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Planning for Security with Your ASP

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In planning your e-business strategy, security is an area in which there needs to be the highest level of performance possible from the ASPs that you choose to deal with. E-commerce expert Louis Columbus shows you how ASPs can assist you in maintaining the security that you need.

In planning your e-business strategy, security is an area in which there needs to be the highest level of performance possible from the ASPs that you choose to deal with. E-commerce expert Louis Columbus shows you how ASPs can assist you in maintaining the security that you need.

Unlike physical security systems, which have motion detectors, card readers, vibration sensors, and closed-circuit televisions, security on the Internet is not an exact science boundable by the laws of physics. It's much more of an evolving challenge/resolution type of scenario, where the challenges are posed and the various organizations involved with the Internet need to resolve them. Knowing when a security breach has happened is much harder to track in an online world compared to a physical one. Service providers vary significantly in terms of their ability to deal with denial-of-service attacks, for example, and other threats of electronic vandalism and theft.

In planning your e-business strategy, security is an area in which there needs to be the highest level of performance possible from the ASPs that you choose to deal with. The fact that many ASPs regularly have security companies test their hosting centers with simulated attacks shows a commitment to ensuring that customers' data stays secure. ASPs that are security-conscious take the approach that it's best to continually test firewalls, authentication, and the identity of servers located behind firewalls within the network operations centers.

If you are completing an e-marketing site with your brochures and marketing materials online, then the steps required to minimize hacking to your site or theft of your URL are what is most needed. Finally, the issue is not one of being paranoid; it's about being focused on what really matters for your organization and the information assets that it has. Truly, in the world of security, the best defense is an informed and smart offensive strategy to protect your data.

Case Study: How CyberSource Minimizes Online Fraud for GUESS?

GUESS? is one of today's most recognized and influential fashion brand names. After almost 20 years in the traditional retail channel, GUESS? opened an online store in March 1999. This was a big step for the fashion leader, but it was time to bring its GUESS?–brand jeans, apparel, and fashion accessories to customers via the Internet.

Hot Brand Attracts Cyberthieves

The launch of the GUESS? online store was a big success. Unfortunately, the GUESS? online store also caught the attention of cyberthieves. Shortly after its launch, GUESS? found that online fraud was becoming an issue. “Our online business was doing great, but the growing number of fraudulent orders were becoming a problem. Fraud was starting to cut into our bottom line,” explains Jennifer Makkar, e-commerce manager at guess.com. “With the 1999 holiday season promising to be even bigger than last year, we could not afford to be in a vulnerable position.”

GUESS? Turns to CyberSource

CyberSource had a solution to the fraud issues that GUESS? needed to address. CyberSource Internet Fraud Screen enhanced by Visa offered a secure infrastructure to make online transactions safe and easy for GUESS? and its customers.

GUESS? heard that CyberSource has the Internet's most effective weapon against online credit card fraud and decided to implement its services. CyberSource Internet Fraud Screen enhanced by Visa has a proven record of being able to reduce online credit card fraud to less than 1 percent.

As soon as GUESS? implemented CyberSource Internet Fraud Screen enhanced by Visa, it saw results. “From the moment it was up and running, we saw our instances of fraud drop,” says Makkar. “We have continued to see the number of fraudulent orders decrease, even after the initial drop. With CyberSource Internet Fraud Screen enhanced by Visa, we do not have to divert valuable personnel to manually chase down fraudulent transactions.”

CyberSource's Fraud Screen

CyberSource Internet Fraud Screen enhanced by Visa screens e-commerce transactions and measures the level of risk associated with each order, returning a related risk score back to the merchant in real time. This automated risk assessment service calculates the risk associated with an order, based on unique Internet order variables and other transaction characteristics, and returns a “risk score” to the merchant. The system leverages Visa's fraud-modeling expertise and CyberSource's Internet fraud reduction experience and historical transaction database. And with CyberSource Internet Fraud Screen enhanced by Visa, merchants maintain full control over their risk tolerance and final acceptance or rejection of the order.

Payment Processing Compatibility Essential

To provide customers with a rapid and secure checkout and payment experience, GUESS? also implemented CyberSource Credit Card Services. Designed to meet the needs of high-volume online stores, CyberSource Credit Card Services delivers 99.98 percent payment processing uptime and quick, 3-second response—even during peak sales periods.

GUESS? was eager to get up and running with the CyberSource services and was pleased with how quick and easy the implementation process was. "It was a very simple procedure," explains Makkar. "We were able to implement the services on our own, without anyone from CyberSource coming onsite. CyberSource was very easy to work with during implementation and continues to be very responsive to our needs."

International in Scope

CyberSource services are designed to support international sales. This is important to GUESS?, which plans to open its online store to international markets. "CyberSource is prepared for international e-commerce," says Makkar. "This is big benefit for GUESS?. We are preparing to expand our online operations to international markets, and with CyberSource we do not have to rethink our back-end systems."

All CyberSource Credit Card Services enable secure, reliable, multicurrency payment processing in local currencies worldwide. CyberSource Credit Card Services support real-time international trade in more than 170 currencies worldwide. CyberSource also provides robust tax calculation services to support the thousands of ever-changing taxing jurisdictions that exist worldwide. With CyberSource Tax Calculation, merchants are able to calculate Value Added Tax (VAT) in real time to support sales in more than 18 countries.

Additionally, CyberSource Policy Compliance Services help online merchants who do business outside the United States comply with corporate, partner, and government policies for sales. CyberSource uses a sophisticated combination of geolocation technology and artificial intelligence to validate the information provided by the purchaser and screen for compliance. With policy compliance, merchants can limit product or service distribution to specific territories, thereby maintaining marketing policies or distribution agreements. Also, with export control, merchants can ensure that they are in compliance with U.S. government export regulations by monitoring order acceptance against a changing list of denied countries or persons.

"GUESS? has a highly visible brand name and a reputation for customer satisfaction to protect. Our use of CyberSource services ensures that our customers are able to check out quickly and securely, as well as helps GUESS? prevent fraudulent transactions that take away from our profits,” says Makkar. “Additionally, CyberSource has helped GUESS? gear up for end-of-year online sales and made fraud less of an issue for us. Its suite of high-performance payment processing and comprehensive fraud screening services has already helped GUESS? protect its profits and will be a real asset, particularly during the holiday season."

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