There’s a significant increase in the number of identity theft cases amid the global pandemic since the internet became the second home for everyone in 2020.
With so many businesses adopting diverse working environments, fraudsters are quickly finding new ways to breach security and gain access to confidential information.
As per the FTC’s COVID-19 & Stimulus Report, 143,992 fraud reports linked to COVID-19 have been reported in the year 2020.
However, experts predict that the number of cybercrimes in 2020 was just the tip of the iceberg since cybercriminals are already geared to sneak into a user’s system by trespassing into newly adopted working environments.
But what’s more alarming is the fact that these numbers are expected to surge in 2021, which further increases the risk for businesses with a frail line of defense.
Undoubtedly, businesses must anticipate potential frauds to minimize the risk for their employees’ and clients’ identities in 2021.
Let’s understand the major identity theft frauds for 2021 along with aspects that help in preventing these frauds.
What is Identity Theft Fraud
Identity theft could be defined as the illegal access to your data including name, personal identity number, bank details, and enterprise login credentials.
This unauthorized access is intended to steal crucial details, transfer funds, or even manipulate the data of a particular enterprise.
The victim may receive an email demanding a certain action. For instance, an email with a malware link, which when clicked, may install malicious software on someone’s computer and gain access to their business or personal information.
Identity Theft Fraud Predictions for 2021
Here’s the list of trends that are predicted by global cybersecurity professionals that businesses could witness in 2021:
1. Biometric Fraud
With fraudsters bypassing every secure and reliable mode of authentication, biometric fraud could be the next big thing when it comes to data breaches.
Hackers are already working on breaching biometric authentication by the means of replacing the original pictures of an individual with fake ones.
This would help in bypassing the essential identity verification systems to crucial data including banking details and media.
Several cases of biometric frauds have been reported in 2020, which are predicted to surge in 2021. Only a secure multi-factor authentication, based on risk analysis can help in preventing biometric frauds.
2. Innovative Forms of Attacks
Besides the usual attacks that businesses across the globe witness every day, attackers are now figuring out new innovative ways to bypass authentication or gain access to a user’s confidential information.
The rising number of social engineering and ransomware attacks is a good example of how attackers can utilize a malicious program for financial benefits.
Creating awareness among employees and consumers could be the most efficient way of reducing any kinds of social engineering and ransomware attacks.
3. Synthetic Identity Frauds
Another expected trend in cybercrime to witness in the year 2021 is the use of synthetic identity.
Synthetic identity theft is fraud that helps in authenticating an unauthorized professional by combining real and fake information about an individual.
Cybercriminals steal social security numbers and combine the same with fake information including names or addresses and may get unnoticed for months.
Considering the use of CIAM (consumer identity and access management) solution could be the best option for securing identities and shunning any chance of identity theft.
4. A Surge in the Number of Coercion Attacks
Just like ransomware, which demands a certain amount of fees to unlock your files once malicious software is installed in your computer, other forms of coercion attacks could be witnessed in 2021.
These kinds of attacks are projected to demand money to unlock the files on a system that are encrypted through a software program.
This software program is installed when a user accidentally clicks on a link in a spam email or can be even injected while the user is browsing on a suspected website.
Using an antivirus program could be the best option to prevent any kinds of coercion attacks.
5. Credential Stuffing
Credential stuffing allows an unauthorized professional to get access to a user through credentials, which are repeatedly used by a user on different platforms.
This kind of attack could be quite dangerous since attackers can log in to multiple websites and platforms with a single user id and password as set by the user.
Multi Factor authentication implementation for businesses could help in preventing credential stuffing attacks on their employees as well as consumers.
Ways to Prevent Identity Theft
Here are some effective ways to prevent identity theft for businesses:
- Use Strong Passwords: Businesses need to understand the fact that strong passwords are crucial more than ever before in 2021. Users/employees with weak passwords may increase the vulnerabilities.
- Adding Two-Factor Authentication: Two-factor authentication helps to minimize the risk of identity theft and prevents unauthorized login. Businesses need to understand the importance of email or OTP-based authentication processes for enhancing security.
- Never Share Your Social Security Number or PIN: Avoid sharing SSNs or PINs over emails as it increases the chances of misuse of confidential data. If someone needs to share an account for some reason, prefer sharing the PIN/SSN verbally.
- Implement CIAM: Organizations must consider implementing a CIAM (consumer identity and access management) solution to ensure maximum safety for their consumers and employees. A CIAM solution helps to secure millions of identities through secure signing options.
Lack of adequate cyber awareness leads to identity theft frauds. It’s crucial for businesses to cyber-aware their employees as well as clients.
The aforementioned aspects also require adequate consideration when it comes to securing the identities of individuals and consumers.
Implementation of identity and access management solutions could be the game-changer for businesses that are striving to protect consumer identities.