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By Sandeep Walia

This holiday season, Forrester Research expects a 23 percent rise in online sales, to $27 billion total. Cyber Monday, which marks the first spike in online spending after Thanksgiving, saw higher than expected gains with sales of $608 million, which is up 26 percent from last year.

With the holiday shopping season upon us, e-tailers are on high alert with credit card fraudsters looking to cash in. Smaller businesses are most at risk as they are often considered easier prey for credit card fraud in comparison to larger online storefronts with more IT resources. But it is not uncommon for even larger e-tailers to fall prey.

According to a recent report by Gartner Group, $2 billion in e-commerce sales have been lost in 2006 because of security fears. The firm estimates that half of those losses came from consumers avoiding sites that appeared to be less secure, while the remainder came from those refusing to buy online at all due to security concerns.

Ignify specializes in e-commerce and ERP solutions for the mid-market and enterprise business segments. We find that companies do not often get serious about security until they are hit with serious fraud.

Before approaching Ignify, US Digital Media, a leading supplier of optical digital media, recently lost upwards of $200,000 due to credit card scams even though necessary network security precautions were in place. In one instance, the company was targeted (because of its merchandise) by a sophisticated team of criminals involved in a larger international movie pirating operation.

Although fraud prevention was a key area of concern for US Digital Media, another major area was the ordering cycle. It took up to five hours to get product out the door because of the lack of integration with the ERP, accounting and shipping systems, costing the company tremendously in lost revenue.

US Digital Media chose to deploy the Ignify eCommerce platform. Ignify’s special heuristic screening method brought credit card fraud loss down to non-existent levels. Over time, the system actually learns customer buying patterns.

In addition to security improvements, US Digital Media’s ordering cycle was also reduced to minutes instead of hours since the Ignify platform integrated into back office operations making order processing fully automated.

Ignify, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with offices in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Nashville, Toronto, and India, offers SmartBiz readers a few simple tips for improving e-commerce security for little or no investment.

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Sandeep Walia is the President, CEO and Co-Founder of Ignify.
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