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Another quarter, another couple of sobering digital ID theft reports

Categories Access Control  |  Biometrics News  |  Trade Notes


Digital biometric identification’s future gets brighter with just about every quarter. A new report from a digital ID vendor indicates that fraudsters are targeting smaller organizations who are more likely to still traffic in password protection.

The vendor, ForgeRock, found that breaches in which criminals mowed through user names and passwords grew 450 percent over the course of 2020. Surveyors looked at electronic breaches affecting U.S., UK, German, Australian and Singaporean consumers.

Total breaches increased from 887 in 2019 to 930 in 2020.

Spectacular heists — those involving more than 100 million records — actually dropped in number throughout the year. It is possible that Zero Trust programs played a measurable role.

But more people performing more electronic transactions undoubtedly convinced criminals to switch from a relative few wholesale attacks to a more retail approach aimed at more, smaller thefts. Indeed, the survey found that small-enterprise breaches (which still involved millions of records) grew by 50 percent.

The average cost of a U.S. breach rose to $8.64 million, more than in any other nation, according to the report.

It is interesting to note that the tech industry suffered the highest aggregate cost of breach recovery — $288 billion.

More disconcerting fraud statistics were reported by Feedzai, a vendor of advanced risk management platforms.

Of banking fraud attacks, 93 percent occur online, according to the report.

Eighty-three percent of all U.S. fraud attacks in the second quarter of 2021 involving debit, prepaid and credit cards happened online, where biometrics could make big difference in vulnerabilities.

That same goes for account takeover attacks, which represented 42 percent of frauds, according to the Feedzai report.

Some of the numbers might be unnerving, but no one paying attention to the need for digital ID protection can be surprised at the trend.

Banks need universal mobile biometrics. More than half of financial service providers and three-quarters of marketplaces have adopted more ID-verification tools including mobile device biometrics, according to another recent report. Still more needs to be done, say industry insiders.

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