Mercator Blog

Payments Fraud Is One Clear Symptom of the Greater Cyber Threats Now Plaguing the Industrialized World
Date: February 14, 2017
Steve Murphy
Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service
Increased fraudulent activity is a looming global threat of which businesses need to be aware and prepared to manage. The threat is related to a number of factors, including the new era of global business interaction and rapidly changing technology. Cybercriminals are improving their level of sophistication, not only through tightly controlled organized rings but also smaller groups and individuals with a combination of industry knowledge and technical acumen.

Data breaches are of particular concern, and ingenious methods are being utilized to gain access to personally identifiable information (PII) and financial account information. Through a combination of social engineering, systems penetration, and process knowledge, fraudsters can manipulate company employees and conduct high-value payments fraud. The cost of dealing with incidents of fraud goes beyond the actual financial loss, with aftershocks ranging from client dissatisfaction to reputational damage to the company attacked by the fraudsters, a result of particular concern to financial institutions in light of follow-on regulatory actions.

Payments fraud is a symptom of the broader issue of cybercrime, but it can be controlled or minimized somewhat independently. This requires a series of actions including process controls and systems deployment to identify, prevent, and limit potential damage. In the report, The Enemy at the Gates: Payments Fraud Is a Symptom, Mercator Advisory Group reviews the issues underlying the global fraud threat and how that relates to payments fraud, and identifies actions that companies can take to help manage the threat going forward.