Opinion / 26 February 2019, 4:00pm / John Mc Loughlin
JOHANNESBURG – Online fraud is growing at an alarming rate, unsuspecting consumers are being targeted with invoice fraud, fake adverts and refund scams – just to mention a few.
The inaugural digital banking crime statistics by the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) show how the advent of digital technology has seen the exploitation of digital platforms by criminals.
According to the research, there were 13 438 incidents across banking apps, online banking and mobile banking that cost the industry more than R250-million in gross losses in 2017 and incidents for the first eight months of 2018 showed an astounding 64% increase.
Frighteningly, the report discloses that a comparison between the first eight months of 2018 to the same period the previous year shows that mobile banking incidents increased by 100%, with gross losses in excess of R23-million. Online banking incidents increased by 44% with gross losses of nearly R90-million.
The report confirms the statistics quoted are solely industry losses and do not even account for the personal losses in events where the bank does not refund the victim.
Over the same period, banking app incidents increased by 20% with gross losses of R70-million. SIM swaps saw a 104% increase to 8 254 incidents for the first eight months of 2018.
These statistics should be enough to strike fear into the heart of any society as our lives are increasingly intricately linked to a digital world, including banking, shopping, recreation and more. The Internet of everything has arrived, and with it, vulnerability to abuse businesses, small or large, and on the personal level.
Small businesses and individuals are particularly at risk. Both home and SME users are aware of the risks, but both are left out in the cold to handle things themselves.
From the home user perspective, it can be quite a dilemma of where to begin. There is online banking fraud, fake classifieds adverts, phishing scams, malware and viruses, ATM fraud, refund scams, fake invoices, and that's before one even gets to advanced threats and more importantly, one's children.
Children of all ages are online using a wide range of devices; they are always researching, looking for music, downloading and playing online games. Children have grown up in a digital world, but does digital savvy translate into digital safety? Definitely not.
J2 Home Secure for home users and J2 SME Secure for smaller businesses aim to deal with the fact that attacks are increasing and always evolving. It provides enterprise grade managed cybersecurity for home users and SMEs.
It also provides endpoint protection, Internet security and offers protection up to R25 000 for Home Secure and R100 000 for SME Secure, in the event of online fraud and theft where one suffers a direct financial loss.
The product offers peace of mind due to the world-class detection and monitoring capabilities. The added advantage is that one's children are kept safe online by preventing access to illicit and illegal online content.
J2 Home Secure also offers protection against EFT fraud including transfer of funds to third parties where the details of the payee have been manipulated; transactions where a payee's identity is stolen, falsified, fraudulently altered. It also covers thirty percent of the value of online classified transactions.
It also offers protection against EFT duping, an EFT or deposit scam using altered POPs, deposit slips, etc. This is when one is tricked into believing payment has been made into your account.
Additionally, J2 Home Secure protects against unauthorised transfer of funds. This means funds transferred from an account by a person not authorised and also includes fraudulent use of your name, address, ID, bank account, etc. However, it does not include funds by a person you know or have authorised to make a transfer.
This solution offers the modern consumer many compelling reasons to improve their security by having a managed cyber security service for home users. J2 also provides affordable layered security options to ensure that clients have securely backed up important files, encrypted sensitive data with the added advantage of having a single point of contact to help them set up their Office 365 at home.
John Mc Loughlin is chief executive of J2 Software. The views expressed here are his own.