The 12 Days of Cybercrime

Threatmetrix compiled data on the top data breaches of 2013, holiday shopping concerns, and suggestions to guard against these cybercrime threats.

With a week to go until Christmas day, shopping season is firing on all cylinders, and people are in the holiday spirit. People are more cheerful, more giving, and kinder than any other time of the year. That's sad on some level--why shouldn't we be kind and charitable all year? It also makes people more gullible than normal to cybercrime and phishing attacks. 

ThreatMetrix has compiled data from the biggest security incidents and trends of 2013, and put it together with some tips, hints, and best practices in an infographic to help guard against cybercrime during the holiday season and into 2014.

2013 was a banner year for data breaches. Evernote, Living Social, the California Department of Social Services, and Facebook are all among those hit by massive data breaches this year. The data breach that may go down as the "highlight" of 2013, however, may end up being the hack that exposed 38 million user accounts and passwords from Adobe. 

According to data shared by ThreatMetrix, consumer spending will increase by about 15 percent this holiday season to $82 billion. Much of that shopping will be done online and/or through mobile apps, which is why cybercrime will cost consumers and retailers $5.4 billion (USD) this holiday season. That's big business, and you can bet that the cybercriminals are not going to pull any punches. This is hunting season for online cybercrime. 

According to survey results, 47 percent of shoppers will rely on online shopping as their primary method, and nearly a third (31 percent) will use mobile apps. Many retailers have tools and systems in place to try and prevent cybercrime, but there is an inordinately high false-positive rate. According to the data from ThreatMetrix, as much as 80 percent of the transactions flagged by retailers are actually legitimate. 

The challenge for consumers is to recognize and avoid scams and phishing attacks, while retailers need to strike a balance between screening and rejecting fraudulent purchases, while streamlining legitimate transactions so customers aren't unduly inconvenienced. 

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