The Biggest Enemy of Conversion: False Positives
False positives in cybersecurity are a major issue for businesses that have security systems. It is important to understand this problem and address it. Companies need tools to identify false positives, improve their efficiency, and minimize the risk of loss. Continue to learn more about one of the biggest enemies of conversion: false positives.
What is the term False-Positive
False-positive is actually an umbrella term for false positives and false negatives. Even though these two situations are almost opposite of each other, both of them point in one direction; a bad call by the system. Let’s shed a light on false positives.
Same question but different, I guess
A false positive happens when a piece of content has been flagged as suspicious and rejected because of it. Basically a false positive is a piece of data in your system that is incorrectly considered to be an attack. This can happen in a number of different ways, but the most common example is when a cybersecurity solution makes a mistake while analyzing. In this case, the customer will be flagged as suspicious and any request from the customer will be rejected. Because the system is not doing its job correctly, it’s easy to falsely label someone as a malicious user or even a hacker.
In my previous work experiences, after a SQL Injection attack, my first thought was: “Proof there is an attack on our system”. I did not have a good understanding of the true nature of the attack until I reviewed my networks. The result was a false positive in a security tool. While it’s true that false positives are rare, there were numerous times I thought I was right about a potential attack and it turned out to be a false positive.
What is False Negative
Since we clear what false positives are now we can move to false negatives. False negatives are, as we pointed earlier almost the opposite of false positives. It means that a cybersecurity system instead of labeling a customer as an attacker, this time it labels a hacker as a visitor. Therefore it creates a security breach and clears the way for the attacker to get a hold of your data.
How does it affect companies
I can almost hear you say “Is that very common?” and “How does it affect me and how much it costs?”. In a company, the false alarm rate can be up to 40%. That is shocking to hear but even more shocking to hear is that; companies lose an average of 2,79%, emphasis on average, of their revenue because of false positives. That number is actually more than chargeback costs. These events usually occur in campaign times so basically when a company spends thousands of dollars to get more customers.
False positives hurt small businesses even more because they already have fewer customers than huge companies. They can not afford to lose some of them. In order to, decrease the damage that can be caused by false positives, you should choose the right tools or track requests and scan for false positives. But it can be late when you discover them so after you discover them try to solve the root problem that causes it.