Biometric Update: Holiday online shopping – naughty or nice?

December 11, 2017 — Holiday online shopping – naughty or nice?

This is a guest post on by Robert Capps, VP and authentication strategist at NuData Security.

With the Christmas holidays coming up, there will be a race to secure holiday gifts at the best prices if they didn’t already on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Consumers are expected to spend an average of $1,226 during the holiday shopping season reaching ~$1.05 trillion between November and January, according to the latest Deloitte 2017 holiday retail survey. The survey also predicts that, for the first time, online shopping is expected to outstrip in-store shopping.

Who will get the gifts?

With passwords stolen by hackers at a rate of 250,000 passwords a week according to Google researchers, online companies will have a hard time distinguishing who is the real customer and who is the hacker. In all, since 2013, over 9 billion records have been breached. As of November 2017, last year’s historic high of 1,091 breaches has already been surpassed. With these numbers, the odds are that hackers have most all of shopper’s static identifiable data: passwords, social security numbers, names, address, motor vehicle information and more.

It also means that most authentication platforms that use static data like passwords and credentials are no longer reliable due to past years’ hacking activity. So, the job of identity proofing, customer verification, and consumer authentication will need a variety of layers that don’t rely solely on personally identifiable information (PII) to allow companies to make reasonable decisions as to whether to allow certain transactions or to review or block them. For online companies, the magic of the holidays will happen when the legitimate customers are recognized, and suspicious transactions are blocked without frustrating or impacting legitimate consumers. The online experience needs to add reliable layers of security and at the same time balance that with a smooth experience for customers, so they come back again, and don’t abandon their cart for a competing organization.

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