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By: Emily Daniel
June 3, 2020

Information Security: Authorized Access Needs Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

By: Emily Daniel
June 3, 2020
Emily Daniels profile image
By: Emily Daniel
June 3, 2020

COVID-19 Cybersecurity Impacts

Due to greatly increased activity in digital transactions, fraudsters have found opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities in the systems and target naive online users through facets of digital fraud. The rate of account takeover (ATO) fraud from 2018 to 2019 crossed 347 percent, with shipping fraud being 391 percent in a digital environment. However, during coronavirus, where the increase in online transactions is increasing each passing moment, the fraud rate is expected to increase. Fraudsters have started adopting malevolent activities in the form of cyberattacks such as phishing attacks, malware injection, credential stuffing, data breaches, identity theft, and financial crimes, such as terrorist funding and money laundering.

The need is to identify what common attributes are lacking in the online platforms that could help ensure security over the platforms. The fraudsters are advanced now, requiring advanced security measures to curb their malicious tricks and activities. Employing stronger user authentication measures, such as ensuring authorized access to user accounts, can help secure the platforms from bad actors and their activities. For instance, the old password and PIN authentication methods can easily be hacked by running credential stuffing scripts that try every possible combination of username and password until the appropriate combination is found. The account is hacked and then used for malicious purposes by bad actors.

 
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Authorized Access is Need of the Moment

Online information security is often a regulatory requirement to protect the information of users present in digital channels from being hacked. Besides this, confidential organizational information is always a target of fraudsters who seek to use it at a high level, compromising personal and financial information, and an organization’s sensitive information.

Therefore, the need is to take into consideration stronger user authentication measures based on advanced technological solutions that utilize Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms. Such AI-powered methods include advanced facial recognition technology that verifies the facial biometrics of registered users at each sign-in. Facial recognition technology can detect the spoofing elements in the live captured picture of the user’s face.

Through the liveness detection and 3D perception techniques of facial recognition, the spoofing attempts of fraudulent users can be detected and mitigated. For example, the embedded liveness detection feature in facial recognition verifies that, at the time of verification, the user is physically present at the place where login occurs. The need for this feature became apparent after fraudulent attempts of identity verification using static images in the printed form were used to hack the accounts of real identities. The photoshopped and tampered images uploaded by users can be identified in real-time to ensure onboarding.

Benefits of Advanced Authentication Methods amid COVID-19 Outbreak:

These advanced authentication methods align well with security needs and customer demands. For instance, the overhead of remembering passwords and the chances of getting hacked is common with traditional authentication methods. The addition of biometric facial recognition during authentication eliminates these overheads. It verifies the facial features of individuals by capturing it in real-time, runs spoofing checks, and authenticates an individual in seconds.

In this method, the security concerns related to hacking and cyberattacks gets eliminated, and the customer experience at the time of authentication remains intact. Some online businesses in the coronavirus period may require different customer verification measures. As an example, the banking industry, providing digital payment services and crypto businesses operating online, needs to ensure Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-money Laundering (AML) compliance in the online environment. For that reason, these businesses need to continue their services, with minimal or no impact to their business infrastructure during a pandemic. Through online identity verification, document verification methods can be used by financial businesses to comply with KYC and AML obligations, thereby reducing financial crimes.

Since the very first coronavirus report in China, the pandemic has penetrated over 210 countries and territories, resulting in 3,740,583 and counting cases worldwide. Businesses all over the world have been affected by the pandemic. Regarding business operations and functions, working patterns are transforming. However, online businesses, especially those that correspond to digital banking and payment services, are, on one hand, experiencing a spike in the digital services demand. On the other hand, they are under the threat of cyberattacks and online payment scams. The eCommerce, gaming, and real estate industries are expected to experience a variety of digital fraud amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

In summary, information security in an online environment amid COVID-19 requires a vigilant approach. The digital fraud density is increasing and includes a wide array of cyberattacks and financial crimes. The need of the hour is simultaneously adopting innovative solutions that ensure authorized access to user accounts (thereby protecting them from data breaches) and preventing the participation by illegal entities.


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