COVID-19 Is Shining Spotlight on Fraud and Identity Threats

  • Keith McGill, Head of Fraud & ID at Equifax UK

  • 31.07.2020 03:30 pm
  • Digital Identity
  • 49

The current pandemic has forced rapid and wholesale changes to our lifestyles and opened the digital doorway for opportunistic fraudsters, escalating threat levels to new highs. This in turn has accelerated the pace of digital transformation for businesses and a pathway to securer online platforms. 

With unfamiliar business procedures and fast-tracked digitisation, lockdown has been a fraudster’s dream, as they prey on new digital migrants used to more traditional online interactions. As well as malware and phishing, fresh attack opportunities are emerging as housebound consumers grow their digital presence across e-commerce, media streaming and even gaming platforms.

Third party impersonation is rising and the full effects of this may not be seen for some time. Across businesses, COVID-19 is shining the spotlight on sub-optimal processes, particularly in ID verification and customer onboarding. Many companies are relying on weak, tactical verification solutions, such as documents received via email, as they wrestle with squeezed budgets and other looming business pressures.

Despite these short term hurdles, it’s encouraging that COVID-19 has triggered a sea change for identity verification. Greater digitisation is the direction of travel and robust solutions such as biometrics will flourish. The old customer experience trade-off between speed and security is fading as biometrics marry the seamless with the safe, and a wave of new interest still points to 2020 as the year biometrics fully take hold in the ID ecosystem.

Not all businesses are agile, and the pandemic could separate the winners and the losers, but those adopting the safer verification technology will stand the test of time. While higher vigilance than ever is needed right now, a securer landscape is on the horizon.

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