Four things to know about digital trusted identity services - Ekata, a Mastercard company
Ekata is part of the Mastercard family. Ekata's solutions provide the most predictive and frictionless identity verification.

Ekata is part of the Mastercard family. Ekata's solutions provide the most predictive and frictionless identity verification.

Building trust online: 4 things to know about digital trusted identity services

User trust is an underrated factor in cybersecurity for online businesses. A deep understanding of user trust can make the difference between offering customers seamless online experiences and experiences in which they’re constantly treated like a threat.

Essentially, all online businesses deal with two parties: trusted users and potential bad actors. Trusted users are users whom the business is familiar with through previous online interactions. But lurking in the background are bad actors, who attempt to imitate the behaviors of these trusted users to slip past security measures.

Without visibility into their trusted users’ behaviors, businesses struggle to understand which behaviors are genuine and which are imitations. That’s what makes digital trusted identity services so important. They work to verify the identities of online users to prevent fraudsters from sneaking by undetected. These services vary widely in their capabilities, so let’s take a closer look at what you should know about them and how you can apply them to your business’ security architecture.

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4 things to know about trusted identity services

Trusted identity services can give your business a greater understanding of user behavior, which in turn improves security in the face of unexpected fraudster attacks. Here are four things you should know about these services before implementing them within your organization:

Sophisticated attacks make advanced identity services a must.

Fraudsters increasingly rely on sophisticated attacks to slip by bot detection solutions and other standard-issue cyber defenses. These attacks can sometimes manifest as automated scripts that mimic human typing or even employ human workers to bypass common authentication challenges, like CAPTCHAs. Many bad actors also employ tactics like synthetic identity fraud, which merges genuine information with fabricated information to produce a new synthetic identity, which is then used to open a new account or make fraudulent purchases.

Detecting these attacks is difficult enough, but the exact form they take can look different depending on industry, business size, and other factors. This complexity makes advanced digital identity services a necessary investment to differentiate fraudsters from trusted users in your technology environment.

Identity services must prioritize user experience.

The cost of falling victim to a sophisticated attack is high, but so is the cost of a poor user experience. A natural reaction to the threat of sophisticated attacks may be to introduce extensive security layers that affect every user equally. Although this would improve security, trusted users would grow annoyed with constantly having to prove their identity at every touch point, and some would choose to do business elsewhere.

Context is key. In online interactions, there are some scenarios in which trusted users will accept high levels of friction and others where they will reject it. For example, a user might grow frustrated if multi-factor authentication codes are required multiple times in a session while browsing an e-commerce site, but they accept the need to use them before performing a high-dollar financial transaction in their banking app. The secret to preserving the user experience is to contextualize your identity services to the situation.

Consider behavioral biometrics as the foundation of your identity services.

Behavioral biometrics solutions check both the security and user experience boxes, making them the perfect identity verification service to build your security imprint around. These tools work in the background to develop individual user profiles based on inherent behaviors, like a user’s typing cadence and mouse movements.

When a user deviates from their expected behavior, it’s a signal their account could be compromised by fraud. Your system then steps in with additional verification or authentication measures — while preserving a frictionless experience for lower-risk accounts.

While behavioral biometrics offer the strongest protection against advanced fraudster attacks, don’t neglect the importance of security measures like two-factor authentication and passwords. These tools can serve as the initial line of defense, with behavioral biometrics hovering in the background.

Working with the right identity service partner is essential.

The fit between you and your identity services providers is just as important as the quality of the solutions they offer. When evaluating service providers, look for partners that understand the nuances of your industry.

Also, determine whether they are constantly monitoring emerging trends to stay ahead of new tactics fraudsters are employing. Continuous collaboration on these trends will better position your business to achieve the right mix of trusted identity services.

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Trusted identity services offer a more secure path forward.

Digital trusted identity services are becoming table stakes in enabling organizations keep their online systems safe. Single-layer security protections are no longer enough. To improve security and stay one step ahead of fraudsters, you need to invest in comprehensive identity services that account for both sophisticated attacks and the user experience of your trusted customers.

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