Of Security and Summer Destinations

Mobile Security in Travel

Of Security and Summer Destinations

Credit Card News Synopsis

We watch the credit card news so you don’t have to. Well, you still can, but consider us your handy synopsis of “All the News that Fits.”

This Week’s Highlights

What’s fitting this week are two items that may initially unrelated — one about credit card fraud at a travel destination, the other a report from a conference on mobile security, which mostly concerns what we used to call “phones.”

The Intersection of Technology and Travel

Undoubtedly, the use of phones for various tasks, including accessing bank accounts and utilizing credit lines, is on the rise. This convergence of technology and finance is precisely the focus of our discussion in this week’s post.

The Callaway Gardens Breach

The breach was regionally specific — coming at Callaway Gardens, in Pine Mountain Georgia. In the run-up to Memorial Day, customers there began reporting fraudulent purchases showing up on their accounts.

Official Statement on the Breach

As reported by the Atlanta Constitution, Barry Morgan, the chief finance officer of Callaway Gardens, stated on the Callaway website that they detected, contained, and removed fraudulent malware. The malware allowed the possible collection of personal information, so he encouraged guests to review and monitor their credit and debit card statements.”

The Risks of Travel

So far, the breach appears limited to guests at Callaway Gardens. However, this situation highlights the challenges that accompany the rewards of adventure and new experiences when away from home. Especially in an era where travel purchases are predominantly made through cards or apps, such incidents underscore the new complexities of modern travel.

Mobile Security Insights

And it is the latter thought that ties us into the other item, in the industry newsletter stats.areppim, saying “there will be more than 6.9 billion cell phone subscribers globally by the end of 2013. Considering that the population of the planet is estimated at just over 7 billion, this number is staggering… Many subscribers are using smartphones to handle tasks formerly conducted only on desktop computers, including online financial transactions…. (and) an increasing number of merchants are using mobile devices at the POS, as well.”

The Growing Threat of Malware

Note that the Callaway Gardens breach involved malware. Well, the Greensheet article goes on to say that “as m-commerce rises, the incidents of data theft are rising, too. According to data provided by security and compliance management company Trustwave, 90 percent of vulnerabilities common on desktop computers also exist in both Android and iOS devices, and in 2012, Android malware increased 400 percent. Yet less than one-third of app makers test their applications for such vulnerabilities before launching them.”

The Vulnerability of Mobile Transactions

Which means that as transactions become more mobile — benefiting customers, and merchants, who can more easily “customize” someone’s shopping experience, even in-store — they become more vulnerable, as well. As the article notes, “a significant number of businesses and smart device users have a lackadaisical attitude toward security, especially when it comes to downloading mobile apps. Many consumers are much more security savvy when it comes to their desktop computers.”

Embracing Mobility Responsibly

People expect ease-of-mobility when they’re mobile — whether it’s “vacation season” or not (but somehow, even more so when they’re on the go!). If you need to brush up on your M-commerce, eCommerce, or general security — mobile or otherwise! — drop a line to your AVPS rep today. We’re “goin’ mobile” with you — and trying to keep you as secure as possible, while doing it!