Identity theft and fraud – go to battle with the Army, the Navy and the Air Force

Identity theft is the beginning of a journey, one which often involves fraud, loss and a great deal of distress for those who have had their identities stolen.

While we might not be able to literally send in the military to tackle the criminals, we do have three effective solutions we can use to fight back:

  1. Data driven solutions

These systems work by comparing the data people provide to known information about them. Spotting anomalies can help identify an application or transaction that might be fraudulent. The data driving these solutions can come from a number of sources including publically available information, controlled information such as credit reference data and data collected during previous interactions.  How well these solutions work depends on the quality and quantity of data available and the manner in which it is applied. Data driven solutions can help verify a whole range of different factors such as age, address and financial history.

  1. Biometrics

3effectivesolutionsFor many years we’ve understood the potential of biometrics, fingerprints were used by ancient Babylonians 4,000 years ago to authenticate legal documents! It’s been in much more recent years that the technology has been available to use biometrics as a mass method of fast and reliable identification. Biometrics can definitively identify an individual, however initial collection of the biometric data or samples must be taken and those to be identified must have access to the technology by which they can submit their biometric authentication.

  1. Tokens and devices

Many of us use tokens to securely identify ourselves on a regular basis. These usually take the form of equipment that generates codes to allow us to log on to our company systems or perform certain banking transactions. This kind of authentication relies on having the token with you and is generally restricted to authenticating you to only one organisation or service.

Most of us carry mobile phones with us constantly and we are using them to login and access our accounts, buy goods and carry out financial transactions. The latest advances in device intelligence means that it is possible to accurately associate a device to an individual.  By looking at how a device is set up and how it is being used, device intelligence gives organisations the confidence that the person they are dealing with is their genuine customer. As this method doesn’t require the provision of either additional equipment – or expect the customer to carry out any tasks or provide any information – it can be fast to deploy and will not disrupt a customer’s login experience.

It can be seen that these three different forms of fighting fraud are in competition with each other. However, there are determined and clever criminals who will take advantage of any gap in defences they can find.  Not using all three weapon-sets could be likened to going to war and leaving one of the armed forces behind.