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October 18, 2012

Cyber Attack Cripples Payment Networks

By Brittany Walters-Bearden, TMCnet Contributor

Over the last few years, major payment networks have had no choice but to shell out millions of dollars for legal settlements large and small. So far, these transactions have been kept relatively quiet for the sake of consumer security and trust. As the amount of cash becomes increasing larger, however, it’s becoming harder for the networks to keep their troubles under wraps.  

Ivan Zasarsky came forward with a statement that affirmed the ugly truth. Every major payment network has suffered major losses due to cyber attacks within the last few years. As a partner at Deloitte (News - Alert) Touche Tohmatsu, a financial advisory group, Zasarsky is well-versed in the ins and outs of these kinds of cases. He confirmed that networks are in the habit of making settlements after watching their networks becoming compromised by hackers. 

Image via Shutterstock

Though the uptick in these cyber attacks coincides with the rise in popularity of the smartphone, the two statistics are not directly related, according to Zasarsky. The representative was inconclusive about whether or not smartphones are more or less safe than computers for the purpose of making payments, as the judgment has yet to be decided by statistics. One perk of making payments on smartphones, he remarked, is that they can be shut down if breached. These networks are becoming ever more difficult to guard from cyber attacks, as hackers become more advanced and get ahead of the security technology currently in place. Though it was once possible to keep hackers at bay with a general blanket system of security, that is no longer a viable or effective option. 

Payment networks need to redouble their security efforts by first changing their view of the problem at hand. Cyber criminals and hackers are extremely difficult to catch, but can be stopped with preventative measures.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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