Over half of users in the Middle East faced phishing scams when using digital payments

Published July 31st, 2022 - 05:28 GMT
Over half of users in the Middle East faced phishing scams when using digital payments
Emad Haffar, Head of Technical Experts, Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Kaspersky.

According to the Kaspersky Digital Payment survey, 52% of respondents from Middle East region faced phishing scams when using online banking or mobile wallet services. 49% have personally encountered fake websites, and 48% — scams (via texts or calls) using social engineering.

When asked about awareness of threats against digital payment methods, the majority of respondents report that they are aware of both the financial phishing attacks (87%) and online scams (87%). 84% also stated that they are informed about banking malware on PCs and on mobile. This type of malicious software steals money from users’ bank accounts.

However, 92% think that banks and payment companies should educate users more about the threats online. When it comes to a list of security features consumers would like to see more on existing banking apps and mobile wallet, here’s what matters most to them:

  • The implementation of one-time-passwords (OTPs) via SMS for every transaction (80%)
  • Biometric security features like facial or fingerprint recognition (64%)
  • Requiring two-factor authentication (53%)
  • Automated detection and intervention for fraudulent transactions (54%)
  • Point-to-point encryption (27%)

“Whether we talk about the proliferation of phishing scams or mobile malware, it is important to establish some basic cybersecurity standards. Advanced security solutions, which are able to filter out most of the generic attack vectors, supplemented with other preventive measures such as good cybersecurity awareness and regular password changes, can help to keep your financial transactions secure”, said Emad Haffar, Head of Technical Experts, Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Kaspersky.

To help users in the Middle East embrace digital payment technologies securely, Kaspersky experts suggest the following:

  • Do not share your PIN, password or any other financial information with anyone online or offline.
  • Avoid using the public Wi-Fi to make any online transactions.
  • Use a separate credit or debit card to make online transactions. Set a spending limit on the card which can help keep a track of financial transactions.
  • Shop from trusted and official websites
  • Use reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Total Security on all your devices which are used for financial transactions. It helps to detect fraudulent or suspicious activity and check the security of visited websites.

For developers, banks and companies involved in providing digital payment services, Kaspersky recommends:

  • Invest in holistic cybersecurity solutions that can help detect fraud across multiple levels of online payment processes and consumer touchpoint.
  • Advanced attacks by APT groups on financial institutions are also on a rise. In-depth visibility and threat intelligence are a necessity to keep customers protected and to ensure business continuity. Using the Kaspersky Threat Intelligence[AO1] service is helpful to support your IT teams in analysing and mitigating threats.
  • Conduct cyber awareness training for employees continuously. This will help employees know the red flags to look for when an organization is under attack and to understand their role in protecting the organization.

Methodology

The Kaspersky Digital Payment survey studies our interactions with online payments. It also examines our attitudes towards them, which hold the key to understanding the factors that will further drive or stem the adoption of this technology.

The study was conducted by research agency Toluna across the Middle East, Turkey, South Africa, and Nigeria. Survey responses were gathered in February — March 2022 with a total of 2,004 respondents surveyed across the stated countries.

Background Information

Kaspersky

Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 250,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.

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