Is identity theft responsible for a rise in account breaches and payment fraud?
BBC News has just reported a 31% rise in the number of people falling victim to identity theft in the UK. But why is this number rising and what can be done to combat this growing risk to security online?
Stolen identities are increasingly being sold on internet forums, causing ID theft and account breaches to soar as details are shared around the world in an extremely short timeframe. The number of identity theft victims reportedly rose by 31% to over 32,000 in the first three months of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014. 80% of these identity thefts were attempted online and businesses need to take responsibility for protecting and educating their genuine customers.
Personal ID information can be obtained by fraudsters via hacking or phishing techniques that fool people into clicking, downloading or entering information on false websites. Once they have personal information such as names, dates of birth and addresses, fraudsters can pose as the person, allowing them to complete transactions in their name, often before the person realises their account has been compromised.
In the last year alone, we have seen businesses struggle with an exponential rise in account takeovers – often by hundreds of percentage points and in multiple cases businesses were suffering from tenfold increases in account takeover before we began working with them.
To combat this growing threat, online businesses need to use modern, intelligent prevention technologies that can automatically identify suspicious patterns in online activity from a range of devices and locations around the world. Educating people to make their personal information more secure with stronger authentication is vital in fighting back against fraud, but merchants need to ensure they are also doing their utmost to recognise fraudulent activity and stop it before it can do any damage.