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January 16, 2023

Top threats of digital payment: 5 mobile payment security threats every business should be aware of

Threats digital payment - Build38


Top threats of digital payment: 5 mobile payment security threats every business should be aware of

Mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular, as more and more businesses and users are turning to digital solutions for their transactions. While this is convenient, efficient, and cost-effective, it can also create potential security risks that can impact both users and businesses alike. It’s important for both businesses and users to be aware of the potential security threats associated with mobile payments so they can take the necessary steps to protect their company and their customers. In this blog post, we will discuss the five biggest security threats that businesses should be aware of when it comes to mobile payments.

Rising Mobile Payments Security Threats

The worldwide mobile payment revenue is expected to hit $12.06 trillion by 2027, which indicates the surging adoption and growth of mobile payments. With this ever-increasing popularity of mobile payments, it is more important than ever for businesses and users to understand the risks associated with them. Unfortunately mobile payment security is often overlooked leaving businesses vulnerable to attacks that could have a devastating impact on their bottom line.

A previous survey revealed that 84% of organizations reported they were subject to mobile-based phishing attacks — reflecting the lack of appropriate security measures in place when it comes to mobile transactions.   Another survey of cybersecurity experts revealed that 87% of participating organizations expect mobile payments data breaches to grow over the next 12 months.  Mobile payments can be vulnerable to different types of fraud, malware, data breaches, and other cyber-attacks. By understanding the different types of mobile payment security threats and taking proactive steps to protect yourself, you can keep your business and customers safe and secure.  To help you understand the current mobile payment threat landscape, below are the top 5 security threats businesses and users can face when it comes to digital payments.

1) Malware

Malware is a type of malicious software that is designed to cause damage to a computer, server, or mobile device. It can be used for anything from stealing data to disrupting operations. When it comes to mobile payment security, malware can be used to target smartphones, tablets, and other devices to gain access to sensitive information like credit card numbers, account passwords, and more.  Malware can be distributed in a variety of ways, such as through malicious links sent via text message, email attachments, or even through downloaded apps. Therefore, it’s important for businesses to ensure they have secure processes in place when it comes to downloading any apps or opening links. Businesses should also take the time to educate their employees on the risks associated with mobile payment security and how they can protect themselves against malware. Additionally, businesses should consider implementing mobile device management (MDM) solutions that can help detect and remove malicious applications before they become an issue. 

2) Phishing

The FBI reported losses exceeding $4.2 billion in internet crime in 2020, with phishing scams being the top one suffered by individuals and businesses. Phishing is one of the most common forms of cyber-attacks, and it can be particularly dangerous when it comes to mobile payments. The process usually involves fraudsters sending fake emails or text messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank, an online retailer, or a payment processor. These messages will often contain links or attachments that direct the recipient to a malicious website, where they’ll be asked to enter personal information, such as credit card details, or passwords. 

The best way to protect yourself from phishing attacks is to be aware of the signs and to never click on any suspicious links or attachments. It’s also important to be careful when using public Wi-Fi networks, as these can be easily compromised and used for phishing. If you think you may have fallen victim to a phishing attack, you should contact your bank or payment processor immediately, and change all your passwords. 

3) Using Public WIFI

When it comes to online payments, using public WIFI can be one of the most dangerous security threats for businesses. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 26% of participants point to the use of public Wi-Fi as the top vulnerability. Public WIFI networks are usually open and unsecured, meaning that anyone can access them without having to provide any type of authentication. This makes it easier for hackers to intercept data being sent over the network, including information associated with payment transactions. 

To mitigate the risk of using public WIFI networks, it is important to employ a few basic security measures. For example, always make sure to use a virtual private network (VPN) while connected to public WIFI, as this will help to encrypt data and protect your privacy. Additionally, you should avoid accessing financial accounts or making online payments when connected to a public WIFI network, as these activities may be more vulnerable to attack than regular browsing. If you must make a payment over a public WIFI network, consider using a secure payment system such as PayPal or Apple Pay. These services will help to protect your financial information and reduce the risk of theft.  Furthermore businesses should configure their apps to send notifications whenever their users are connected to unsecure networks. By taking such steps, businesses can protect their customers’ payment information and reduce the threat posed by using public wifi networks. 

4) Identity theft

Identity theft occurs when someone obtains personal information from you such as your name, address, social security number, bank account numbers, and other private data. Once this information is obtained, the identity thief can then use it to open new accounts in your name or even steal money from your existing accounts.

Adversaries today can leverage spyware, malware, and phishing techniques to gain unauthorized access to the devices of unsuspecting users, which enables them to steal any financial or other information stored on the applications installed in the compromised devices. Adversaries can then misuse the compromised information of the users and can take part in malicious activities online by stealing the identities of the compromised users. Adversaries can also create
fake mobile banking applications to trick users into exposing their critical personal and financial information.To protect yourself against identity theft, make sure that you always keep your personal information secure. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for banking transactions and always use strong passwords for your online accounts. Additionally, always be on the lookout for suspicious emails, phone calls, or text messages requesting personal information. If you receive any of these, do not provide any personal information until you have verified the source. Finally, keep an eye on your credit report and monitor any suspicious activity that may be linked to identity theft. 

5) Application Vulnerabilities

When payment apps are not properly secured or are left unpatched, they can be vulnerable to malicious actors. Cybercriminals can use an applications vulnerability to gain access to a business’s confidential financial data, such as account numbers and passwords. Hackers may also target vulnerable applications to gain access to payment transactions and manipulate them for their own benefit.   Businesses need to ensure that all of their mobile payment applications are regularly updated and properly secured with strong authentication measures in place. This includes setting up strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and other security measures to protect the application from malicious attacks. Additionally it’s important to avoid using third-party applications to handle mobile payments, as these can be more vulnerable than using the official app provided by the payment provider. Partnering with Build38 can help you master mobile payment security to help you to fulfill the strictest security requirements mandated by PCI.

Build38 helps you reduce Mobile Payment Security Risks and meet compliance

Mobile payments are a convenient and increasingly popular way to pay for goods and services, but they can also come with risks. Businesses must take actions to protect themselves and their customers from malicious attacks and data breaches. Companies need to be aware of the constantly evolving and rising threats related to mobile payments, such as mentioned in this blog.   By staying up-to-date on the latest mobile application security trends and investing in reliable mobile app security solutions, businesses can reduce their chances of becoming the target of malicious attacks and can better protect their customers as well.


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