As we reflect on the closing of 2017 and all it brought us, including the dramatic rise of cryptocurrency, we look ahead to the trends 2018 will bring. The reliable trait of the identity verification space is that it is ever evolving. Technology continues to be infused through daily life and with it, new security and fraud issues.
Here are some trends we expect to dominate the year ahead:
1. The smart house will become their best friend or their worst enemy.
We’ve heard all the jokes about Alexa. But this is just the beginning. Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices. Other predictions raise that number to over 100 billion. The race to launch new IoT products is on. And as people, apps, and devices become more connected than ever before, the physical and digital worlds are on a crash course. This year, we expect organizations will realize an increasingly urgent need to address the risks that come alongside the exciting promise of IoT. New attacks will rise. And as the IoT continues to expand across uses, devices, and demographics, they are all going to need trusted, verified identities to form the basis of security and trust.
2. Organizations will realize the EU’s data protection regulation has worldwide impact.
How companies prepare and how the GDPR regulation is enforced will be a top security question among boards. Unless you’ve been on a remote island, you know Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) means companies will be required to develop plans and processes to comply with requirements to protect their customers’ personally identifiable information (PII). Vendor security will become critical. The GDPR (coming into effect on May 25, 2018) and privacy shield require companies to perform deeper vendor security due diligence than before.
With several high profile and even more low-profile 2017 data breaches, how a company deals with personal data will need to be evaluated. And don’t forget about mobile. And as COS Online reports, “64 percent of employees access customer, partner, and employee PII using mobile devices. That creates a unique set of risks for GDPR non-compliance,” according to CSO Online. There are sure to be more unforeseen issues for global business and with them heavy fines.
3. Blockchain will disrupt the world of identity.
In its top predictions for IT organizations and users in 2018 and beyond, Gartner predicts that by year-end 2020, the banking industry will derive $1 billion in business value from the use of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. Blockchain already is synonymous with finance. But we see the implications for a multitude of use cases such as government, smart property/IOT, and insurance. It also has implications for identity and protecting digital identities. Passports, personal identification, birth, and other important documents would be able to be used with one digital ID account. “Online identity and reputation will be decentralized. We will own the data that belongs to us.” William Mougayar, author The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology (2016)
4. KBA will come under even more scrutiny.
You may have heard news about the recent chip flaws affect almost every computer, smartphone and tablet on the planet. The recently-discovered Intel chip flaws “would enable a hacker to access secret passwords or photos from desktops, laptops, cloud servers, or smartphones,” according to Reuters. Now consider that the mobile app Millennials used the most in 2017 was Amazon and Facebook was the most mobile app used over all by both Android/Apple users. The data captured from a single hack could be catastrophic. Furthermore, recognize that smartphones house apps that use Facebook as a form of KBA to access a wide range of other accounts. Couple this with the financial, personal, and behavioral data housed within these mobile apps and devices and you can begin to see the hackers’ pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Is it time to move beyond KBA for identity verification? Yes.
5. Biometric facial recognition will challenge fingerprints as a trusted user authentication method.
We predict the trend toward facial recognition will continue in 2018. While fingerprint scanning has been a widely accepted form of identity confirmation, just as quickly as a new smartphone release, we see the move to facial recognition. The move doesn’t come as a huge surprise when you see how Facebook has used facial recognition to help quickly tag your friends and family to your photos. And how millennials and younger generations have clamored to Snapchat to add fun facial recognized filters. And most recently, opening to mixed reviews, Apple’s iPhone X brought facial recognition to the forefront. “Apple’s always been the sign of acceptance for the tech industry,” Todd Mozer, CEO of Sensory, told Digital Trends. “We saw it with Siri and speech recognition and now we’re seeing it with face authentication. Having Apple and Samsung do it makes it pretty standard for mobile phones, but we’re seeing it start to penetrate other areas too. There seems to be a broad move towards face authentication right now.”
6. Businesses will find new ways to achieve security and fraud prevention without hurting the user experience.
Businesses make customers jump through hoops to prove who they are. And for seemingly good reason as security breaches have made headlines this past year. The issue isn’t as simple as being secure, but doing it in a way where the user experience isn’t impacted. Gartner Analyst Tricia Philips notes that when given the choice, “65% (of new users) chose to login with Facebook connect.” Why? Because it’s fast and easy. The point being, if there isn’t a seamless customer experience, users will find someone who provides both the security and experience they are looking for. Users have a choice but is Facebook the most secure connection? Companies need to show they can verify customer identities, protect customer data from security breaches, and simultaneously treat their customers/users like they are number one, instead of criminals.
7. Augmented intelligence will join the fight against identity fraud.
The rise of machine learning is nothing new as organizations look to increase their automated processes. However, as companies double down, so do fraudsters. Cybercriminals have adopted the technology to gain access to identity information through CAPTCHA bypass, data gathering, phishing, and ever-present malware attacks. Without the speed and advancements of artificial intelligence to fight cyber criminals, organizations leave themselves open to greater security threats.`Augmented intelligence, an alternative conceptualization of artificial intelligence, takes it one step further by focusing on AI’s assisted role to enhance human intelligence. And when it comes to identity fraud, it’s important to not only have a stronger but also a smarter intelligence. We see the trend toward augmented intelligence advancing strongly in the year(s) ahead.
Trust and security are increasingly top of mind for organizations across industries. All the while, organizations are competing on the basis of a positive, seamless user experience. Is it possible to meet these often competing priorities? We think so. As you consider all the areas of your business where identity truly matters, we hope you’ll consider Jumio.