Security & Fraud

150 Billion Consumer Records At Risk

Despite the implementation of stricter cybersecurity and privacy-focused regulations such as GDPR and PSD2, cybercrime remains a threat to businesses and consumers around the world. According to the latest installment of the Digital Identity Tracker, nearly 150 billion consumer records will be available to fraudsters and bad actors on the Dark Web by 2023.

As researchers found, the number of successful security breaches and fraud attacks is projected to remain relatively consistent in coming years, even as new security solutions and technologies continue to emerge, evolve and improve. Even massive, leading companies have seen cybercriminals wreak havoc on their internal information, adding to the billions of consumer records available online.

Cable giant Comcast Xfinity, for example, recently learned firsthand just how aggressive fraudsters can be in their attempts to attack companies and their customers. Reports recently emerged that the company had exposed the partial home addresses and partial Social Security numbers of its customers. The researcher-reported vulnerability was identified through a trio of security loopholes and has since been patched by Comcast.

A spokesperson for the company was quoted as saying, “We quickly investigated these issues and within hours we blocked both vulnerabilities, eliminating the ability to conduct the actions described by these researchers. We take our customers’ security very seriously, and we have no reason to believe these vulnerabilities were ever used against Comcast customers outside of the research described in this report.”

Comcast will likely not be the last company to suffer a security vulnerability in the near future – at least according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

DHS researchers found that mobile devices sold by U.S.-based cellphone carriers have a range of vulnerabilities that hackers could use to access users’ data, emails and text messages without their knowledge. The report cites Vincent Sritapan, program manager at DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate, who said these flaws enable bad actors “to escalate privileges and take over [devices].”

But there may be hope for consumers and companies working to insulate themselves from the threat of fraud and crime in the form of new and emerging security and authentication technologies.

Several major players are turning to artificial intelligence in hopes of fighting fraud. Intelligence-powered ID verification solutions provider Jumio, for one, recently unveiled a new partnership with omnichannel digital banking platform Backbase to collaborate on new AI-powered fraud prevention solutions. The solutions will work to optimize conversations, stop fraudulent activity and meet KYC, AML and GDPR compliance mandates, according to a press release.

Meanwhile, even the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is turning to new solutions. The agency is investing in biometrics to bolster national defense and offer a more seamless experience at airports and other points of entry around the U.S. The CBP is currently using facial recognition to speed up security lines at 13 airports around the U.S., and plans to increase use of the technology in the near future.


New PYMNTS Study: Subscription Commerce Conversion Index – July 2020 

Staying home 24/7 has consumers turning to subscription services for both entertainment and their day-to-day needs. While that’s a great opportunity for providers, it also presents a challenge — 27.4 million consumers are looking to cancel their subscriptions because of friction and cost concerns. In the latest Subscription Commerce Conversion Index, PYMNTS reveals the five key features that can help companies keep subscribers loyal despite today’s challenging economic times.