As we all move further into cyberspace, entrusting more of our personal and corporate information to magnetic strips and electronically stored or transmitted data, the threats to our security become harder to see yet potentially far costlier.
Worryingly, as James Lister, Head of IT at Fuel Card Services observes, “few people take the time to find out if the payment system they’re using is sufficiently secure.” This is particularly concerning now with the two busiest online days of the year: Black Friday on the 25th of November and Cyber Monday on the 28th, followed by the run-up to Christmas.
Around this time last year, ThreatMetrix showed a 25% increase in fraud just before the holiday season, tracking 45 million fraud attempts in just 90 days. In fact, so serious are the virtual threats now to UK businesses that The Guardian reported government plans to spend £1.9 billion on cybersecurity.
For fleets, the obvious target for cybercriminals has been the widespread use of fuel cards. Until recently, if a fuel card was stolen it was often difficult to block. Organised fraudsters also used to enlist cashiers who would ‘skim’ a fuel card under the counter before returning it to the customer. Card details could then be cloned, and sold on as prepaid fuel cards, often clocking up huge bills before they were discovered.
Reassuringly, fuel cards finally introduced PIN protected cards. Since then, face-to-face card fraud plummeted 72% from 2004 to 2014 according to a payment industry fraud report from May 2014.
“Customers can rest assured that their information is secure with Fuel Card Services,” said Lister. “We’ve just been awarded the Cyber Essentials Plus certification.”
Cyber Essentials is a government-backed, industry supported security certification scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber-attacks. The scheme establishes a baseline of cyber security for every organisation. Certification then involves systems being independently tested, both internally and externally, together with an on-site audit.
And, as a Crown Commercial Service supplier, Fuel Card Services, through the CSS Framework Agreement it has signed, can assure its public sector customers of the best combination of service, savings and above all security.
“Being awarded this certification just goes to show the level of security in which Fuel Card Services has invested,” said Lister, “providing the reassurance fleet managers need just before the riskiest time of the year for cyber-fraud.”
Visit www.fuelcardservices.co.uk or call 0844 870 9988 for further information.