January 24, 2017
Written by
James Davis
Written by James Davis
Senior Technical Writer at United Thinkers

Author of the Paylosophy blog, a veteran writer, and a stock analyst with extensive knowledge and experience in the financial services industry that allows me to cover the latest payment industry news, developments, and insights. Read more

Reviewed by
Kathrine Pensatori
Product Specialist at United Thinkers

Product specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the Payment Processing Industry. I help payment facilitators and PSPs solve their various payment processing issues. Read more

Cybersecurity threats facing electronic payments

Cybersecurity threats facing electronic payments

Electronic payment providers cannot ignore the threats they face while cyber attacks occur. Government regulations require some protections, while consumers demand a level of security as well. However, smart payment service providers go even father, using the best technology and procedures available to thwart attacks whenever possible.

As a result, such attacks can come in a variety of ways. From fraudulent payment activity to skimming and more, these are some of the most common cybersecurity threats facing electronic payments:

  • Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). Phishing emails and trying to trick employees to download malware are among the most common APTs. Once a person gets into the system, data theft, fraud, and other concerns can go on for an extended period. Much worse than a single fraudulent payment, the issue can result in massive data theft and millions in losses.
  • Internal threats. Anyone who has access to sensitive information can steal data and cause serious harm by a data breach. Using their personal email or a USB device, an insider can intentionally or unintentionally cause a massive compromise to a system.
  • Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS). When hackers flood a network with requests, it can overwhelm and fail to process real transactions. This isn’t about putting money into the hands of criminals but rather taking business away from a company or service.
  • Account takeovers. Criminals use skimming devices, trickery and other devious methods to victimize cardholders. They steal cardholders’ credit card or its number and begin to initiate fraudulent payment activity. This can happen in the mall, at an ATM, or wherever a card is exposed.
  • Supply chain breaches. Payment providers can become victims of criminal activity when there are breaches in the supply chain. This includes issues with hardware and software that isn’t secure.

How cyber attacks happen

Cyber attacks can happen at any level of the payment processing industry and can have far-reaching implications. Payment providers must remain vigilant for fraudulent payment activities, and consumers must be on the lookout for skimming at every gas pump, shop or ATM they visit. When someone owns their credit card or debit card information, the entire system may be vulnerable.

To do all you can to prevent cyber attacks, use modern payment processing software with your protection in mind. The secure and robust UniPay gateway from United Thinkers could be your first line of defense against cybercriminals. Why not contact us now for information on how we can work with you toward a better way of doing business safely and securely?

Useful articles to help you: