Why online alcohol industry needs robust age verification solutions?

Why online alcohol industry needs robust age verification solutions?

“Can I see some ID?” The question brick and mortar booze stores ask or at least should ask to verify that the buyer is of legal age. These ID check laws are stringent in almost every jurisdiction. For instance, selling age-restricted products to minors is a punishable crime with a penalty of up to 20,000 pounds, as well as, causing significant reputational damage to the owner. Retailers responded by placing age verification checks at checkout.

However, with increasing sales and purchases happening over the internet, how these strict age checks should be carried out? This is becoming a challenging obstacle for online retailers of liquor products. It’s quite obvious that regulations apply to the sale of liquor both online and offline. But the problem for online retailers is arguably greater as the customers could hide their identity behind the anonymity that internet offers.

Even though there has been a considerable growth of age checking in the offline environment, which has contributed to a notable restriction in the illegal and underage sales of alcohol, it is becoming clear that online alcohol sales are a potential area of vulnerability for the retail sector. The dilemma is that most of these online sellers didn’t implant verification checks. Some of the major retailers do have some safeguarding restraints but the digital world is enormous and borderless. The current checks aren’t enough and more needs to be done by all retailers to ensure that underage alcohol sale is restricted. 

What should the retailers do?

Online retailers need to make sure that they are not selling age-restricted products to the people under minimum legal age. The minimum age requirements are different in every jurisdiction, however, the online retailers should follow the most widely used minimum age requirement all over the world. 

This means the retailers should set up effective age verification systems capable of identifying and verifying the age of customers to ensure they are above the legal age to purchase alcohol. When accessing which systems or checks could be more suitable, businesses should consider all legal requirements and exercise due diligence to avoid committing an offence. These legal requirements are not only a retailer’s defence in consumer protection regulations but they are also an ethical duty of the retailer. 

These systems should be regularly observed and updated to identify any issues or to keep pace with the advancement in technology. Ordinarily speaking, there is no definite answer to what constitutes taking all feasible anticipations and exercise all due diligence possible. 

Conventional age authentication checks unlikely to satisfy due diligence

Many online retail stores place simple checks and transfer the responsibility of verification to their customers. The simple age confirmation checkboxes are the most common type of restraints set up on the websites. Here are some of the checks that are, unfortunately, not enough to verify the age of purchasers.

  • Relying on the customers to confirm their age
  • Using simple disclaimers to make an assumption
  • Using an accept statement for the users to confirm that they have read all the terms and conditions and are eligible to purchase their product.
  • Accepting payments through credit card without verification that the card belongs to the person making purchases.
  • Placing tick boxes to ask customers to confirm that they are of legal age

More convincing age verification checks

Age verification in the rapid pace digital world is a challenging and cumbersome task for both customers and businesses alike. Here are some of the possible precautions that retailers could implement to comply with age verification regulations. 

Age verification on delivery

One simple age verification check could be that retailers rely on delivery drivers to request the age proof at the time of delivery. However, relying on the third party courier delivery services may not be a proper way as the third party could deny the responsibility for age verification.

Collect in-store policy

Another scenario where businesses could perform stringent age verification is by introducing the collect in-store policy. This strategy may work for some of the retailers having both online and street presence but for businesses offering products online only this strategy will not work.

Online age verification services

In this tech-savvy environment, online age verification solutions have become more convenient. With these solutions in place, businesses can now implement multiple layers of checks to verify the age of the customer. 

Online age verification is a secure way to verify and validate the age of customers making purchases online. Using government-issued identity documents to verify the age of customers, both businesses and customers can help build a safer online market place for age-restricted products such as alcohol. By using AI-based identity verification solutions, businesses can verify the identity of a user more securely and in real-time without extra delays. This not only serves as a stringent verification check but also enhances the customer experience. Without interrupting the customer journey businesses could comply with all regulatory requirements around age-restricted products.

With increasing legal and ethical implications, it is necessary for businesses to employ a more technologically advanced age verification solution that serves multiple purposes at the same time. AI-based online identity verification solutions could help online alcohol retailers to restrict under-age users in real-time without creating obstacles for legitimate customers.  

Enhancing security in the cryptocurrency world with KYC verification

Enhancing security in the cryptocurrency world with KYC verification

Almost 20 years after the legislation on combating money laundering, regulators around the world are working to create global standards for the Know Your Customer (KYC) rule. These standards are applied now, in particular, to the financial and technological sectors and cryptocurrencies. The technology sector, which began with idealized anonymous peer-to-peer payments, now takes into account the security of traditional finance, which means compliance with KYC regulations.

Even though technology in some aspects has stepped far forward, the attitude of cryptocurrency to KYC was sometimes dismissive, and in some cases criminally negligent. The attitude is changing, but the debate over how the KYC rules and cryptocurrency interact is only flaring up.

What is Know Your Customer verification?

Due to the digitization of the international financial system and the increasingly stringent regulation of the industry, regulatory compliance is on the rise. What used to be a secondary area that occasionally caused a headache for investment bankers and traders is now becoming an important centre for big data processing.

KYC is the process of checking who your customers are, either they are who they claim to be or someone else. In the period from 2000 to 2010 in most jurisdictions: in the USA and Canada, in most European countries, South Africa, Russia, India, Singapore, South Korea, China, and Japan legislation was passed for KYC and AML regulation (anti-money laundering laws). As a result, banks and related financial institutions began to comply with the requirements of anti-money laundering legislation.

Cryptocurrency exchanges are currently considering fiat ramps as the main component of their product. Such changes have led to dependence on banks and payment systems, requiring the same level of compliance that they adhere to.

For almost all organizations involved in payments, KYC rules are designed to prevent criminal activities such as fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing, the use of stolen funds, bribery, corruption, and other suspicious financial transactions. Today, most of the KYC rules are associated with strict regulatory compliance, often in the name of protecting consumer rights. But ultimately it is a risk management process.

Often, large companies themselves manage their own KYC rules, this is done by the staff. Small companies, by contrast, outsource verification processes to third parties. Regardless of who is involved in KYC, the process usually does not change. Clients must send identification documents: address, bank statements, and sometimes explain the source of their funds.

Keeping confidential documents is as important as using them. In the pre-cloudy era, banks had to duplicate documents to insure themselves against the loss of a document. Files were copied and stored on various unrelated servers.

Thanks to Amazon and other cloud storage providers, institutions and third-party verification providers now encrypt AES-256 KYC guidelines and securely store them on cloud servers like Amazon S3.

KYC in cryptocurrency

In the early years of Bitcoin and the first cryptocurrency exchanges, the KYC rule was practically not known. Users could make transactions without revealing their identity, often without even creating an account.

Now, most major exchanges and crypto-financial services providers are facing pressure from government agencies and have taken appropriate measures to implement the KYC principles. Users expressed their dissatisfaction, but they are already faced with these processes and accept them in their daily lives. Cryptocurrency is still regarded as an anarchist financial instrument within its community. And yet, when it comes to shareholders, business needs to play by the rules to attract investment and achieve faster growth. 

Despite the work being done to eradicate illegal or unethical behaviour and legitimize the industry, more than two-thirds of cryptocurrency exchanges last year still did not adopt sufficient and adequate KYC principles. 

Those who continue to work without applying the KYC rule will be constantly at risk, and most likely they will have to work in obscure or secret jurisdictions that protect themselves from lawsuits. This approach is unlikely to fill users with confidence. Ultimately, they will gain access to “dark money” and a small number of law-abiding, privacy-conscious consumers. As a result of this, the expansion of the exchange will become virtually impossible.

Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) was once seen as the next wave of cryptocurrency exchanges. It is understood that anonymous peer-to-peer trading can solve many problems with centralized exchanges, including the need for KYC rules. Large exchanges have already implemented their versions of DEX, but they have selectively chosen the advantages of decentralization: lower infrastructure costs increased security and user-controlled tools. 

Cryptocurrency is a world-class game. If you want to conquer new markets, you must demonstrate achievements in the field of corporate responsibility. Selective disintegration is the best answer to this challenge. Finding a suitable provider that can ensure uninterrupted operation with minimal cost and guarantee data security is the real challenge that the industry is facing.

The future of KYC

We are currently witnessing the advent of RegTech 3.0, a regulatory technology that digitizes a wide range of regulatory compliance processes. RegTech technology is designed to reduce costs, improve consumer protection and identify risks long before regulatory authorities intervene. This technology uses a combination of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, RPA (robotic automation of technological processes and production) and biometrics, but at the same time signals significant changes in the strategic direction. Instead of an isolated review of consumers and their behaviour, regulatory compliance is now seen as a valuable source of data.

Self-governing identity is another concept actively explored by researchers in the blockchain world who are looking for an alternative to centralized identity on the Internet, where verifiers, not verified ones, are under control.

But for the time being, machine learning and biometrics are considered as the potential technologies to enhance online security and verify the identity of customers. With tangible results in the form of customer satisfaction and data security, investment in better technologies is recognised as a key to an efficient financial ecosystem. By using artificial intelligence for real-time and swift KYC verification, the crypto industry can get a real push. 

5 reasons why passwords are no more safe - What’s next?

5 reasons why passwords are no more safe – What’s next?

Online platforms are using passwords to secure the privacy and data of their users – but are they secure?  

Passwords started with the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS), an operating system introduced at MIT in 1961. It was the first computer system to implement a password login. We are in 2020 and the decades of passwords usage made it the major security protocol. Although the increase in data breaches, social engineering attacks, and cyber crimes has tarnished the reputation of passwords. But still, the masses are using it as a medium to ensure customer privacy and data security on their platforms. Even the banks are using passwords to allow online access to their customers. But the research and increasing cyber crimes hint that passwords are losing their value. Newer technologies such as two-factor authentication and AI-based biometric authentication are the trends slowly building up. 

A survey found that one out of five American consumers has experienced an online account compromise. And these frauds are possible due to a lack of efficiency in password security. 

Data breaches are a common way to get hold of someone else’s confidential data. 4.1 billion records were lost in the first half of 2019 (Forbes). And the data stolen in these data breaches are used to gain illegal access to online platforms, protected with inefficient passwords. But why are the passwords inefficient? 

Why passwords are losing value?

Passwords are in use for decades but gradually people are losing faith in the security provided by passwords. When it comes to actual impenetrable security, businesses prefer other security means such as biometrics and two-factor authentication along with passwords. Even cell phones now have biometric unlock feature to secure the device. So passwords are no more the favorite security tool.  

  • The traditional authentication checks 

Passwords are still limited to traditional binary and alphanumeric figures. The typical input for password-protected access is still username and password. Guessing someone’s username is not difficult. And people use the same email address to onboard several online platforms.  The research found that in the U.S the average email address is associated with 130 accounts. This leads to easy access to someone’s email ID. Next comes the password. It is also the same in most of the cases. Google found that 52% of the people use the same password for multiple accounts and 13% use the same password for all accounts. 

  • Changing passwords frequently is not enough 

The supporters of passwords always say that frequently changed passwords are the key to security. But let’s see how this frequent password changing mechanism works. The best practice is to change the password every month and the password created must be complex enough to make it difficult to crack. But does it actually works this way? No, it doesn’t. 

Users find this password changing thing very hectic and most of the time they don’t change their passwords frequently. Research on 1,000 U.S google users found that one-third of the users change their account passwords one to two times a year. 10.9% of respondents said that they never change their passwords. So it shows users, generally don’t bother sticking to the secure password policies. 

If we talk about the strength of passwords, people generally tend to create easy to remember passwords especially when they are directed to change passwords every month, they make easier passwords and save them somewhere (written and digital form) or shares with a colleague. 69% of users still share their password with a colleague. National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) 

So the user behavior is key behind the inefficiency of password security. 57% of the people who have fallen for a phishing attack still haven’t changed their password in the UK. 

Hence the passwords security mechanism doesn’t have any concrete measures to make the people develop a habit to change their passwords or to develop strong passwords. The web portal could send reminders for password change and security alerts, but could not force them to do it. 

  • Complexity is not paying off

It is often considered that strong passwords are difficult to hack. But still, there is a risk of hacking or forgetting the password. People tend to forget difficult and complex passwords, so they frequently reset the passwords. It affects the user experience on your online platform. 

The hackers are well aware of the science of strong passwords, Brute force attacks are used to decode these passwords. A Brute force attack is conducted by trying all the machine-generated combinations for a password unless a match is found. So even strong passwords might fall for a brute force attack. 

  • Hackers are becoming smarter 

Hackers are becoming smarter and they know well how to use the technology. Social engineering (phishing attacks) is the commonly used technique that helps them get the required information from the people. 50% of internet users receive at least one phishing email a day and 97% of them can’t actually identify a phishing email. So it is very easy for a hacker to get into someone’s system and hack log in credentials of a user. 

Also, the hackers are aware of all the password protection techniques and know well how to surpass them.

  • Readily available password reset options  

Due to phishing attacks, it is not difficult for hackers to enter the system of a person. It is quite easy to enter someone’s mailbox and get access to confidential emails of a person. Every login page allows the user to make several login attempts and an option to reset a password. Some take 24 hours to reset a password, others do it right away. If a hacker has access to someone’s account it can easily use the password reset link to invade an account. Given the practice of using the same passwords on all accounts, it becomes, even more, easier to hack an account. Because most of the online businesses are using passwords to protect an account. 

What does the future hold for user onboarding?

With the decrease in the value of passwords, businesses are looking for new ways to replace passwords. Biometric verification solutions and 2FA delivers high security that passwords lack. 

Biometric authentication

Biometric authentication is one of the fastly rising technologies used in this world. Biometric authentication solutions use face verification to allow access to an online account. It covers all that lacked in password systems. 

It is almost impossible to manipulate a biometric authentication system. It uses a liveness detection mechanism to identify paper backed images used for verification. A real-person must make the verification to get past the security checks. Minor facial movements are traced to check that a real person is behind the camera. Unique facial features and contour points are detected with a 3D depth perception technique to identify paper-backed and photoshopped images. 

The picture of the real user is saved in the database in the form of a mathematical formula and used to compare the facial image submitted for login. Artificial Intelligence is used in these solutions to perform verification on the user. 

Biometric login is quite easier to use for the end-users due to vast usage of selfie cameras in mobile phones. Also, these solutions deliver high accuracy (98.67%). So, due to all these perks, biometric signage is the next big thing and businesses are using it to increase security on their platforms. 

Two-factor authentication

It is often used in combination with passwords. 2FA sends a unique code to the mobile phone of the user, that is required to log in to his account. 

To wrap up, passwords are losing value due to high risk. This lack of efficiency of passwords requires businesses to explore new user security techniques. Strong security measures that allow fast logins enhances user experience. As the ultimate goal is user satisfaction, businesses must think of giving up the old security practices, to gain higher customer value.

Top 13 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2020

Top 13 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2020

Cybersecurity threats are ostensibly ubiquitous in this internetworking infrastructure. Internet-based technologies and their revolution with intend to increase efficient connectivity came up with severe challenges in the form of attacks. This digital world, no surprise will be prone to high-frequency diverse attacks in the near future. From end-user devices to database and internet data centre servers, all are equally vulnerable to cyberattacks. Whether they are increased software and hardware fragmentation that makes the system vulnerable and easy for cybercriminals to exploit or bad actors in the system who act malevolently in the systems, cyber-risks are not going anywhere.

Therefore, it is crucially important to stay a step ahead of malicious elements to shield the systems better, integrate security, and protect sensitive information, as well as organization reputation concurrently. An assessment of threats dictates the cybersecurity trends to emerge this year. The following are some cybersecurity predictions for 2020.

Major data breaches

The year 2019 hunted with data breaches badly that is expected to continue in the year 2020 as well. A major data leak is predicted to happen in the cloud. However, some cloud services use security tools and algorithms to protect the system from a data breach, but it is not sure whether they take assistance from third-party or have their built-in tools. However, in 2019 huge data breaches occur varying from Orvibo, whose database leakage compromised 2 Billion people, TrueDialog Data Breach that affected more than 1 Billion consumers, leakage of 4 billion social media profiles and many more. Collectively about 1200 total data breaches are recorded in the previous year. More will be flooded in the year 2020 due to easy availability of data on the online web and insufficient account verification measures that could make credential-stuffing and identity theft fraud easy for hackers. 

Frequent use of biometrics for authentication purposes

Taking into account the number of data breaches and uncontrolled access being a major cause of cyberattacks, biometric authentication will be used in online platforms to authenticate each onboarding entity, instead of using traditional identity authentication methods such as PIN/password authentication. Using unique biological traits of individuals in the form of facial recognition, biometrics will be penetrating the security industry to fight against the security issue of unauthorized access over confidential data. The biometric sign-in system will be integrated with online systems in 2020, to authenticate each identity.

Cybersecurity Evolution

In the year 2020, the duties and role of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) will be redefined to provide updated strategies and techniques to protect the network against cyberattacks. In generating higher revenue, CISOs will be playing an important role by revamping the approaches towards cybersecurity. Awareness will be given in companies and businesses to protect their confidential databases against severe cyberattacks.

Artificial Intelligence will be harnessed

Businesses will be taking advantage of technological advancements in the year 2020 by deploying Artificial Intelligence solutions and replacing human effort with machines. AI-based algorithms are used to streamline business operations. Not only this, but fraudsters will also be using AI techniques to forge the online systems and fool them. While moving with the pace of businesses, hackers will be using innovative ways to commit attacks and exploit weaknesses in the system. Now we would have to see whether machines will be protecting themselves better or techniques of fraudsters will be stronger.

Artificial intelligence can also help in customer identification in online platforms using facial recognition technology and a strong algorithm to fight against the spoofing attacks of online users and identifying individuals with better precision and accuracy. AI will also be used to probe the entire network, detect vulnerabilities and to develop a strong traffic screening system.

Attacks on IoT devices

The Internet of Things (IoT), in the year 2020 will be prone to major data breaches. Although minor attacks have already seen in the previous year but being IoT penetrating into various industries, it could be a hunting spot for cybercriminals. These attacks can take down a huge network of connected devices, attack the central hub where all the data is transmitted or even data can be tempered in transit. The year 2020 could be tough for the IoT industry. 

High-frequency supply chain attacks

Through malware and malicious executable injections, attackers will attempt to supply chain attacks by accessing the legitimate software supply chains. These attacks will be targeting third-party service providers and software vendors during the phase of software development. The level of supply chain attacks will increase attempted in more sophisticated ways in a huge volume. The year 2020 could be tough for dealing with supply chain attacks and malware would be hard to remove from the system even if they are formatted. 

5G network security

5G networks are the latest cellular network technology that introduces high-speed internetworking services having a high data rate and bandwidth. The infrastructure that supports 5G networks will be prone to vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers. Bad actors in the networks will be forging them through maliciously programmed IoT devices. 5G supply chain is sensitive with respect to malware and poor hardware and software design. Hence, the year 2020 could leave a negative impact on the 5G network when it will be compromising highly confidential data and response against the triad of information security i.e. confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

Ransomware Targets Clouds

Ransomeware targeted major platforms with virulent pulls against industries. In the year 2020, ransomware will be focusing on the cloud. Businesses that are moving all their data to clouds and servers are highly predicted to get attacked with ransomware. Moreover, the businesses adopting IoT technology and opt to secure all the data over the cloud can be prone to such attacks. Virtual environments and databases lie in the same category. 

Multi-Factor Authentication will Reside in Mid-sized Enterprises

In 2020, mid-sized companies will be using multi-factor authentication methods. It is due to major data breaches that took place in the dark web in millions in which unauthorized access to the major reason. Ensuring multi-factor authentication deters the risks of uncontrolled access over user accounts and confidential databases. Moreover, online users that use insecure passwords can be protected from several cyberattacks. 

Multi-factors authentication methods were considered a long and complex process for users that resulted in increase process abandonment rate but now it has got streamlines. Using biometric authentication methods and SMS-based authentication, the process ahs got frictionless which can be seen with the high adoption rate by mid-sized market. 

Card-not-present fraud will increase

The emergence of e-commerce will stay the same or may increase in the coming years. Fraudsters are using innovative ways of attacking this industry. Among those, Card-not-present (CNP) fraud will be the most common in the year 2020. CNP fraud is expected to reach 14% by 2023 which will cost retailers about $130 billion. Omnichannel shopping attacks will be rising by stealing the user credentials across these channels. 

‘CASE’ concept will arise

Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric (CASE) trend will be emerging. With the rise of 5G technologies and IoT devices that promote the highly interconnected networks and the use of open-source software, bad actors will be exploiting weaknesses in the network. Malware injection and attacking the backend systems, mobile applications and their infrastructure and all autonomous technologies will be highly prone to attacks in 2020. 

Evolution of smart cities

Smart cities will be harnessing embedded technologies and cybersecurity. The development of smart cities using smart technologies will continue to grow in 2020. Using innovative solutions to real-world problems such as traffic control, lighting, safety operation, and mobility solutions, smart cities will be formed. However, cyber-attacks such as malicious executable injection in remote transmissions will also be noticed that will impact the daily life of millions.

Automation in cybersecurity defenses

Aginst cybersecurity defenses, advanced technologies and algorithms will be used. Through Artificial intelligence and neural networks based underlying technologies, automated systems will be developed that will differentiate the traffic in the network and allow only honest nodes to communicate and deny requests from unauthorized ones, AI-based technologies will be automating the cybersecurity defense systems in 2020. 

4 Fraud Prevention Tips For Your E-commerce Business this Holiday Season

4 Fraud Prevention Tips For Your E-commerce Business this Holiday Season

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, e-commerce fraud risk is a glaring reality that needs to be accounted for before it translates into large business losses. By 2019, there will be an estimated 1.92 billion global digital buyers that need to be served, as well as authenticated. While this opens up countless business opportunities for vendors, it also indicates the need to single out bad actors that commit high-value identity fraud every year. 

Cybercriminals and scammers are catching up growing digital buying trends and breaking their way into legitimate online transactions. The holiday season is the ideal time for hackers and identity thieves to commit identity fraud due to the large volume of sales that are processed in a small amount of time. 

According to data from ACI Worldwide, fraud attempts spiked by 30% over the previous holiday season, in millions of online transactions especially on Christmas Eve. Fraudsters are trying to get past busy sales representatives and burdened software that miss the smallest details required to a naughty holiday buyer. 

Here are 4 tips for your business to defend itself from E-commerce Fraud this holiday season: 

1- Understand holiday e-commerce fraud types

With every passing day, we’re looking at innovative forms of online buying options, such as P2P payment gateways and social media buying solutions. While it’s not fair to say that the digital buying economy is a new concept, it is also true that firms are still struggling to understand the types of risk they are faced with. 

Digital ID theft and fraud is the most common and well known type of online scam that has affected millions of people across the world, and caused consumers to lose up to $1.48 billion in 2018, according to the Insurance Information Institute. During the holiday season, the percentage of fraudulent transaction is expected to increase manifold, especially card-not-present fraud. 

Other types of fraud include: 

  • Account Takeover Fraud – Legitimate accounts are hacked by imposters to make purchases 
  • Phishing Scams – Fraudulent attempts to gain personal user information
  • Credit Card Fraud – Fraud committed using a credit card as illegal source of funds in a transaction 
  • Card-not-present Fraud – Absence of actual card when carrying out a transaction
  • Friendly Fraud – Actual transactions made by cardholders, later disputed by themselves to claim chargebacks

2- Upgrade fraud prevention tools and identity verification services

To find out if your holiday season customers are actually who they claim to be use authentic and reliable verification services. Security barriers in online environments are becoming easy to intercept, as technology lands in the hands of both good and bad actors. 

With the types of frauds listed above, hackers are learning to commit financial crimes without leaving a trace. This is where automated identity verification services with AI based features need to be utilised for strong risk prevention shield. Identifying users at source entails thorough KYC, AML and KYB checks with the following services: 

Specialised features such as liveness detection and consent verification provide users and businesses with a level of trust that is otherwise impossible to achieve with manual verifications for large sales volumes. In this respect, biometric verification is also gaining popularity due it its convenience, especially for mobile users, and can be employed to verify users in a matter of seconds. 

At the same time, it is important to note that automated fraud prevention and identity verification processes need to be used with caution due to the inevitable risk of accepting fraudulent orders, resulting in high chargebacks. Human intelligence is therefore an integral part of the verification process for complete accuracy. 

3- Monitor key e-commerce sales metrics

With fraud prevention software and human review of transactions, it is possible to identify red flags during peak season. Narrowing down geographical location through IP and browser information also helps preventing fraud well in time. Suspicious orders can be identified by looking at buying patterns and understanding how a sudden change in purchase activity can really be from a fraudulent source. 

Marketing and sales metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates and chargebacks must be reported on an ongoing basis by business executives to stay on top of any irregular patterns in e-commerce sales. Sometimes, indicators as simple as unusual delivery addresses or inaccurate customer credentials can impact sales trends for a busy quarter. However, additional authentication methods must be placed to review such anomalies before taking stern action and blacklisting authentic customers erroneously. 

Read more about how you can prevent frauds by following AML and KYC regulations

4- Customise a fraud mitigation plan for the holidays

In 2018, holiday season retail e-commerce spending totalled almost $120 billion, and Cyber Monday in 2019 alone racked up close to $9.4 billion in online spending, the biggest ever recorded. This means greater handling of customers, sales and transactions by regular as well as temporary staff. A fool-proof plan to handle these both manually and digitally must be developed well in advance to ensure the security of successful deliveries. 

To process more orders than usual, sales reps will have to think about the numerous queries that new and returning customers will have. Moreover, process to approve and decline orders also need to be streamlined in order to check for inconsistent personal details such as delivery address and credit card details. 

Well coordinated marketing and sales team are always able to maximise returns from promotions, deals, coupons and website traffic. Any miscommunication at this stage can lead to large financial losses as well as tangible damage to brand reputation. Examining historical patterns in consumer history are also helpful indicators for discerning fraudulent transactions and saving both time and money. 

All in all, e-commerce vendors must steer clear of impending online fraud schemes by employing strict safeguards, as well as becoming aware of newer types of threats that may hurt them, especially in busy holiday season. 

lifelabs hit

LifeLabs Hit By a Data Breach Affecting Personal Information of 15 Million People

Canadian laboratory testing company, LifeLabs, disclosed on Tuesday that it had been a victim of a cyberattack that may have compromised the personal information of approximately 15 million people, mainly in British Columbia and Ontario. 

LifeLabs is the country’s largest private provider of diagnostic testing for health care. In October, it was hit by the attack and it had to pay a ransom to retrieve the stolen data. 

Charles Brown, CEO of LifeLabs told Postmedia said, 

“This is still under police investigation. I just can’t talk about actual details of who did what, (or) how we got contacted (about the ransom demand).”

Privacy agents in Ontario and British Columbia said the company had notified them of the breach on Nov. 1.

According to LifeLabs, the compromised information could contain customers’ names, addresses, email, login, passwords, date of birth, health card number and lab test results. 

The company said it has fixed the system issues and added safeguards to protect customer information. The breach is being jointly investigated by privacy commissioners in British Columbia and Ontario. 

“LifeLabs advised our offices that cybercriminals penetrated the company’s systems, extracting data and demanding a ransom,” the joint statement by the commissioners said. 

The data breach of lab test results affected 85,000 customers from 2016 or earlier located in Ontario. 

The company and its security providers are confident that the information will not be further compromised. 

“I want to emphasize that at this time, our cybersecurity firms have advised that the risk to our customers in connection with this cyber-attack is low and that they have not seen any public disclosure of customer data as part of their investigations, including monitoring of the dark web and other online locations, Brown said in a letter to customers that the company released publicly.

 

New Jersey Hospital System Hit By a Ransomware Attack

New Jersey Hospital System Hit By a Ransomware Attack

One of the largest hospital systems of New Jersey has reported that it was hit by a ransomware attack this month. According to the hospital, the attack disrupted care across its clinics, nursing homes, outpatient centers, psychiatric facility, and 17 hospitals. 

Hackensack Meridian Health said on Friday that the attack began on December 2 and forced it to cancel some surgical and other procedures. It is to be noted that no patients were harmed and the emergency rooms kept treating patients. 

The attack stopped only after the hospital paid a ransom to stop it but the Hackensack Meridian Health didn’t tell how much it paid to regain control over its systems. The system does hold insurance coverage for such emergencies. 

In the statement, Hackensack Meridian Health said,

“Our network’s primary clinical systems are operational, and our IT teams continue working diligently to bring all applications back online safely. Based on our investigation to date, we have no indication that any patient or team member information has been subject to unauthorized access or disclosure.”

Due to the ransomware attack, the hospital rescheduled nonemergency surgeries and doctors and nurses had to deliver care without access to electronic records. The system also said that it was advised by experts not to disclose about the ransomware attack until Friday. The hospitals’ primary clinical systems are back to being operational and the information technology (IT) specialists are working to bring all of its applications back online.

How to Protect Yourself From Cyber Crime in the Holiday Season?

How to Protect Yourself From Cyber Crime in the Holiday Season?

Most people around the world do the majority of their shopping during the holiday season. According to a survey by a TransUnion 2019 Holiday Retail Fraud, about 75% of Americans plan to do at least half of their holiday shopping online this year. 

Although online Christmas shopping enables you to skip humongous crowds at the mall, it does pose some cybersecurity threats. Holidays are a bonanza for cybercriminals and since people are buying a lot of things in a limited time, they don’t stop to check the authenticity of websites. This presents a wide array of opportunities for crooks. 

The surge in cybercrimes affects both shoppers and retailers. For shoppers, their shopping activities to fulfill their holiday shopping checklist turns into a financial nightmare by becoming a victim of cybercrime. Similarly, for retailers, an opportunity to boost sales turns into security chaos that damages the reputation and trust between them and their customers. This is why it becomes imperative to take precautionary measures to protect yourself from the ever-increasing cybercrimes.

Precautionary Measures Against Cybercrime

According to Trustwave’s 2019 Global Security Report, cybercrime is getting more sophisticated. This is why it’s getting harder to discover whether you have been the victim of malware or malicious software. Let’s go through some of the measures you can take to protect yourself from cybercrimes during the holiday season: 

Don’t Click Links in Emails

Emails are the most common methods for gaining access to people’s personal information or identity. This is done through phishing emails, which are essentially ways to trick people into giving their information. A phishing email contains false links asking for you to put your info but they are made to look official and people fall for them. 

Cybercriminals easily disguise themselves as trustworthy sources. It’s remarkably easy for cybercriminals to send you an email from Macy’s, for example, with promotional Christmas deals for you. This results in unwanted downloads or requests for personal information by hackers. 

This is why it is imperative to take notice of a few things before clicking on a link. When doing so, hover the cursor over the link or button. This will show you the website’s address where that link leads to. If the link doesn’t look trustworthy, you should not click it. In order to figure out if the link is credible or not, look for the following anomalies: 

  • Secure e-commerce websites start with ‘https’ not just ‘http’ 
  • If you have to track a package by any couriers, you should visit the site directly and not click the link in the email. 
  • Ensure that the spellings of a website address are correct, as this is a common tactic by fraudsters to trick people. 

Avoid Public Wi-Fi Spots

Although rogue public Wi-Fi spots are tempting to use, they bring a lot of associated risks with them. Fraudsters set up shop at public Wi-Fi locations, which tempt people to connect their devices. This puts people at risk because it is impossible to know if the device has been compromised by spyware or malware. Additionally, it’s easier to intercept data including credit card numbers and passwords on a public network. Before connecting to any public device, make sure that the connection is password protected. You shouldn’t enter any personal or credit card information as well.

Attachments From Retailers

Just like avoiding clicking on email links, you shouldn’t open up any attachments from retailers. Retailers don’t hide deals and promotions in attachments as this is where the attackers hide malware. And these kinds of fake emails aren’t only about retailers and promotions; you could get a fake email that seems to be from a major shipping company like UPS, DHL, FedEx, etc. You have to remember that you can’t track orders that you haven’t requested. 

Avoid Ads and Pop-ups

It’s not just emails that contain malware and viruses. Hackers have become remarkably smart and leave viruses in places, which people tend to click on, especially the ads and pop-ups. By making attractive pops and ads containing lucrative promotions, cybercriminals make sure that people click on these pop-ups. According to a survey, 84% of online shoppers will do their shopping on smartphones to research products and look for coupons. 

This kind of practice is considered as malicious advertising or malvertising. These pop-ups and ads send you to sites that ask for your information and in some cases, infect your devices with harmful adware, spyware, and ransomware. One thing you should remember is that if the promotional deal is legit, it will definitely be on the company’s website. 

e-Skimming

Card skimming has been happening for several years now. This kind of scam normally happens at gas stations or ATMs by installing a device that gathers credit card numbers and information when a user swipes their card. But this practice isn’t confined to ATMs anymore. Cybercriminals install malicious code on a retailer’s website which enables them to gather credit card data when a user checks out. To avoid being a victim of e-Skimming, make sure you pay using a third party such as PayPal, Venmo or Amazon. This assures that the retailers never actually have your credit card information.  

Don’t Fall for Free Offers

During the holiday shopping, there is an explosion of gift card scams and survey. This kind of scam is based around asking people to take surveys in exchange for payments or gift cards. But what actually happens is that when a user clicks through, they are directed to websites that ask for credit card information, Amazon account credentials, etc so they can pay you. When a user types in their information on this site, they are directly giving their information to the attacker. 43% of online shoppers, according to a survey, had their identities stolen during the holiday shopping online. 

Cyber Attacks are More Frequent During the Holiday Season: CISA

Cyber Attacks are More Frequent During the Holiday Season: CISA

The holiday season is always accompanied by deals, discounts, special offers and countless shopping. This presents an opportunity to the hackers, scammers and fraudsters for malicious scamming and hacking. This year, there was a 19.7% increase in spending on Cyber Monday to $9.4 billion, according to Adobe Analytics

As the number of spending increases, an increased number of phishing scams present a huge vulnerability to identity theft, false purchasing and misplaced donations. This is why warnings have been given by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of Homeland Security. 

CISA warns the public of potential holiday scams and cyber campaigns, especially when it comes to browsing or shopping online. According to the update, the holidays frequently see an increase in cybercrime and scams. CSA recommends starting with these three simple steps to keep yourself safe: 

  • Check your devices – Before starting the hunt for the best deal, make sure your devices are up-to-date and your accounts have strong passwords. Once you’ve purchased an internet-connected device or toy, change the default password and check the devices’ privacy and security settings to make sure you’re not sharing more information than you want.

  • Shop through trusted retailers – Before making a purchase and providing any personal or financial information, make sure you’re using a reputable, established vendor.

  • Using safe methods for purchases – If you can, use a credit card as opposed to a debit card as credit cards often have better fraud protection.

The agency plans to share additional resources and safety information over the course of the next month in order to keep consumers safe during the holiday season. According to CISA director, Christopher Krebs, 

“The good news is you don’t need to be a cybersecurity pro to defend yourself.  It’s often the simple things that make a big difference in protecting yourself and your family from cyber threats and scams.”

For more information about shopping online safely this holiday season, visit www.CISA.gov/shop-safely.   

 

 

5 Key Cybersecurity Threats for 2020

5 Key Cybersecurity Threats for 2020

Cybersecurity threats have become remarkably common and they continue to gain traction with the progressions in technology. Cybercriminals are continuously adopting newer technologies, enhancing their coordination and becoming more sophisticated. Through cybercrimes, employees’ and customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) gets compromised and used in illegal schemes somewhere else. Through large-scale data breaches, legitimate data is vulnerable to identity thefts and frauds. 

According to a study by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrimes will cost the world $6 trillion a year by 2021.  In the last few years, cybercrimes have been in the news a lot with tech giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and mobile companies becoming a victim of data and security breaches. This is why when it comes to cybercrimes, it’s not a question of ‘if’, it’s a question of ‘when’ it will happen. 

Watch Out for These Cyber Security Threats in 2020

This article details five key cyber threats that enterprises need to take seriously and should watch out for in 2020. 

Social Engineering Attacks 

Social engineering is a method of tricking people so that they give you their information. It is also a way to exploit their weakness, or negligence, to figure out that information. Phishing attacks are a type of social engineering attack. In a phishing attack, the attacker generates a fraudulent email, text or website in order to dupe a victim into giving out sensitive information. Phishing attacks are considered to be the most frequently used approach to get into a corporation’s network these days. Through these attacks, login credentials for work, passwords to online accounts, credit card info, date of birth, etc. are stolen by the attacker. 

Only 3 percent of malware tries to exploit an exclusively technical flaw and the other 97 percent target users through social engineering according to KnowBe4. Phishing strategies are now becoming remarkably common as they are cheap, effective and easy to pull off. A report by Small Business Trends reports 1 in every 99 emails is a phishing attack. And this counts for 4.8 emails per employee in a five-day work week. Close to 30% of phishing emails make it past default security. 

Social engineering attacks are specifically designed to deceive your employees into granting access to systems or divulging information that helps attackers gain that access through low-, or often no-tech means. Social engineering attacks can come in many forms — by phone, email, snail mail, in person or through social media. So, it’s important that you train your employees to be wary.

IoT-Based Attacks

Almost everything these days is connected with the internet but a lot of these smart devices don’t have strong security installed. This makes it easy for attackers to hijack these devices to infiltrate business networks. An IoT attack is any cyberattack that leverages a victim’s use of internet-connected smart devices like Wi-Fi-connected speakers, appliances, alarm clocks, etc to sneak malware onto a network. In the workplace, everything from smart thermostats and videoconferencing technologies to stock monitors and smart vending machines are all examples of IoT technologies. 

IoT is continuously gaining traction and according to Gartner, by 2020 more than 20.4 billion IoT devices will exist. Connected devices are easier for customer use and the majority of businesses use them to save money. More connected devices imply greater risk which subsequently makes IoT networks more vulnerable to cyber invasions.  Once controlled by hackers, IoT devices can then used to overload networks, create havoc or close down essential equipment for financial gain. The very things that make IoT so common and easy to use are the same reasons for their vulnerability. 

Ransomware Attacks 

Ransomware attacks are becoming extremely common in the past few years. These are a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a specific sum of money is paid. This type of attack is triggered by an employee clicking on a link in a phishing email that is harmful and then clicking the link that ignites the malware. 

It is highly imperative for enterprises to maintain the privacy of their customers and keep their confidential data secure. In general, ransomware attacks targeting individuals are on the decline over the last year. As reported by ITPro Today, within businesses the rate of ransomware detections rose from 2.8 million in the first quarter of 2018 to 9.5 million in the first quarter of 2019. That’s nearly a 340% increase in detections. It is already on track to hit $11.5 billion in damages for 2019. 

A reason why businesses are the victims of ransomware attacks more than private individuals is that they have more motivation to pay for ransoms compared to people. The threat of ransomware is ever increasing and it’s going to be no different in 2020. Businesses are vulnerable to encryption malware making its way into their systems and destroying their data.

Internal Threats

One of the most damaging cybersecurity threats faced by any business is through its own employees. As employees have inside access to the business’s happening, it makes them capable of inflicting great harm if they choose to abuse their access rights for personal gains. Employees may unknowingly allow their user accounts to be jeopardized by attackers or download harmful malware onto their systems. 

The reason why internal threats are one of the biggest cybersecurity threats to pay attention to is because of the magnitude of risks they pose. Internal security breaches happen about 2500 times every day in US Business and 19% of employees state that they have been involved in a security breach at work.

State-sponsored Attacks 

It isn’t just hackers looking to make a profit through attacks and cyber threats, cyberattacks are becoming common on the government level as well. Entire nations are using their cyber skills to infiltrate other governments in order to perform attacks on critical infrastructure. State-sponsored attacks will continue to expand its scope in the year 2020 with attacks on critical infrastructure as a particular concern. 

The majority of these attacks target government-run systems and infrastructure but private sector organizations are also at risk. According to a report from Thomson Reuters Labs, state-sponsored cyberattacks are constantly emerging and pose a significant risk to private enterprises. This will increase the challenges to those sectors of the business world that provide convenient targets for settling geopolitical grievances.

labour party victim

Labour Party Victim of a Second Cyber-Attack

Britain’s Labour Party has informed that it had been a victim of a large-scale cyberattack on its digital platforms. The party is confident that the attack didn’t affect them and there was no data breach. This cyberattack is just before a national election. 

The second cyberattack happened on a Tuesday afternoon. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party said that targeting the party’s digital platform could be a “sign of things to come” with the general election ahead. 

The first cyberattack happened on Monday and it slowed down some of the party’s campaign motions. The timing of the first attack made the Labour leader “nervous” about what might happen ahead in the election campaign.  

Speaking at a Labour campaign event in Blackpool, Jeremy Corbyn revealed his concerns about the consequences of this attack for the rest of the election campaign. He said, 

“We have a system in place in our office to protect us against these cyberattacks, but it was a very serious attack against us. So far as we’re aware, none of our information was downloaded and the attack was actually repulsed because we have an effective in-house developed system by people within our party.” 

You can listen to what Corbyn said of the attack in full detail here. 

 

The attack was described as The Disturbed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack which floods a computer server with traffic in attempts to take it offline. The party described the attack as “sophisticated and large scale”. 

According to Huffington Post, a source at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is responsible for investigating the incident, said it was relatively “low level” with no evidence of “state-sponsored activity”.

Cybercrimes Rise

Cybercrimes Rise 5 times in 4 years and Continue to Soar!

 A rapid stride in the tech world over the years has increased cybercrimes immensely. According to a report, cybercriminal activities have clamped up 5 times in 4 years.  Since the usage of the internet is increasing with every passing day this internet connectivity has clamped up the volume and pace of cybercriminal activities. It is a challenging task to keep the pace up with new technologies, security trends, and threat intelligence. 

In order to protect information and other assets, it is necessary to take precautionary steps to avoid falling prey to cyber-attacks which are of many types. For instance, identity theft in order to gain sensitive information that is typically protected, credit card fraud, Ransomware which is demanding a payment to decrypt the locked computer or software, phishing in which fraudulent emails to steal sensitive data. Cybercrime in recent times has taken a curious turn with the character assassination of individuals and multi-crore frauds by lurking its way through popular social media platforms.

Cybercrimes- Calling out a set of Perils:

The use of cybersecurity can help prevent cybercrimes, data breaches, and identity theft and can aid in risk management. The protection of internet-connected systems, including hardware, software, and data from cyber-attacks is referred to as cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is a technique of protecting computers, networks, programs and data from unauthorized access or attacks that are aimed for exploitation. Protection of the usability, reliability, integrity, and safety of the network comes under network security. 

At the global level, the U.S. is taking giant strides forward in terms of implementing cybersecurity. In 2017, two cybercrime major incidents brought down government networks that sent an alarming signal. The need to implement reliable and impenetrable cybersecurity systems received an added push. 

Trends in CyberSecurity:

 

In the wake of the growing sophistication of cyber adversaries, the unprecedented volume of attacks and increasingly lethal IT security threats, coupled with stricter regulatory mandates, there is a pressing need to cope up with IT security more than ever in this new year. Here are some cybersecurity trends at a glance:

 

  • Tracking Shadow IT Inventory

 

Software programs and applications which are not approved by enterprise IT but still running on user devices will be more liable to exploit shadow IT resources. As businesses increasingly embrace software as a service (SaaS), norms are becoming somewhat lenient as users enjoy greater freedoms with their own devices. But it should not be happening by putting cybersecurity at the stake. In digital transformation, businesses will need to take steps for security and constantly monitor user access rights and permissions for any possible regulations.

 

  • User Awareness

 

Businesses need to keep their eyes peeled for any potential risk that can come from their own users. This may include potential harm arising from a sophisticated phishing scam or a user’s lack of awareness in fulfilling a mandate, resulting in data loss, identity theft, etc. Users are always the weakest link in the security chain of business. So it’s crucial to give user awareness training for cybersecurity. 

Just by the employment of next-gen security measures will not help in doing what’s necessary. There are a variety of incidents where users violate the security code of conduct. For example, logging into unsecured public networks, using work devices for personal transactions, downloading unapproved applications, etc. This needs to change.

 

  • Targeted Phishing Attacks:

 

Unsuspected users continue to fall prey to phishing attacks which are the most pervasive IT security threats. A study conducted toward the end of 2018 suggests that online phishing attacks were up 297% over the last year and 2019 shall see this trend booming. Comprehensive security awareness programs should be adopted by businesses. This may include investing in phishing simulators that explain various emerging patterns. This should help users identify suspicious phishing emails, ensuring they do not end up handing over the keys to the castle.

 

  • Operationalizing GDPR

 

Businesses should think of GDPR to increase IT security. As GDPR makes it necessary to appoint a dedicated data protection officer (DPO), operationalizing this compliance will require understanding several aspects of the law, such as how information privacy is protected and anchored in. It will help to determine if the up to date intelligence on the data processed is available. 

 

  • Cloud security:

 

Cybercriminals take aim at the cloud. An increasing number of databases are being hosted in the cloud, which is where software and systems are designed specifically to be deployed over a network. As more and more businesses migrate to the cloud, a new role of cloud migration security specialist will be a key part of large IT teams. Cloud hygiene will only grow in importance over the next 12 months, particularly in avoiding devastating data breaches. Many management and identity verification tools can be used in this regard.

How Can We Fight Cyber Crimes?

 

Fighting cybercrimes is everyone’s business in one way or the other. Following are some ways to protect yourselves against cyber-attacks:

Use Internet Security System

 

Use software that can provide real-time protection against existing malware including ransomware and trojan viruses. It will help protect your data when you go online.

Use Strong Passwords

 

Do not just add easy to guess traditional passwords. Always use a strong password and keep on changing the passwords after some time. Do not repeat the same password for different sites. 

Keep Software Updated

 

Always keep an updated version of the software. Cybercriminals use known exploits frequently to gain access to your software. Keeping updated software will make it less likely that you’ll become a cybercriminal target.

Guide your Children

 

Teach children about the use of the internet. Make sure they are comfortable sharing with you if they experience any sort of online harassment, stalking, or cyberbullying.

Take Measure to Protect Identity Theft

 

You can save your identity from falling into the wrong hands. Know that identity theft can happen anywhere so always be very cautious. It occurs to obtain your personal data in a way that involves deception mostly for economic gain. You might be tricked into giving personal information over the internet or cybercriminal can steal your mail to access account information. So guard your personal information by using VPN over new Wi-Fi connection and keeping your travel plans off social media. Protect your children as identity thieves mostly target children. 

Keep up to Date on Data Breaches

 

Just over the last decade, there have been over  2,550 data breaches with millions of records being affected and the nature of the stolen information makes them considerably more serious than most. One should always stay up to date by such cases so that he can protect himself against such incidents. This will help you find out which type of data was targeted by criminals so that you can protect them. 

Manage Your Social Media Accounts

 

Keep your private information well secure and locked down on social media sites. Just a few data points will be enough for social engineer cybercriminals to get your personal information. It the less you share publicly the better it is. 

Always Use a VPN

 

Whenever you are using any WI-Fi network at a public place it is a good practice to use VPN whether in a library, hotel, cafe or airport.

Become a Victim? Know what to do

 

If you believe you have fallen prey to cybercrime, you need to inform local police and in some cases FBI even if the crime seems minor. Your report may assist the authorities in their investigation or may help to thwart criminals from taking advantage of people’s personal data in the future. If cybercriminals have stolen your identity following are some steps you can take:

  • Report the crime to FTC
  • Get your credit reports and place fraud alerts
  • Contact financial institutes or companies where the fraud occurred. 

As technology is advancing, it is important for every organization to identify the real problem i.e. lack awareness related to cyber intelligence and crime could potentially inflict a heavy loss. One should be aware of how to protect himself against these crimes and where to report if he gets trapped in. In a nutshell, cybercriminals are becoming more discrete and to identify the breach in security needs to be identified and dealt with high urgency to avoid identity theft and data breaches. 

Multi factor Authentication is being defeated warns FBI

Multi-factor Authentication is being defeated’ warns FBI

For years, online businesses and organizations have been adopting various strategies and defense mechanisms to protect themselves from every kind of cyberattack. Cybercriminals are actively embracing technology to conduct sophisticated attacks online. This increasing trend of data breaches and digital frauds is a striking example of growing cyberattacks. Defending against these attacks has become a new normal for businesses worldwide.

One of the widely used methods to prevent these frauds is multi-factor authentication (2-Factor being the most common one). Although businesses and organizations are proactively using multi-factor authentication to protect their systems and data from perpetual business email compromise (BEC) attacks, the new warning from the FBI has surprised them unanimously.

According to the FBI, cyberattacks are circumventing multi-factor authentication through various social engineering tactics and technical attacks. In multi-factor authentication, the use of a secondary token or one-time generated code verifies and authenticates the identity of the user. But with the FBI’s new warning, businesses are quite bewildered. 

FBI Warning: The Surprise Factor?

 

The reason for this perplexity is that businesses have yet to come across such attacks on MFA. So far, such attacks have been rare to witness. 

Microsoft azure claims that multi-factor authentication blocks an unbelievable 99.9% of enterprise account hacks. Adopting this method is the least the organizations can do to protect their accounts as the rate of compromise of accounts is less than 0.1% for the companies that are using any type of MFA.

Even with the least compromise rate, the use of MFA is uncommon with less than 10% of the users per month (for enterprise accounts) – claims Microsoft. This statistic alone contradicts the FBI’s threat of MFA compromise, and businesses were not expecting it. However, the FBI states that the use of one-time codes and secondary tokens is not enough to back up the user and his credentials, nor is it sufficient to protect his identity.

How MFA is vulnerable to cyberattacks

 

Despite the endless struggle of businesses to protect the user’s information, by making account access harder and complex through two-factor and multi-factor authentication, it can still be vulnerable to breach. There is a high-risk that cybercriminals can attack and trick users into disclosing their credentials and authentication codes through social engineering. Or, they can create an account for themselves through the use of technical interception.

Phishing

 

Phishing attacks are a great example of social engineering. They can be used to lure victims into providing their credentials through a fake login page. Due to readily available technology and APIs, it is not difficult for criminals to create a fake login page. Attackers make use of different social engineering tricks (for example emails, fake job alerts, etc.) through which they tempt the users to click the link which is a clone of the original login page.

When the victims enter their credentials, the hackers fetch that information and pass it to the real login page, henceforth triggering the multi-factor authentication procedure. The victim is shown fake prompt requiring the texted or mailed code. Just like before, the hackers catch the code and complete the authentication process. 

This is not as easy as it seems. Hackers need to be fast enough due to the limited time-factor associated with the code. But once the process is successful, there’s nothing that can stop them from carrying out their activities.

Password Reset

 

Many times, the authentication process can be bypassed through the “Forgot Password” procedure, if a hacker is in possession of “something you have” item (for example, email). 

If the criminal/hacker has gained access to the victim’s email account where the verification link or code is sent, the attacker can easily use the “Reset Password” link and change the passwords to something else by following the instructions. Moreover, once he has access to the account, he can even change the recovery email and phone number, giving him complete access. 

Third-Party Logins

 

The explosion of online platforms has introduced a new authentication process for enhanced user-experience – through third-party logins. 

In this process, the user is offered an option to log in using third-party accounts and bypass the 2-factor authentication procedure. An example of such a case is “Login with your Facebook Account” or “Login with your Gmail Account”. In this case, an attacker can easily take over the accounts once they have access to your Gmail or Facebook credentials (through phishing and forget password procedures).

Brute Force Attacks

 

With the advancement of technology and automated tools, hackers have the opportunity to obtain user passwords and verification codes through brute force attacks. Through brute force, the attackers can gain limited-characters tokens. The tokens or verification codes are quite useless if the attackers get enough time to apply brute force and obtain the token. 

Advanced Tools and Techniques

 

On the one hand, technology has helped organizations in securing their digital presence, while on the other, it has also contributed to the innovation of advanced hacking tools.

In its investigation, the FBI has highlighted different examples of tools and techniques that are being used to defeat multi-factor authentication. It includes web hacks, cyberattack tools like NecroBrowser and Muraen, not to forget straightforward SIM swapping. The main issue with MFA is that organizations find it an ultimate solution for the security of the institution.

Solutions to Cyberattacks

 

While massive data breaches and identity theft are on the rise, multi-factor authentication is becoming the standard procedure for most of the organizations to secure themselves from attackers. 

No doubt, it is quite a secure method but hackers are now finding ways to get around MFA. While the risks are rare, the fact that a growing reliance on MFA can lead to growing attacks on MFA can’t be ignored.

FBI states that as per research 99% of the attacks are triggered by the person’s activities i.e. through clicking the link and falling victim to phishing scams as well as social engineering hacks. The most effective solution is to educate employees and consumers to recognize the phishing attacks so that they can try to avoid them.

Use of Biometrics

 

Use of Biometrics

 

The multi-factor authentication can be secured just by adding an extra layer of security i.e. Biometrics. 

The hackers can access something you know (credentials) and something you have (authentication codes) but they can’t access something you are (biometrics). Biometrics are the unique features of a person that can’t be stolen or changed. Incorporating biometric verification with 2-factor authentication can provide the most effective and secure authentication process.

fraud prevention detail

5 Industries Where Anti Fraud Solutions are Gaining Prominence

Every profit generating business has some level of risk of falling victim to fraudulent activities. The constant threat of fraud in the market encourages businesses to seek out fraud detection and prevention services. The sector that is immensely vulnerable to and affected by frauds and scams is the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI). Fraud, in general, is responsible for a loss of one trillion US dollars to both online retailers and financial service firms. However, the finance sector is not the only industry plagued with scammers and fraudsters. Such circumstances have led companies to seek fraud analytics and anti fraud services.

Anti Fraud Solutions on the Rise

Fraud analysis, however, is not enough; for businesses to take an on hands approach to battle fraud they need proper anti-fraud solutions. Businesses are now in need of user authentication services more than ever. Such services can take the form of identity verification services, single or multi-factor authentications and face verification services. Industries more prone to fraud have been implementing such solutions for a while now. However, some industries where fraud prevention techniques are gaining prominence include;

Cryptocurrency Sector

Conventional banking has always been ailed by fraud and scams. But since the crypto industry is a relatively new find, and more or less employs the same methods as traditional financing, it has also been affected heavily by fraudulent activities. Due to its primary presence being on the web, crypto is more prone to cybercrime, wherein lies its need to employ cybersecurity measures. Authentication services are the best solution to counter such threats. Their need for such solutions has led the crypto industry to KYC verification service providers. Due to the nature of their business, they also look for AML compliance measures which allow them to avoid financial and white-collar criminals.

E-Commerce Industry

Fraud in the e-commerce sector is not new. However, online retailers have had to bear the brunt of fraudulent activities from both the customer and the banks involved in their transactions. Therefore, proper verification of their customers has had immense advantages for them. Fraud prevention measures allow them to verify the customers’ addresses, thereby ensuring that they are selling to the right person and make sure that they do not have to face any chargebacks.

Travel and Hospitality Sector

One victim of identity and credit card fraud is the travel and hospitality sector. Scammers are widely known to steal identities to use for travelling and availing hospitality services. With fraud protection services now being provided by some companies, Hotels and airlines can make sure that all bookings and reservations made with them are from authentic customers rather than fraudsters or scammers looking to avail travelling and lodging services from a stolen ID or credit card.

Online Gaming Industry

Online Gaming has been emerging as a major player in the market gradually over the years. With the growth of advancement in the tech industry, gaming has also evolved into a significant revenue generating industry. The industry is no less fraught by scams and has been in need of fraud protection. Moreover, the gaming industry is also in need of age regulation, thereby requiring age verification of its users. Therefore, implementing ID verification and face verification services from a reliable identity verification service provider, they can ensure safe business practices.

Real Estate

The real estate industry is also known to be scammed by buyers, instead of the situation only running the other way round. Scammers usually target real estate businesses by providing fake financial details and a shady story into why they wish to buy an estate. Such scams can be avoided altogether by the real industry by implementing Know Your Customer (KYC) verification solutions. They ensure the business that their buyer is authentic and is providing legitimate details into his/her financials.

When it comes to identity verification services, Shufti Pro is a veteran in the market providing top of the line anti-fraud solutions to businesses, enabling them to ensure the ingenuity of their customers. Shufti Pro provides both KYC verification services as well as AML compliance to businesses through its state of the art AI-based authentication protocols.  It can be easily integrated into a business’s existing interface and is supported by all major web browsers in addition to having SDK integration for Android and iOS.

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