Internet commerce depends on safe and secure transactions. Because of that, we’ve asked a few questions to Melih Abdulhayoglu, an Internet security expert and CEO of Comodo, a leading provider of security software and encryption products for smaller ecommerce merchants.
PeC: What does is identity theft look like on the Internet?
Abdulhayoglu: Identity theft is when a person’s “digital identity” is stolen. This can include key personal data such as banking, credit card and even social security numbers. The information can be misused by fraudsters in three ways: (a) fraudulent purchases, (b) fraudulent financial transactions, and (c) providing false ID’s for criminals. It used to be that people stole wallets to get this information. Now, unfortunately, fraudsters hack into websites, computers, or pretend to be legitimate businesses to get private identity details.
PeC: Give us some examples of identity thefts.
Abdulhayoglu: Take “phishing”. Phishing are emails purporting to come from a trusted company, like a bank, that instead drive innocent consumers to a fake, mimic website specifically to obtain the consumers’ sensitive information. Once fraudsters get the information, they then have the capability to drain bank accounts and make dishonest credit card purchases, among other things. Another trick is the “man-in-the-middle” fraud. This scheme redirects traffic to a fake site designed to harvest confidential information. Unfortunately, consumers cannot detect they are interacting with a fraudulent site.
PeC: Your company is in the business of helping to prevent these types of identity theft. How do you do this?
Abdulhayoglu: We’re experts at creating mechanisms for both consumers and merchants to confirm the authenticity of each other. We provide a range of digital certificate solutions to enable trust in online commerce, communications and collaboration. We do this through sophisticated encryption technologies that confirm the authenticity of websites and protect all facets of an ecommerce transaction. These technologies include (a) high-assurance SSL certificates that verify both the business legitimacy and the encryption capabilities of the transaction, (b) content verification certificates that authenticates web content, and (c) vulnerability scanning services to ensure the data security of consumers’ confidential information. These three technologies are part of our Identity and Trust Assurance suite.
PeC: What do these products cost?
Abdulhayoglu: We tailor the Identity and Trust Assurance suite to range of online businesses from very small to very large. But generally speaking, depending on the product, the prices range from “free” (e.g. email certificates for a PC) to $595. A High Assurance SSL certificate, often used by ecommerce merchants, starts at $79 per year.
PeC: Comodo has recently partnered with Authorize.Net, a major credit-card payment-gateway company. Tell us about that.
Abdulhayoglu: It’s natural to partner our identity and authenticity products with Authorize.Net. As the leading credit card gateway, Authorize.Net focuses on the security and protection of its merchants. Our products can help these merchants protect themselves from fraud and dishonesty. We are very excited about working with Authorize.Net.