Cybercrime toll mounts for businesses

Retailer TigerDirect depends on technology, collaboration with peers to fight cybercrime

Cybercrime is more than a buzzword, it's a critical business concern, say 1,387 IT professionals surveyed by security firm Finjan.

Ninety-one percent of respondents call cybercrime a "major business risk," and 73 percent say they are more concerned about data theft than about downtime and loss of productivity from malware. In addition, 25 percent of respondents admit to data breaches in their organizations, according to the survey that Finjan conducted in July and released today.

Cybercrime's impact is no surprise to those on the front lines.

"Fraud today is highly sophisticated, and the people doing it get smarter and smarter, so we have to, also," says Gilbert Fiorentino, CEO at TigerDirect. The computer and electronics equipment retailer is a subsidiary of Systemax, which also owns CompUSA.

When credit cards are stolen in volume in big heists like the one perpetrated against TJX, those stolen cards are put to use by fraudsters who try to rip off stores like TigerDirect, Fiorentino says.

TigerDirect has 30 retail stores as well as an online Web sales operation for businesses and consumers. According to Fiorentino, the majority of the unrelenting attempts to hoodwink TigerDirect with stolen credit- and debit-cards will occur online in consumer sales.

A retailer like TigerDirect is an attractive target for those trying to use a stolen card because computer and electronics merchandise is easy to sell on the black market, Fiorentino points out.

One common ploy these days is for a fraudster to watch the home of a person whose credit-card information has been stolen, to determine if the person is out of the house most of the day, says Fiorentino. Fraudsters know retailers are more suspicious if a credit-card order requests delivery to a different address than the billing address of the credit card. So a fraudster might place orders to have equipment sent to the victim's home, and then intercept it, pretending to live there.

TigerDirect's home-grown antifraud system, developed over many years, seeks to raise a red flag on any manner of suspicious sales.

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Ellen Messmer

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