In May, the world experienced one of the biggest ransomware attacks to date when hackers released malicious software via emails that affected more than 200, 000 computers in over 100 countries. It posed a major inconvenience to companies that regularly store hundreds or thousands of files on their systems. The virus blocked companies from gaining access to their data and demanded that a ransom is paid in order for the data to be redeemed.
Cyber criminals aren’t picky and will hack any system they catch hold of. Nonetheless, certain industries are more vulnerable to cyberattacks than others. According to the 2017 Global Threat Intelligence Report, the retail sector accounts for 15 percent of ransomware attacks.
Most cyber experts advise businesses not to pay the money demanded as they have no guarantee that their data will be unlocked. It is much easier to prevent ransomware attacks from happening than to repair the damage afterward. The recent attacks certainly served as served as a wake-up call about the importance of online security
While it is still unclear if any South African businesses have fallen victim to the recent onslaught, PayU SA's Security Officer Peter Hart-Davis, in a recent radio interview, stated that cyber criminals have begun placing Africa on their hit list.
"Because Africa is seen as sort of new to the game, we're actually quite an attractive target," Peter said. Putting it into a South African context, he says that while a ransomware attack is not a concern for ordinary citizens just yet because they mostly use mobile operating systems, it won't be long before hackers also attack mobile phones.
PayU's secure online payment services helping eCommerce businesses and online shoppers
Although it seems like high-profile organisations firms are the number one target for hackers, smaller eCommerce sites are equally, if not more, at risk of data breaches since they do not always live above the Security Poverty Threshold. But, no matter the size of their enterprise, online safety should be a top priority. It's crucial that businesses keep tabs on their security to prevent their websites from being hacked. A secure shopping environment gives customers the ease of mind that their personal data is safe, which will help businesses earn the trust of their patrons.
As one of the leading payment gateways in South Africa, PayU offers the highest standards of online fraud protection. Not only do we enable businesses to process card payments online but at the same time, we also ensure that their payment gateway is PCI DSS compliant. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) comprises policies and procedures intended to enhance the security measures of companies that accept card payments online. Through our PCI DSS compliance, we make sure that robust firewalls are maintained to help protect the network of a business.
Another way we help create a secure environment in which customers feel confident to conduct transactions is via encryption technology. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security protocol that encrypts all data such as credit card and bank numbers transferred between a web server and browser when online transactions occur. When registering or logging in to PayU, we confirm that your internet browser is running Secure Sockets Layer 3.0 or higher. To further protect your customers' sensitive information, we do not directly connect our firewall-protected servers to the internet.
3D-Secure is an additional security layer PayU's payment gateways provide. It is a verification method that allows exclusive use of a credit or bank card by the cardholder when they make purchases online. The authentication process is fairly simple; once a customer arrives at checkout and enter their card details, they will be prompted to put in a One-Time-Pin (OTP) that they will have received via their registered cellphone number. With this type of software, your business can confirm that the owner of the card is making the purchase and reduce the risk of fraud and chargebacks.
Finally, PayU has partnered with ReD, a leading global provider of fraud prevention, to provide real-time fraud prevention services via their ReD Shield® system. The integration of ReD Shield® into PayU’s payment environment means that transactions are now automatically scanned for fraudulent requests before being processed.
When small businesses partner with industry experts in online safety, they can receive significant benefits such as superior technology and all-encompassing customer support. If you are already outsourcing online payment services and are unsure about what security features they offer, it will in your best interest to re-evaluate your needs and get proper protection for your website.