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The role of digital identity in combating cybercrime

Cybercrime is constantly on the rise and, when handled securely, digital identity can play a major role in combating it.

Posted by Felix Gerlach

A report by a UK-based insurance group estimated that every 19 seconds one small business gets hacked in the United Kingdom - reinstating the need for enhanced cybersecurity and data protection.

The rapid pace at which our lives are becoming digitized is inescapable. The increasing amount of personal data that is now online - think payment details, health records, online purchases - raise concerns about data security and user authentication.

Online verification powers most of our everyday tasks, be it logging into our apps or devices, shopping online, or managing digital wallets. In an attempt to create a smarter world, technology has amplified the ability to blur the lines between the virtual space and the physical world. In today’s IoT-driven environment, a better digital experience is made possible largely by sourcing data.

Here’s where digital identity plays a crucial role - it enables the user to control access to their data, while operating from anywhere.

In a digital space where online products, services, and banks interact with their customer’s data, stronger user authentication and digital identity are important parameters to achieving better cybersecurity.

This has prompted many banks to nudge their way into identifying enhanced digital identity models - ones that allow facial, voice, and fingerprint recognition. The technology takes a more progressive angle and reduces some of the bigger pain points for customers, be it multiple passwords across different systems, friction across various online transactions, or securing data online.

The true risk of data storage

Companies are exposed to multiple risks through their increasing reliance on various systems and applications. When multiple accounts are interlinked, a data breach on one platform can cascade to a bigger crack in the system, causing financial mayhem and exposing a large amount of confidential data.

With rising numbers of fraudsters infiltrating user accounts through mobile bots or remote access attacks, businesses that leverage on universal digital identity networks have a leg up when it comes to user authentication and providing a secure network for digital identification.

Better yet, by leveraging machine intelligence and tapping into risk-based authentication, users are alerted in real-time if the system detects fraudulent activity - a significant step in improving cybersecurity and detecting online fraud.

This is particularly crucial for the financial sector - one which has been reportedly bearing the brunt of both human-initiated and automated attacks.

The research company LexisNexis highlighted that while online takeover attacks declined globally by over 50%, the financial industry saw a staggering 107% spike in fraudulent activity.

The rising numbers force organizations to enable enhanced security features, while still complying with demands for data privacy and providing a low friction, seamless experience for the customer. This flags the need for companies to rethink user verification and their approach to digital identity.

Companies need to actively adapt to the changing face of technology by evolving from more traditional methods of user authentication. The usage of stolen (login or identity) data could be used to create fraudulent accounts for credit cards, fake insurance policies or loans, oftentimes risking the company’s reputation and resulting in chargebacks.

Helping businesses secure their product and maintain a high conversion rate

Digital identity platforms will play an increasingly pivotal role in securing personal data and combating cybercrime. With personal data pitched as a profitable market, it’s important that users have control over their information and avoid room for data manipulation.

Passbase enables end users to create a universally trusted digital identity, providing them the option to reuse it anywhere on the internet again to authenticate themselves. The user gets to decide what data to share and whom to share it with.

The platform also provides companies the option to check the accounts tagged to all its users and perform anti money laundering checks. This helps companies sift through and remove fake accounts from the company’s database.

With enterprises seeing a rise in digital transactions, relying on customer verification through centralized servers belonging to Google, Facebook, etc. can make it vulnerable to breaches. A bigger problem is where authorities have the provision to revoke access or delete users' accounts. Passbase’s universal digital identity will help enterprises tackle this problem by granting users more control over their personal data.

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