Every single day, data breaches happen. In 2016 alone, data information was stolen by the millions. These data breaches not only affect merchants, but also affect the larger financial institutions such as credit bureaus, credit card companies, and banks that have large amounts of information on consumers. With today’s technology, you can purchase someone’s stolen identity data for around four dollars, then learn enough about them to commit fraud through strolling their social media sites. The economies around the world lose trillions of dollars annually to fraud. When a consumer’s identity data is stolen, the effects can be as simple as a nuisance or extreme enough to cause emotional and financial trauma.
Luckily, your business can store customer data securely through technologies such as a strong encryption, which is what we suggest at RedWave Technology Group, an experienced IT service provider in Birmingham AL. The encryption will make the data useless to the hacker. There are other ways, though, that criminals can access your customers’ data. Some ways they do this are through using malware attacks that compromise your employees’ devices or through using social sites to get information from employees. This can make it very tricky to prevent data loss and data breaches for businesses. Though the last decade has seen many tools deployed to help businesses secure their data, identity fraud is still rampant.
With data theft prominent, what can a business do to protect their data? Are there technologies available that can help a business keep fraudsters out? Encryption technology has been available to businesses for over 20 years, yet many businesses still do not effectively use this technology to encrypt their data. Because of this, the e-commerce industry developed an approach to tokenize a customer’s ID and their transaction data. Now, if a business is breached and has its data stolen, the fraudster is unable to use the tokens, thus making their attack pointless.
Many businesses have also begun using multi-factor authentication technologies in tandem with better digital identity verification to help fight against fraud. With stolen data being more available, the new digital identity verification technology is combining digital information with offline data, such as the name, address, and phone number of the consumer. Though fraudsters can easily fake someone else’s name and address, it is a challenge for them to fake the person’s social network connections. These connections are the link that vouches for who we say we are online.
By using the cutting-edge digital identification verification process, fraudsters are identified in real time through machine learning and predictive analytics that can process large amounts of data from social networks, apps and websites, and bureaus. They use this information to determine if an identity is fake and to predict if a person or business is at risk of identity theft.
Opportunities in the Mobile World
With e-commerce shifting from the Internet to mobile devices, businesses are given more of an opportunity to fight against fraud and identity theft. On mobile devices, applications generally do not have a mode that allows the person to be anonymous like websites typically do. When a user installs a mobile app, they are required to set up an account. By using this enrollment process, a business can employ a multi-factor authentication process.
Once the consumer’s identity is verified through the process of digital identity verification, their mobile device is fingerprinted. This fingerprint generates a unique identifier for that mobile device. The consumer is then required to use biometrics, such as their face or fingerprint, to use the app. All this information is then included in the app to help tokenize the mobile device.
Once the customer has been tokenized, if the business doubts that a transaction is being done by someone other than the legitimate consumer, the business can invoke its multi-factor authentication by asking the user to further authenticate by taking steps to prove their identity, such as verifying through fingerprints. These extra steps can make it very difficult for someone to commit fraud, even if stolen data is in their possession.
It is important for every business to protect their customer data by digital identity verification technologies when consumers are enrolled and vetted. Multi-factor authentication is imperative for transactions that are at high risk. By using the available technologies, consumers and businesses can be protected from data theft and make fraud something of the past. Contact us at (205) 917-5757 to discuss how we can help you protect your customer data.