With the holiday shopping season in full swing, retailers and payment experts are increasingly concerned about heightened threats to e-commerce sites and the potential impact on mobile shopping activity.

A recent study found payment card fraud remains the top concern of retailers, as cyber attackers have moved away from in-store fraud to online following the implementation of EMV chips on credit and debit cards. About 55 percent of retailers are concerned about the rise of payment card fraud.

“The chip in an EMV card makes it difficult to counterfeit the card, but it does nothing to show whether the person trying to use the card is a legitimate cardholder,” said Stephanie Martz, senior vice president and general counsel at NRF, in a release of the study.

Mobile protection is crucial

Considering that mobile devices account for more than half of the global URL requests, and that more than half of all personal and business email is first opened on a mobile device, mobile transactions can be vulnerable to all types of threats, according to Brian Duckering, mobile security specialist at Symantec Corp.

Those risks include “network attacks where a hacker could observe unencrypted traffic and credentials, apps that could be a malicious copy of a legitimate app – or maybe use poorly implemented security measures,” Duckering told Mobile Payments Today via email.

Avoid insecure WiFi purchases

The New York State Attorney General’s office warned in an announcement that shoppers should avoid any financial transactions through an open, unsecured Wi-Fi connection, as hackers often stake out those type of locations.

It also warned that hackers use variants of known sites to lure consumers into entering their payment information  and often target users through social media or email to use these fake sites.

Ron Teicher, chief executive of EverComplaint, said the holiday shopping season is also ripe for transaction laundering, where a merchant account is used to process the transactions of another merchant.

Source: Retail Customer Experience