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As Transactions Surge, So Does Mobile Fraud

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The summer of 2018 saw a spike in transactions online for travel, gaming and gambling – but also a corresponding spike in cybercrime attacks and bots, says Alisdair Faulkner, Chief Identity Officer at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In a cyber-crime report for the first half of 2018 by its ThreatMetrix arm, he says: “Fraudsters, ever the opportunists, found ways to capitalise on the surge in demand for many goods and services; hiding beneath large transaction volumes and exploiting the fact that many merchants are willing to accept a greater degree of risk to approve more orders during peak times.”

It analysed 17.6 billion digital transactions and according to the firm, as consumers go mobile for virtually all online goods and services, so fraudsters are starting to close the gap on this online security channel.

Mobile Majority

Mobile transactions, which include account creations, logins and payments, reached 58 per cent of all traffic by the middle of 2018. Mobile fraud rates have tended to lag behind that channel’s overall growth; however such fraud is rising. Globally, one third of all fraud attacks are now targeting mobile transactions. This means that although digital companies do need to prepare for an increasing number of online security attacks, mobile remains the more secure channel compared to desktop, the firm suggested.

Mobile offers unique ways for accurately assessing user identity, thanks to geo-location and behavioural analysis. Alisdair Faulkner says: “The good news is that as mobile usage continues to increase, so too does overall customer recognition rates, as mobile apps offer a wealth of techniques to authenticate returning customers with a very high degree of accuracy.” Security vulnerability, he adds, is at the app registration and account creation stage; when a business has to verify users.

Fraud Against Mobile In Brief

  • Financial institutions faced 81 million cybercrime attacks in the first half of 2018. Of these, 27 million were targeting the mobile security channel.
  • Financial services mobile transactions are growing globally, with China, South East Asia and India growing most.
  • Device spoofing is the biggest threat in financial services, as thieves try to trick banks into thinking multiple fraudulent log in attempts are coming from new customer devices, perhaps by repeatedly wiping cookies or using virtual machines.

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