Published on: October 20, 2022
SafetyDetectives spoke with Oleksandr Lishchynskyy, Chief Technical Officer and Member of The Management Board at RIA.com about some of the cybersecurity challenges that face one of the most popular Ukrainian marketplace websites, he also spoke about the steps they take to prevent fraud for both their real estate and automobile marketplaces.
SD: Let’s start by talking about RIA.com, can you please tell us about the website?
OL: RIA.com is a Ukrainian IT company that develops the famous Ukrainian marketplaces AUTO.RIA, DOM.RIA and RIA.com. Our mission is to create a proven internet. Our vision is a trusted marketplace for vehicles and real estate. RIA.com is a part of the international company RIA.com Marketplaces OÜ.
Our two most popular products are:
- AUTO.RIA – A marketplace for the sale and purchase of verified cars.
- DOM.RIA – A marketplace for buying and renting verified housing.
Both marketplaces are accessible through the website websites and we have apps for iOS and Android devices.
SD: What are the cybersecurity challenges involved in running a site like RIA.com?
OL: We have a lot of exciting cybersecurity challenges. Firstly, we have more than 10 million users. We have to protect all their personal information from leaking on the web or being stolen. We have encountered cyberattackers that have tried to steal user account information, but we have excellent cybersecurity, and we successfully safeguarded all of the information. Another challenge we fave from time to time is that we experience data parsing from competitors and data miners. And once again, our cybersecurity team effectively solves all these challenges.
SD: Has there been an increase in hacking attempts or cyberattacks directed at your site from Russia as part of the attack on Ukraine? If so, how do you prevent them?
OL: Fortunately, we have never cooperated with Russia, and we don’t notice any cyberattacks from Russia on our marketplaces.
SD: Why is a VPN such an important online security tool for businesses and individuals?
OL: Since the beginning of 2020, due to COVID-19, our employees have switched to a remote work format. Since then, all interaction with our local services has taken place over VPN.
Additionally, a VPN is one of the tools to ensure anonymity and personal security for those who need it.
SD: How do you provide security for people buying goods from other users?
OL: As I said earlier, the mission of our company is to build a proven internet. We create systems of which every ad placed on our platform must be a verified product.
If someone does not want us to check their product before placing it on the platform, they will be refused. There are several stages of verification of ads placed on our marketplaces. For example, at AUTO.RIA, we check the car by VIN code, technical parameters at the service station, and other factors. At DOM.RIA, service inspectors personally photograph each room and checks out the views from the windows, and they take 360 panoramic photos. Additionally, they double-check the address, square footage, and price of the apartments.
We do all of this for the sake of building a proven car and real estate market.
SD: How do you moderate the ads that people post to ensure there are scams or suspicious data?
OL: We use a hybrid type of moderation. Most ads can be moderated automatically using AI. If the robot is in doubt, then the ad is submitted for manual moderation. Moderation takes into account many factors. This approach allows us to detect most scam ads at the moderation stage. If someone invents new scam models, then we immediately retrain our detection model, so we can catch it the next time.
SD: Is there anything else you’d like to add about how to stay one step ahead of cyberattacks?
OL: I would advise you to always update the software you are using. It is also worth conducting regular training for employees on cybersecurity because, in some cases, the source of danger is uninformed employees. I also find programs for monitoring anomalies in the network very useful.