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The risk mobile poses to your customers

23rd Dec 2015
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When responsive web design became huge because consumers were buying smartphones more than any other accessory, your business was probably urged to create a mobile website or app for mobile use. Despite the growing list of reasons to make the change, your mobile site or app may not be worth the investment.

Now you can add security risks to the list of cons. As more mobile websites are being built, many of the risks they pose to the customers have surfaced.

Most companies haven’t realised the threat their mobile app or site may pose for customers through the increased use of credit card transactions. Consumers have shifted heavily from cash to plastic for their transactions, which puts them at risk for credit card theft.

Though consumers should be wary when performing online transactions, it’s really up to you to protect their privacy in your mobile site.

Mobile site security risks

Efforts are being undertaken to make card transactions via mobile devices more secure, but there are still some major concerns. Your company likely needs better protection for your mobile apps.

To begin with, malware is constantly evolving. When Apple rolled out its iOS software, everyone believed these devices had no threats attached to them. This faith was shortly debunked, because malware evolved to attack unprotected Apple devices.

The same is the case with mobile devices. They seemed safe at first because malware hadn’t developed to breach them, but it didn’t take long for that to change. Now malicious code is being deployed in major app stores, through text messages, across spam emails, and in other ways to give cyber criminals easy access to both your website and your customers’ personal information.

There’s also a risk of personal device breaches when a consumer’s mobile device is lost or stolen, and cracked by an unauthorized user. That user can gain access to personally saved information, including passwords, credit card information, and sensitive personal data.

Users may also unknowingly put their devices and your website at risk when they connect to public WiFi. Such connections are usually not secure, which means unencrypted access for malware and hackers. Your website is at greater risk from your end users than you might realize.

The worst part is it’s usually your fault if one of your customers falls victim to a data breach. You’re expected to have adequate security to protect them, and if it’s not there, you get the blame.

Implementing New PCI Standards

The good news is you have a guideline to follow when implementing these new security measures. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) council recently updated their Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 3.1.

It focuses on ways that retailers can maintain a positive customer experience through their mobile websites by increasing the security measures. PCI standards mandate that companies protect data provided by the cardholder.

All information must come with encryption, whether it’s printed, processed, transmitted, or stored. Instead of simply filling out a questionnaire stating the work was completed, merchants are now required to hire specialists to meet the many requirements.

In addition, it’s not enough for companies simply to say they’re compliant with PCI standards, and then only comply with a few of them. Officials now require merchants show proof of their efforts to boost the customer experience.

Failing to protect this information will result in fines and potential legal sanctions. Given the new updates, officials are coming down hard on this specific aspect of PCI standards.

These measures will make your mobile website more secure on both the user and administrative ends, but it may require extra resources to make it happen.

There are simple ways to include these changes, such as including an Inline Frame (iFrame) in the ecommerce site. The iFrame is already hosted by a PCI-compliant service, which means most of the security measures you need are already in place, though it may not be as aesthetically appealing or load as quickly as your site did without this service.

PCI standards will continue to evolve as companies look to improve the user experience and minimize risks. It’s important to recognize that complying with the new standards is the most effective and essential way to protect your website, but there will still be vulnerabilities.

It’s essential to remain proactive and constantly seek improvements to your security measures if you truly hope to maintain a positive customer privacy experience.

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