The US Customs and Border Protection agency has established a new branch that will concern itself with online commerce.
In a statement announcing the E-Commerce and Small Business Branch, the CBP asserted that e-commerce sales are anticipated to exceed a value of $4 trillion by 2020, and said that the new branch “will work to address the various complexities resulting from this new global shift.” And a lot of those complexities will involve security concerns: With the busy holiday shopping season now upon us, the “CBP warns consumers that the benefits afforded by online platforms also elevate the risk and opportunity for criminal trade.”
It’s a warning that echoes others from the security industry, with NuData having recently raised a similar alarm. That company’s behavioral biometrics and analytics platform, NuDetect, is an example of the kinds of sophisticated technologies that can now be used to effectively thwart online fraud; other popular examples include Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanning system, which helps to secure transactions on its Apple Pay mPayment service.
The CBP, meanwhile, has some basic tips for consumers: “beware of goods with prices that are too good to be true, websites that do not provide legitimate phones numbers or addresses, and sellers that do not have good customer feedback.” That advice will likely remain relevant for some time to come.