John Wojewidka is sounding the alarm in a new LinkedIn article that argues that the world could be facing a massive cybercrime spree if governments, businesses, and financial institutions do not take immediate action to close pressing security gaps. In that regard, the FaceTec Communications VP notes that theft is always a crime of opportunity. It occurs when the perpetrator believes that their target is vulnerable, and that there is therefore a reasonable chance that they will get away without getting caught.
With that in mind, cybercriminals are now presented with an unprecedented window. COVID-19 has led to a dramatic increase in digital traffic and online account activity. However, many organizations are still using outdated tools to protect those digital channels, and simply do not have the resources or the technical ability to distinguish fraudsters from legitimate customers.
That combination of factors creates many appealing targets for cybercriminals, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that they are already taking advantage of the opportunity. In Chicago alone, US Customs and Border Protection seized 1,513 shipments that contained 19,888 counterfeit US driver’s licenses. Fake IDs might not seem like a huge problem, but those figures only represent six months of activity at a single port, and fake IDs can be used to commit new account fraud and other crimes if organizations cannot spot them.
Cybercriminals have also tried to exploit the current environment with social engineering attacks that leverage people’s fears about COVID-19.
Taken together, those vulnerabilities create an urgent need for stronger security solutions. However, Wojewidka warned that organizations cannot rush, and still need to take a deliberate approach to cybersecurity. If they fail to do so, they could deploy solutions that have not been adequately tested, or that compromise the privacy of individual civilians.
Wojewidka ultimately advocates for new solutions built to meet the current challenges, that can supplant legacy systems that are not well-suited to the modern digital environment. He places a particularly strong emphasis on liveness detection, and insists that identity issuers must take action on their own because governments and regulators cannot keep pace with the rate of technological innovation.
FaceTec has provided liveness detection technology for the Jumio Authentication onboarding solution. The two companies have since collaborated on a white paper that details the benefits of face-based authentication, while Jumio has introduced a service that fact-checks driver’s licenses to prevent new account fraud.
October 23, 2020 – by Eric Weiss