New official figures have revealed the extent of the threat posed by online fraudsters. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has removed more scams in the last 12-months than in the previous three years combined.
The surge in scams has been fuelled by the pandemic, with fraudsters launching a host of phishing attacks via email and text message to dupe people into handing over their personal details. Overall more than 750,000 campaigns have been pulled from the internet,
with scams relating to HMRC accounting for more than 4,000 of the total.
The sheer weight of numbers show it’s never been more important for people to do all they can to exercise caution and keep their personal information safe.
Businesses are also dealing with growing threats, with attacks where hackers gain entry to an organisation’s systems undetected and steal personal information on the rise. This testing environment is exacerbated by the digital acceleration faced by businesses,
retailers, financial providers and other organisations, which are dealing with unprecedented online custom.
The global consumer outlook
Insights from Experian’s annual Global Identity and Fraud Report provide a comprehensive snapshot of the fraud landscape and how people feel about online security.
Their priorities are clear – security was cited as the most important aspect of their online experience, with 55% saying it was their top priority.
Meanwhile a third (33%) said they are now worried about identity theft. Looking at a younger demographic – the under 40s – nearly half (49%) are now more concerned about fraud than they were before the pandemic began. UK consumers are most concerned about
protecting their financial data online, with 50% saying this is their biggest concern.
Interestingly, people are becoming increasingly comfortable and familiar with more sophisticated ways of identity verification, as they increase their online footprint by accessing more services digitally. For the first time in four years, simple password
verification didn’t earn a spot in the top three most secure methods for authenticating customer identity.
Instead, physical biometrics like facial recognition and fingerprints, pin codes sent to mobile devices, and behavioural analytics were the top three preferred methods – a significant change and one which organisations of all shapes and sizes will need to
consider going forward.
The business perspective
It’s essential businesses remain vigilant about the new and growing fraud threats. Continued investment has never been more critical. Businesses which can deploy these sophisticated means of verification will feel the benefit of both assuring their customers
they take security seriously and knowing that who they are dealing with are who they say they are.
Machine Learning (ML) and artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions can also help. By looking at the results of an application, whether it was fraudulent or not, ML and AI can use this information to inform its decision making on future applications. The more
information it has at its disposal, the higher quality decisions can be made.
Businesses need to ensure they make fraud prevention systems are an ongoing, critical priority. Otherwise they risk becoming a victim and losing the trust of their most important partners – their customers.