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Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story
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Beyond EMV: Taking Action Against Fraud

fraud_2When I first started in payments security, fighting fraud meant plastic cards and cops and robbers. Someone made fraudulent use of a plastic card, and you spent a lot of time chasing the paper trail.

Nowadays it’s all about technology. Today’s fraudsters are very different from the adversaries of five or 10 years ago. Interpol noted that more criminals are “exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of the Internet” to commit their crimes and recognise a financial gain.

This is why companies need to employ the latest technologies that can help them proactively forecast, analyze, identify and mitigate fraud.

EMV and Beyond

In the wake of the retailer data breaches this year, EMV chip technology has gained even greater interest.

The importance of the standard is that it makes data much more secure.  Even if the transaction data is obtained, it is much more difficult, if not completely useless, to attempt to replay that information and create fraudulent cards or transactions.

The US is now migrating to this technology. It is estimated that more than 575 million chip-enabled credit and debit cards will be in the hands of US consumers by the end of 2015.

However, there is not one silver bullet or one single solution to drive further security.  It will be a planned intersection of solutions and technologies, such as point-to-point encryption and tokenization. And, EMV is the foundation of these activities.

Last year, MasterCard, alongside others, announced the industry tokenization standard to ensure consistency for merchants across the globe.

Activating the Security

Retailers – and businesses of all types –  must remain vigilant at all times, constantly monitoring the safety processes set in place and security of their systems by conducting security audits, having a company incident management process,  and keeping abreast of the latest technological advances.

PCI security standards compliance is a vital first step, and from there, a strong defensive perimeter with traditional security technologies such as firewalls, intrusion detection, and antivirus software.

But all this cannot happen only at the corporate level.  The employee that interacts with your customers on a daily basis needs to know how they play a role, including:

  • Incorporating fraud prevention into employee training
  • Posting fraud prevention reminders and materials in employee areas
  • Offering incentives for employees who prevent a fraudulent transaction.

Bottom Line

Building a 10-foot-high wall around our customers’ financial data is no longer enough, because fraudsters are scheming to devise even taller ladders. Criminals will always try to steal your money.  It will take a collective effort from banks, retailers and consumers make sure they’re never successful. As technology evolves, security must evolve with technology in tandem.

This article first appeared in gtnews on 9 September 2014

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