4 must-have strategies to manage cyber fraud this holiday season

Sep 17 2021 | PayPal editorial staff

Today’s technology allows us to keep in touch and do our holiday shopping from almost anywhere. It also creates opportunities for cyber fraud. While there’s no way to stop it, security experts advise a four-step strategy to help minimize negative impacts.
We’re fortunate to live during a time of digital transformation—in which growing digital technologies allow us to keep in touch with people all over the world, put instant knowledge at our fingertips, and shop or sell from the comfort of our homes. It also, however, creates opportunities for cybercrime.
While fighting fraud isn’t the first thing people think of when preparing for holiday shoppers, some business owners find they spend too much of their time managing it. Plus, dealing with the aftermath of cybercrime can be expensive. Beyond the annoyance and lost revenue, there are the hidden costs as well: declined or canceled orders, loss of customer trust, lost shipping expenses, wasted labor, and more. There may even be penalties to your merchant account if you rack up too many chargebacks.
It can be better to be proactive than reactive.
While there’s almost no way to stop criminals from trying to target your online business, you can be proactive. By having a fraud management strategy before fraud happens, you can help avoid paying the heavier consequences that could occur. Especially when you compare the cost of protecting your business with the potential costs from a cyber-attack during one of the busiest shopping times of the year.
Cyber security experts advise that business owners adopt a four-step strategy to help minimize negative impacts on your business. And for best results, it’s recommended you implement all of them together—rather than just one or two—for more comprehensive protection.
1. Educate your team about fraud attack methods. Build or upgrade your existing training program to educate employees who are involved with taking, approving, or shipping orders. Cybercrimes can be most successful when they occur undetected. Find resources that can be dedicated every day to helping identify the latest fraud techniques and trends.
2. Build a fraud financial model. It’s almost impossible to protect your business from fraud 100% of the time. So, it’s a good idea to use analytics to help you determine where fraud is most likely to occur, whether by product, region, device, etc. Reviewing product margins is important as well—the bigger the profit margin, the more risk you can probably tolerate—and vice versa. Think about it this way: If you produce and sell a product for $1000 with a low profit margin—say $50 per item—then a loss to fraud would be keenly felt. In fact, you’d have to sell 20 more units just to make up for the loss. Fraud vectors and loss analysis can help you determine which transactions are worth the risk and which ones aren’t.
3. Take advantage of fraud management tools. Even basic tools like AVS, CVV, and risk thresholds can help minimize fraudulent transactions without losing sales. Up your game even further by tapping into advanced fraud tools like custom rule sets and decision transactions with a tailored fraud review dashboard. This helps you to balance automation with good judgment.
4. Choose a robust payment partner. Your payments platform, like the solutions available through PayPal, should allow you to help protect financial data while still making it easy for customers to shop. Payment details and customer data are stored securely by PayPal, so not only are you qualified for PCI compliance, but you may see higher conversion rates by removing some of the friction while mitigating the risk of fraud. Like PayPal, your payments partner should provide programs that help protect you against common types of fraud as well as customizable offerings that give you more control and coverage.
Business owners are often pleasantly surprised by how simple it can be to put these strategies into action. Oftentimes it starts with selecting the right technology platform that incorporates all these strategies into one package. And when it’s a scalable solution like PayPal, your payments platform can enable current and up-and-coming payment methods and security features with one simple integration.
Whichever payments platform you’re currently using, take time before the holiday rush to ask some important questions—like what types of protections are available for your business. What tools, processes, systems, analytics, and partnerships do you want to build? The cybercrime landscape is always changing, and it’s better to set strategies and policies in motion now to help protect your ecommerce business now and in the future.   

The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

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