By Berk Veral, Senior Product Marketing Manager, RSA FraudAction and CyberCrime Intelligence
I have mostly written about mobile apps; specifically on apps becoming an integral part of our daily lives. This is a fact that can be proven by the increase in the number of apps available and downloaded via public app stores.
So what else is happening in the information security world? We are bombarded with news articles each day. The key is to identify the combined impacts of these seemingly disparate trends ̶ or news and see the big picture and may be even predict the future.
The first story is seasonal news; more like an alert: the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance (NCFTA) warns about tax refund scam as it is the tax season here in the US. Once again, fraudsters will try to convince people to click on their phishing emails that will appear to have come from the IRS or a legitimate financial institution to capture PII.
The second story is a recent Fortune article on why email spam is on the decline. According to the article, spammers are moving into new turf and using online advertising. This move is driven mainly by economics; placing online ads is cheaper than generating spam emails. The myriad of online ad options such as social media ads make it much less expensive to reach the masses.
The other interesting news comes from the SC Magazine with an article titled: “Fraud could rise if retail customers use Facebook login.” This one refers to a Gartner study which shows that half of new customers signing in to merchant websites will be using their social networking credentials. Consumers are demanding convenience of using social network credentials for online shopping, which in turn may expose online merchants to fraud if they have weak authentication methods.
As for the conclusion, if you still haven’t seen the connection, I will summarize it for you; fraudsters that use every opportunity to steal PII (such as the tax season), who also traditionally rely on spam emails are moving into more legitimate-looking online ads (such as social media ads), whereas consumers are moving in the direction of using a single online identity (their social media credentials) for most online activities (that include shopping): Stealthier fraud schemes plus convenience-seeking consumers is resulting in the need for new methods of information security around online identities, social media and fraud prevention. As I wrote above, when you connect separate news stories, you begin to see a different picture…..
Berk Veral is Senior Product Marketing Manager at RSA responsible for RSA FraudAction Anti-Phishing, Anti-Pharming, Anti-Trojan, and Anti Rogue App services as well as RSA FraudAction Intelligence and Cyber Crime Intelligence. Prior to joining RSA, Berk served as a senior member of product marketing teams at global technology companies where he worked closely with global financial institutions on technology solutions.