The way we shop, bank, socialize, and work has evolved – are you ready?
When vaccination rates climbed in the first half of 2021, we entered a new hybrid world and life started to feel a little more normal as stores, restaurants, and live venues began to reopen. But we didn’t just go back to our pre-pandemic lives. The way we shop, bank, socialize, and work evolved — and so did the strategies of internet attackers.
To learn more about this evolution, we drew from intelligence collected by our global network to create our H1 2021 Fraud Risk at a Glance Report. Findings from the report show how online engagement has shifted in the new hybrid world. Read on to learn how companies can adapt their digital strategies to protect legitimate users, enable more accurate fraud detection, and facilitate this new level of digital engagement. You can download the full story here.
1. New opportunities across industries
As the world started to reopen in H1 2021, online consumer traffic grew steadily in all six industries we studied: digital goods, event-ticketing, financial institutions, retail and eCommerce, streaming, and travel. Consumers wanted in-person experiences, but they didn’t want to leave the convenience of online experiences behind. The mixing of offline and online experiences is a huge opportunity for companies to leverage behavioral information that can generate important user insights. The insights gleaned from customer data can help companies create more streamlined and frictionless digital experiences. It can also make consumer interactions more secure because strong user data enables bad actors to be flagged more quickly.
2. Sophisticated attacks
While H1 opened the door to more digital engagement, it also brought new tactics on the part of fraudsters. In a digital landscape with increased user traffic, cyber attackers’ strategies have grown more refined and specialized to capture personal information and valid credentials. Our report uncovered that attacks designed to evade detection by emulating human behavior — sophisticated automated attacks — are an ongoing problem. Sophisticated attacks made up the majority of attacks in two-thirds of the industries we looked at. And our data indicates this trend will only continue.
3. Card cycling
With increased online engagement in H1, attackers doubled down on stealing personal information from users. We found a 54% year-over-year increase in card cycling — a method fraudsters use to test the validity of stolen payment information. Card cycling involves making a high number of small purchases using different credit card numbers to determine which numbers are valid and which are declined or don’t exist. The valid credit card numbers are then resold on the black market or used to make more fraudulent purchases. If unmitigated, card cycling not only hurts a company’s bottom line, but also their brand reputation.
4. Valid credentials
Fraudsters employed creative ways to raise their credential success rates, even when attacks were mitigated by other means. Nearly 10% of credentials used in H1 2021 attacks were correct, up from 1.9% in 2020. Phishing scams and data breaches made valid credentials more available. Sophisticated attacks also played a part, with some attackers creating fake accounts to artificially improve their credential success rate — making it easier to evade detection from security tools. Higher credential success rates affected retail, streaming, and events industries the most, while the finance industry remained the most stable.
Download the NuData H1 2021 Fraud Report
The first half of 2021 introduced new threats — but also new opportunities. By building frictionless hybrid solutions and prioritizing robust security protections, companies can better understand the changing digital landscape and confidently meet users at this heightened level of engagement.
The NuData H1 2021 Fraud Report offers insights into this complex landscape, as well as digital-first strategies to combat evolving attacker efforts. Download the full report below.