IPP Europe

The most common ways to protect against Cyber Threats

Cybersecurity is a critical concern for any business operating in the digital realm, especially for Payment Service Providers (PSPs). The risk of cyberattacks for these businesses is higher as they handle sensitive customer data and financial transactions. A cyberattack can result in significant financial and reputational damage, which is why it’s crucial for PSPs to prioritize cybersecurity measures.

In this article, we’ll discuss the most common ways PSPs can get attacked and how to mitigate these risks effectively.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing is one of the most common ways cybercriminals steal sensitive information from individuals and organizations. Phishing attacks typically involve the use of fake emails or websites that appear legitimate but are designed to trick users into revealing their login credentials, financial information, or other sensitive data.

PSPs can mitigate the risk of phishing attacks by educating their employees and customers about how to recognize and avoid phishing attempts. Training employees on best practices for email and web browsing can go a long way in preventing phishing attacks. Additionally, implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) can help protect against unauthorized access to user accounts.

DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are another common tactic used by cybercriminals to disrupt the operations of a website or online service. DDoS attacks overload the target server with traffic, making it inaccessible to legitimate users.

To prevent DDoS attacks, PSPs should have a robust infrastructure that can handle sudden surges in traffic. Implementing firewalls and intrusion detection and prevention systems can help identify and mitigate DDoS attacks before they cause significant damage.

SQL Injection Attacks

SQL injection attacks are a type of cyberattack that targets web applications. The attacker inserts malicious SQL code into the application’s input fields, tricking the application into executing unauthorized actions or revealing sensitive data.

To prevent SQL injection attacks, PSPs should ensure their web applications are designed with security in mind. This includes implementing input validation and sanitization to prevent the injection of malicious code. Additionally, regular security testing and auditing can help identify and mitigate vulnerabilities in the application’s code.

Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks

Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks are a type of cyberattack that involves intercepting communications between two parties, allowing the attacker to eavesdrop on the conversation or manipulate the data being transmitted.

To prevent MitM attacks, PSPs should implement encryption protocols to protect sensitive data in transit. This includes using secure communication channels such as HTTPS and implementing Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols.

Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks involve the use of malware to encrypt a victim’s data, making it inaccessible until a ransom is paid. Ransomware attacks can be devastating for PSPs, as they may result in the loss of sensitive customer data or financial information.

To prevent ransomware attacks, PSPs should implement regular backups of critical data and systems. Additionally, implementing antivirus and intrusion detection and prevention systems can help identify and mitigate ransomware attacks before they cause significant damage.


Payment Service Providers are high-value targets for cybercriminals due to the sensitive data and financial transactions they handle. To mitigate the risk of cyberattacks, PSPs should prioritize cybersecurity measures, including employee and customer education, infrastructure hardening, regular security testing and auditing, and data backup and recovery planning.

Implementing a robust cybersecurity strategy can go a long way in protecting PSPs from the most common cyber threats, and prevent financial and reputational damage resulting from a successful attack.