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Nancy Carleton, Straal: “those who invest in cybersecurity today have to always think about what will come tomorrow”


As the pandemic facilitated a quick switch of our daily tasks to an online environment, the need for cybersecurity to be a top priority for every business arose.

Unfortunately, cyber threats are evolving at an unprecedented pace. As a result, malicious threat actors successfully find new ways to commit online fraud and swindle money or sensitive information from unsuspecting users and employees.

Therefore, Cybernews had a talk with Nancy Carleton, the Chief Marketing Officer at Straal, about the latest payment technology solutions and fraud prevention tactics.

Let’s go back to the very beginning of Straal. What has your journey been like throughout the years?

As many Payments providers do, Staal began by recognising a need in the market for a more local and more transparent provider of solutions in 2017. So the team at Straal sought to structure optimized solutions that, at their core, are customized to a merchant or entrepreneur's fundamental values and needs. At Straal, we want to enable trade everywhere, make it convenient for everyone, and responsibly bring people and technology together.

One of the great benefits of Straal is that we began as a part of the famous venture building company Daftcode in Warsaw, Poland. As a result, our solutions started with some of the best engineering talents in Europe as they developed disruptive technologies that would change the way we see payments across the globe.

Can you tell us a bit about what you do? For example, what technology do you use to secure payments without compromising the user experience?

Straal develops a suite of payment, optimisation, and fraud prevention solutions. When combined, they give merchants the ability to collect payments with top effectiveness and cost efficiency wherever they choose to do business. This comes with an alignment of partners in the market that are ethically and soundly creating unmatched solutions. When there is a need, we can leverage our strong development team around it. Engineering, at its core, is about driving change through passion, and we focus on having every member of our team contribute through this.

One of the ways that Straal accomplishes this prioritization of user experience is by offering over 200 global acquiring connections. Straal payment gateway enables the processing of transactions made with cards of all leading brands globally.

Our technology is in the Straal Kompas Dashboard, which analyses crucial reporting metrics and allows customers to monitor and analyze Chargeback and Fraud Stats in real-time.

What cybersecurity risks do you think new business owners often fail to consider?

Our online experience is a hotspot of risks and opportunities. Some businesses fail to include humans, like disgruntled former employees, in their view of threats. Sophisticated malware, such as bots can represent your growth. A business owner who invests in preventing cybersecurity threats today always has to think about tomorrow. Trends and opportunities change, and it is a business owner's responsibility to forecast and adapt.

How did the recent global events influence how threat actors operate?

Covid-19 is an example of how IT professionals must be aware of risk and resilience in managing cybersecurity threats, especially as exposed vulnerabilities in systems are coming to light. A huge consideration is that as companies put more financial resources into pandemic-related needs, such as remote workers, health practices, and more, the safety of IT systems may be forgotten during this time of prioritization change.

What red flags indicate that a user might be malicious or someone is impersonating them?

Warning signs that a user may have malicious intents can include providing conflicting user information, multiple transactions using the same card, many other purchases using the same type IP, etc. Fraud is painful for a business owner, so the most important thing is to remain vigilant, calm, and document what is happening when you suspect malicious intent.

Which organizations are attractive targets for fraudsters and should implement proper security measures as soon as possible?

With fraud taking part predominantly in private companies and closely followed by the government sector, there is a deep-seated need to protect these institutions. Proper security measures can include awareness of high-ranking and long-tenured leadership behavior, an appropriate system of checks and balances in spending practices, an inventory of cash, goods, and services, and a rotation of outside auditors to keep non-biased eyes on the organization.

What measures or practices do you think should average individuals adopt to protect themselves when online shopping?

For online shoppers to best protect themselves, here are some tips:

  • Be sure you research your retailers.
  • Keep your shopping apps up to date.
  • Change your passwords often.
  • Keep receipts and have a history of paper trail.
  • Double-check that websites are secure.

How do you think the eCommerce sector will evolve in the next few years?

As Augmented Reality and Short Form videos change how we use the Internet today, there will be some changes in E-commerce that we should expect. For example, consumers paying only with a credit card are long gone. Instead, you should expect to have many different payment methods.

Also, the future, which feels more like today, is all about mobile. Covid changed consumer demand, and now we want everything delivered to our doorsteps worldwide. So I think there will be more individual niches within the direct phone to customer purchases.

And finally, what’s next for Straal?

As Straal continues to grow our local and personal footprint across Europe, we leverage our relationships to get down to the critical thing that our retailers want, to increase profitability through a healthy relationship with their payments provider.



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