Deepfakes Challenge Existing Identity Verification Tech

Hollywood-style image manipulation that used to require a huge investment and a team of talented people with above-average expertise can now be attained by anyone with a smartphone. Developments like these, which have gained attention following a spate of high-profile deepfake videos being posted on social media, are emerging as a favorite new way for bad actors to commit fraud and identify theft.

This challenge of scams in the digital world has grown during the pandemic, as people were forced to do in the digital world what they used to do in the physical world. As with other digital transformations, this has sped up the development of fraud and identity theft, and has created a critical situation for banks and others who do business online.

“This situation is catapulting us into a completely new paradigm,” Mariona Campmany, digital identity and innovation lead at Mitek, told PYMNTS. “We have been preparing for 10 years or more, but this now comes with greater and unexpected speed.”

Who’s on the Other Side of the Screen?

Bad guys can use synthetic identities created with the new technology to open an account, ask for credit and steal money from banks and others.

This and other forms of fraud have increased the need to educate users about what data to give what companies and what processes to follow. It has also led companies to increase their commitment to security by adopting new solutions, such as artificial intelligence (AI), biometrics and multimodal technologies.

“With this digital boom, it is often difficult for companies to know who is really on the other side of the screen or the phone, so the company has to implement solutions that allow it to bring trust to the end user,” Campmany noted.

Combating Older Types of Fraud With Newer Technologies 

Companies also have to deal with older types of fraud, such as those involving identity documents. Today, companies can combat this by using AI to evaluate the document and biometric authentication to verify that the person presenting it is the one shown on the document.

“We know that it’s possible to know if someone is who they claim to be through the recognition of their voice or their face,” Campmany said. “I think this is the key technological advance to detect the imposter attacks.”

Then there are cyberattacks, the common and familiar scams that try to steal data and identities. These, too, can be prevented with biometric authentication.

Biometrics Is Gaining Traction 

“I think biometrics is really important nowadays, and it’s getting traction,” Campmany said. “All of us have characteristics that make us unique, like the face or the fingerprint, and I’m seeing a trend in the financial sector of implementing more biometric solutions to authenticate users.”

Now that industries are faced with different kinds of cybersecurity and privacy challenges, there is a greater focus on securing a better customer experience with advanced cyberdefense and resilience. Creating passwords to access private information is no longer the best option.

“It is important to start betting heavily on a combination of identity-proof solutions,” Campmany said. She added that while financial institutions (FIs) are leading the way in adopting this technology, because they’re the ones with the money, “it will be necessary for other sectors and entities to also look at the benefits of this type of security.”