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Europe Hit with 80 Million Fraud Attempts in Q1 2018 as Merchants Favor Low-Friction Experiences over Security

Filip Truta

May 22, 2018

Europe Hit with 80 Million Fraud Attempts in Q1 2018 as Merchants Favor Low-Friction Experiences over Security

The onset of 2018 has seen European businesses bombarded with cyberattacks, including a staggering 80 million pure fraud attempts. With a 30% increase in cybercrime year-over-year and strict new laws coming into effect this month, digital businesses in Europe – and indeed everywhere – need to make cyber-security a priority now more than ever.

Based on analysis of 1.9 billion digital transactions, ThreatMetrix found an evolution from short, isolated peaks of fraud attacks to more sustained, high-volume attacks across a number of days or even weeks during the January-March period (Q1).

Identity spoofing in particular has risen significantly and the highest volume of attacks originated from Germany, which topped the list of attacks globally, alongside the UK, analysts said.

Some 60 million eCommerce transactions were rejected as fraudulent in Q1 – a 47% increase YoY. Fraudsters have been able to capitalize on the low-friction concept that competing merchants employ to tempt customers into taking their offers.

A more positive finding from the research involves mobile transactions. Apparently mobile is the way to go if a customer wants to avoid falling into a trap.

58 percent of all transactions in Europe come from mobile devices, compared to the global average of 51 percent). In the UK, the number of mobile transactions is even higher, with 67 percent of transactions coming solely from mobile platforms like smartphones and tablets. France and Central Europe recorded the highest growth in mobile transactions in Q1 – 96 percent and 63 percent, respectively.

Mobile platforms enable businesses to better identify consumers in a way that is persistent and reliable, yet at the same time offer a low-friction experience.

“Mobile users have zero tolerance for being slowed down by clunky security steps, but the future of this channel relies on the continued ability of digital,” according to Alisdair Faulkner, Chief Products Officer at ThreatMetrix.

Desktop transactions are twice as likely to suffer an attack than mobile transactions. And that applies to all industries, analysts said.

However, the volume of attacks on mobile transactions itself is rising, so even if it remains the more secure way to transact online for the foreseeable future, more investments are necessary into cyber-incident prevention and detection technologies – especially now with the GDPR just around the corner.




Filip Truta

Filip is an experienced writer with over a decade of practice in the technology realm. He has covered a wide range of topics in such industries as gaming, software, hardware and cyber-security, and has worked in various B2B and B2C marketing roles. Filip currently serves as Information Security Analyst with Bitdefender.

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