When it comes to card security, shopping online is now much safer than shopping in-store, according to new research contained in Trustwave’s Global Security Report. While hacking attacks against sales tills (also referred to as Point of Sale, or PoS) rose by almost a third in 2016, e-commerce incidents decreased over the same period.
The US leads the way in PoS insecurity, due to its slow adoption of EMV chip technology (the technical standard for payment cards and other payment devices) and reliance on chip and signature rather than chip and PIN – and also the fact that it has a huge retail economy with over 15 million PoS terminals. Unsurprisingly, payment card data was the most popular target for hackers – and it’s all too easily obtained. Uploading malware to a system which has not been designed with security in mind is child’s play – and once inside, hackers can play the age-old man-in-the-middle game and siphon off card data as ignorant customers swipe away.
Unfortunately, this is unlikely to get much better anytime soon, as attacks are becoming more sophisticated while retailers’ adoption of EMV tech is struggling to keep pace.