Identity Theft in the Modern Era

Kleptotechnophobia

There used to be this fear that if you didn’t turn all your bills into confetti before tossing them into the trash, then nefarious identity thieves, disguised as garbagemen, were going to harvest your social security number from amongst your unopened bank statements, banana peels and Lands’ End catalogs. Identity theft was coming to a trash bag near you.

From a theft perspective, that’s a lot of work. First off, you have to get up early. Secondly, who’s to say filtering through coffee grounds and dirty diapers would yield the golden ticket of an intact Bank of America statement?

The big shift was to credit card fraud. Back in 2012, $22 billion in identity theft damages crushed consumers around the world. Much of this came from card cloning. This theft technique involved printing stolen credit card details on blank cards and racking up a nice chunk of debt for the victim.

In 2016, CNP (card-not-present) fraud rose 40%.

After that record crime wave, credit card companies responded with EMV chips. The gold chips on your cards, combined with PINs and signatures, made card cloning extremely difficult. With these in place, identity thieves refocused on online purchases. In 2016, CNP (card-not-present) fraud rose 40%.

Despite advances in technology, identity theft has not slowed. Every year, fraud increases, and the methods of combat become more nuanced.

The question then becomes: What do you do about it? How can you live in a world where digital pickpockets can run algorithms – millions a second – attacking your data, trying to get information about who you are and how much money you have.

“A good identity management system should make it difficult to figure out who you are, for the harder it is to discover your identity, the harder it is to steal your identity.”

Identity Management

The answer lies in identity management. Identity management is a set of protocols you put in place (and that companies put in place) to help identify you and no one else. The old username and password is often not enough to keep thieves at bay.

What are these technologies? Passwords are certainly part of it. Digital certificates, network protocols fall in line as well. A good identity management system should make it difficult to figure out who you are, for the harder it is to discover your identity, the harder it is to steal your identity.

Much of identity management happens behind the scenes. Determining capabilities for identity are software based. Authentication through passwords or fingerprint scan on smartphones, authorization with multiple user accounts, roles within organizations, delegations and interchanges: These are backend issues.

From your end-user perspective, it is imperative to take the steps needed to ensure you’ve put in your due diligence. When available, two-factor authentication can give you an exponential improvement in your identity management. Complex and unique passwords are cybersecurity common sense, and go a long way in protecting your identity.

“It’s a complicated venture to ensure proper identity management, but the dividends are paid in successful theft deterrence.”

The Business Side

So, how does ID management play into your business?

While the execution might be a little different, the principles are the same. For every member of your staff, you want a complex system of identification that meets the parameters of your business. If you run an online T-shirt shop, you may not necessarily need CIA-level identification steps, but you want customers to know that their personal data is safe and that you do what you can to maintain the integrity of your system.

Depending on seat size, you may have varying levels of access, which need to be accompanied by a series of protocols to ensure the right person has the right access at the right time. It’s a complicated venture to ensure proper identity management, but the dividends are paid in successful theft deterrence.

The EaseTech Solution

How do you know if your system has the right identity management for your business? Bring in experts. At EaseTech, our years in the identity management space give us extra insight into the best ways to keep your staff safe and your data secure. Without real testing of your system, you won’t know how secure you are until it’s too late.

Contact EaseTech today to discuss your identity management.