Relics from the Past: Landlines, Pagers, and…Passwords?

August 30, 2018

When you think of outdated technology, username and password combinations may not immediately come to mind. However the fact that the combination of username/passwords is responsible for securing everything from a person’s bank information to personal photos is both outdated and not viable in today’s digitally connected world.

As we’ve seen time and time again, the private information of individuals, companies, and even government organizations, is under the constant threat of breach by criminals. Data breaches that reveal a login for one site can be used across the web to hack into emails, iCloud accounts, banks – the list goes on and on. People tend to use the same login (their email), and with less-than-ideal password safety practices, it’s no wonder that username and passwords might soon become obsolete for more secure measures.

Username and passwords can be used for the simple fraud – i.e. to steal a credit card number, which is used to make fraudulent transactions, to the more complex – account takeover fraud. Account takeover is one of the more prevalent forms of fraud used by identity thieves. Often the customer’s information comes from data breaches. It occurs when a fraudster obtains an individual’s personal information such as an account number, password, username or social security number and changes the official contact information or adds another user to an existing account. What makes this type of fraud even more dangerous is the fact that the fraudster can also change information so that it’s inaccessible to the true owner, conducting transactions without the victim knowing and before he or she can even discover this has taken place.

Consumers often blame the merchant when their account is taken over. If not resolved timely and appropriately, the result can be detrimental to a merchant’s reputation and negatively affect their lifetime value of the consumer, making it extremely important for businesses to take immediate steps to protect themselves and their customers. Merchants should look for fraud prevention solutions that incorporate the following: 

  1. Maximize the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). To truly capitalize on all that AI and machine learning have to offer, fraud solutions must implement a combination of four pillars, which we at Kount dub Real Intelligence: patented, proprietary technology, vast amounts of data, AI to make sense of all of that data and to identify anomalies, and finally, human intelligence. AI by itself is not enough – the key is the addition of the human element to calculate specific tolerance and risk levels for each specific business to provide real intelligence for retailers.
  2. Reduce Manual Reviews. Manual review of orders should be a last line of defense when fighting online fraud. The process is slow, resource intensive, and not scalable for company growth. In addition, making your customer wait for approvals can cost you sales and brand reputation. Automating the transaction review process can eliminate costs and speed up order acceptance while maintaining a high-quality customer experience.
  3. Use Order Linking and Personas. Capabilities like Order Linking and Personas use hundreds of variables to construct a definitive link to online purchase behavior—either directly or indirectly—to help reveal fraudulent activity. 

Learn more about account takeover and different types of login fraud, download Kount’s whitepaper, “The Anatomy of Account Takeover Fraud”.