 76 percent of those who have fallen victim to a cyberattack reported increased fear of identity theft during the holiday season, an overwhelming 94 percent of those surveyed still plan to shop online on Cyber Monday.

For many consumers, it looks as though the convenience of online shopping can offset the security risks that may come with of online shopping.

“Consumers don’t want to give up the luxury of being able to do all of their shopping online. They don’t have to deal with the hustle and bustle of being in the store searching through everything or having to go to multiple stores trying to find what they’re looking for,” Battison explained.

“I think that that weighs over anything else, which is why consumers will mostly likely still shop online,” she added.

TransUnion’s survey also highlighted another interesting trend when it comes to holiday hacks: Millennials remain a prime target for hackers.

The study revealed that 71 percent of consumers hacked from online shopping were actually hit during the months of November and December when holiday shopping is typically in full swing.

The generational breakdown of those impacted by cyberattacks during the holidays is as follows: 81 percent of 18–34 year olds, 75 percent of 35–54 year olds and 22 percent aged 55 and over.

Millennials not only grew up with the internet, many have never really experienced being offline, which has made being connected a normal part of their everyday lives. While this gives them an increased familiarity and understanding of the online channel, it can also result in them underestimating the severity of online cyberthreats.

“Even though they are aware of the dangers around it, they’re the ones that are a little bit lax about connecting to a public Wi-Fi, for example, and using it with some of their personal information,” Battison said.

She noted that Millennials tend to be more trustworthy online and also more likely to ignore some of the security basics that they should follow when shopping online.


Cyberthreats Keep Rolling In

Not only are this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday delivering on the deals and bargains consumers want, but they are also ushering in ever-morphing cyberfraud methods being used by hackers.

Threat intelligence from NuData Security, released last week, highlighted the sophisticated cyberfraud techniques hackers will employ, as well as how fraudsters are leveraging spikes in activity over Cyber Monday and holiday shopping periods to keep their activities undetected.

While retailers and financial institutions are beefing up security measures with increased automation and fraud detection, hackers are looking to use more complex and pervasive approaches for online fraudulent activities. Based on its research, NuData Security found that this month has already seen a 128 percent increase in sophisticated scripted attacks as hackers prepared for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The firm also observed the growing trend of mobile devices being used for eCommerce transactions, with mobile representing 25 percent of all purchases across its customer base. Not surprisingly, with increased usage will come increased threats.

In 2015, 11 percent of mobile transactions were marked as high risk by NuData Security, but this year, that number spiked to 32 percent, showing a 190 percent increase compared to last year.

The increase in fraudulent activity from mobile can also result in significant dollar value impacts as well.

“Analyzing the information discovered from the NuData Trust Consortium, it is clear that attackers are rapidly evolving their methods to more complex and evolved schemes. Organizations must be ever vigilant as fraudsters leverage the mass of freely available data on the Dark Web for cybercrime,” Robert Capps, VP of business development at NuData Security, explained.

“Expecting consumers to maintain strong, non-reused passwords isn’t realistic, meaning retailers need to shoulder an even larger responsibility to protect their brand and users. Which is why it is more important than ever for online merchants to employ technology that can help them effectively differentiate good customers from bad.”


Latest Insights: 

The Which Apps Do They Want Study analyzes survey data collected from 1,045 American consumers to learn how they use merchant apps to enhance in-store shopping experiences, and their interest in downloading more in the future. Our research covered consumers’ usage of in-app features like loyalty and rewards offerings and in-store navigation, helping to assess how merchants can design apps to distinguish themselves from competitors.

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