Humans can be pretty bad, too

It’s a bot-eat-bot world out there. 77% of cybersecurity incidents are bot-based, and bot management companies, such as Human Technologies and PerimeterX, are merging to outgun malicious robo-fraudsters.

This begs a crucial question: What about humans? Don’t get us wrong—we’re all for short-circuiting those bad bots—but there are still those pesky bad actors you have to worry about, too. (Those bots don’t create themselves, you know.)

Below, we look closer at the bot craze in the current fraud landscape, the downside of solely doubling down on bots, and why differentiating between legitimate and illegitimate humans is just as important.

Bot-y slammed

Human Technologies and PerimeterX joining forces, as well as Thoma Bravo’s acquisition of Ping Identity, underlies a consolidation trend that’s emerged over the past few months. Irrespective of industry, some of these mergers are due to plummeting valuations; but, in the case of cybersecurity companies—who enjoyed a record year of funding in 2021—many are partnering because the growing threat of data breaches, exacerbated by the normalization of remote work, is simply too much to handle.

Like Human and PerimeterX, we may see other bot vendors merge before year’s end. It’s understandable given how sophisticated bots have become in a short amount of time. They’ve grown to be disturbingly human-like, adaptable, and subsequently much more difficult to spot, swiping personally identifiable information (PII) off websites, engaging in click fraud to boost ad revenue, and otherwise profiting from other shady tactics.

Bots are scary, indeed. So are their seedy human counterparts. Companies enlisting a fraud prevention solution need to understand that stopping bots is only half the battle; neutralizing living, breathing fraudsters—without hindering the user experience (UX)—is the final piece.

Identity intelligence, anyone?

So, you’re on board with putting the clamps on bad bots AND bad humans? Awesome. The next step is to ensure your fraud prevention solution of choice is leveraging the right kind of data, i.e., identity intelligence.

Most anti-fraud tools rely on behavioral biometrics. While it’s effective against bots, it can also cause serious UX issues in the form of false positives. Behavioral biometrics—which monitors behavior such as keystrokes, mouse movement, finger tapping, etc.—will easily trigger a multi-factor authentication (MFA) request if a user deviates from their typical pattern. A drunk or sick user may type or speak unusually (gait analysis); a user with different keyboards at work and at home might be flagged incorrectly (keystroke analysis).

Another flaw of behavioral biometrics is that stockpiling enough personal data to successfully analyze a user’s behavior takes time. A solution centered around identity intelligence, on the other hand, has all of the data it needs in real-time.

It’s time for real-time

If companies want to stop bots and humans alike, real-time identity intelligence is the ticket. Deduce packs more of this data than any other solution, making it a thoroughly accurate standalone or complementary defense system that won’t muck up UX.

Deduce is home to the largest real-time identity graph for online fraud in the US. Its Identity Network leverages more than 500 million unique user profiles and over 1.4 billion daily activities to recognize legitimate users and prevent account takeover—including synthetic identity fraud.

Want to see how Deduce can spot bad bots and humans and help create a Trusted User Experience? Contact us today.

Continuous authentication is no longer exclusive to big tech

Amazon’s Prime Day was last week, the annual free-for-all in which Prime subscribers jostle for exclusive deals. Amazon’s hefty stockpile of data (and identity intelligence) enables shoppers to jump on and off the site or app without having to reauthenticate, boosting their chances of snagging their favorite moisturizer or air fryer.

Thankfully, for companies not in the FAANG Gang, Deduce’s real-time identity intelligence provides the same convenience. This “continuous authentication” feature, which keeps trusted users logged in for 30 days (or longer—this is SecOps configurable), can now create a frictionless customer journey for all B2C companies, even if their CEO doesn’t moonlight as an astronaut. Implementation is just as seamless—without sacrificing security.

Here is why continuous authentication, and frictionless real-time digital identity verification, are central to the consumer journey, what this looks like in action, and how Deduce makes it happen.

It all starts with identity

All consumer journeys start with identity. Verifying users instantly without having them enter their username and password upon each visit goes a long way in facilitating these journeys.

Per a FIDO Alliance report, more than 67% of online shopping carts are abandoned by existing customers due to false positive challenges. Today’s customer is busy, impatient, and short on attention span. They aren’t too thrilled about logging back in for checkout or using a valid credit card and seeing the transaction wrongly declined. Companies feel the hurt of false positives, too. Every triggered multi-factor authentication (MFA) represents a costly trifacta for businesses: lost revenue, reputational damage, and churn, which potentially impacts lifetime customer value.

Delivering a smooth user experience hinges on correctly identifying legitimate customers, instantaneously. Implementing continuous authentication throughout a user’s session keeps them engaged and decreases the likelihood of cart abandonment and/or churn.

The nitty-gritty

So, how does continuous authentication actually work?

We’ve all seen the “Remember Me” box underneath login forms. Depending on the app, ticking this box activates one of two implementations: users only need to enter their password moving forward; or, most conveniently, they’ll bypass login entirely for a period of time.

Some of the trust and risk signals Deduce uses to verify identities.

Continuous authentication, including passwordless login, gives security teams the chills, but Deduce’s behavioral intelligence and real-time risk and trust signals make sure that only legitimate customers, not bad actors, are granted this privilege. After an identity is verified via risk and trust signals across network, device, geography, and activity, a customer can be issued a session extension cookie. Essentially a security token, this extension tells the authentication solution that a user is trustworthy and can be fast-tracked to check-out.

The best part about Deduce’s continuous authentication is that a user’s identity is secure even when they are not using a company’s website. If a user’s credentials are compromised on another site or app within the Deduce Identity Network, their session extension is revoked and they must reauthenticate upon return. Conversely, if the user has authenticated elsewhere on the Deduce Identity Network, that authentication is applied to their identity in real-time and they won’t need to authenticate again on other sites.

Without the required amount of data, however—on par with the likes of Amazon and Google and Apple—continuous authentication and 30+ day session extensions aren’t possible. Unless…

Not your average data stack

Don’t let data limitations get in the way of your continuously authenticated dreams. Deduce’s augmentative solution, fueled by the largest identity graph in the US, layers on top of a company’s existing data stack and effectively levels the playing field.

The Deduce Identity Network packs the identity intelligence needed to pull off continuous authentication and prevent false positive MFA challenges while neutralizing fraudsters, regardless of a company’s size. This network comprises 500M+ unique identity profiles that generate more than 1.4B daily interactions, meaning that Deduce sees the majority of the U.S. population transact in real-time, multiple times per week. As risk data evolves, our identity-backed, machine learning-driven, real-time behavioral intelligence adjusts accordingly.

Legacy identity fraud prevention solutions dependent on static data (name, address, mother’s maiden name, etc.) are no match for today’s fraudsters, and certainly can’t be trusted to power extended login sessions. Static data is more likely to have been compromised by major data breaches and trafficked to cybercriminals on the dark web. Legacy solutions also install their software on websites and apps using JavaScript, far less efficient than Deduce’s no-code integration that integrates within seconds.

With Deduce’s real-time digital identity verification, users bypass manual login for extended periods and enjoy an equally swift account creation process. Businesses and their UX teams, meanwhile, can create a frictionless consumer journey that doesn’t skimp on security, a Trusted User Experience that keeps customers coming back for more.

Experian report shows users are more aware—and wary—of fraud

Experian’s annual Global Identity and Fraud Report highlights the emergence of a new digital user persona. This savvy online consumer appreciates a seamless customer experience (CX), but, above all else, prioritizes their safety. 

The report contains plenty of interesting tidbits related to business and consumer sentiment around fraud. The data begs an important question: can frictionless CX and Grade-A security play on the same team, or are they mutually exclusive?

Below you’ll find the answer to that question, plus some additional findings that caught our eye.

Fraud concern is through the roof

Businesses across the board have never been more worried about fraud. 70% of the companies surveyed in Experian’s report named fraud as their number-one concern—an all-time high. Notably, retail banking ranked as the least trustworthy vertical in regards to fraud risk, with credit card issuers not far behind.

The complexity and ubiquity of fraudsters is an obvious stressor for companies. However, with consumer fraud losses reaching $5.8 billion in 2021—up 70%—execs also know that today’s user is hip to the increase in fraud risk. Globally, over 50% of users have experienced fraud or know a victim personally. Consumers’ chief security concern is identity theft, which usurped credit card theft.

Earning trust from safety-first users is paramount. Otherwise companies will quickly feel a churning sensation.

Users aren’t cutting down on screen time

Consumers are more fraud-averse than ever before, but they aren’t spending less time or money online. Quite the opposite.

Experian’s data shows that online purchases have ticked up in recent months, including a boost in users from older age groups such as 40-54 (48%) and 55-64 (32%). Half of those surveyed plan to ratchet up their online spending over the next three months.

Active as they are, many respondents value security and privacy over the ease of a personalized online experience. This is especially true of those in the Baby Boomer (95%) and Gen X demographics (85%). Still, consumers express a desire to be repeatedly authenticated during an online session, though only one-third of them believe businesses are up to the task.

It behooves companies, then, to bolster their security defenses, while delivering a seamless customer journey.

Balancing security & convenience

A smooth, anxiety-free customer journey is built on trust. Given consumers’ growing online activity and security concerns, apps that protect them—without muddying up the customer experience—will be at the top of their list.

It’s a delicate balance, one that requires myriad data to effectively neutralize synthetic fraud, credential stuffing attacks, and all of the other tactics deployed by bad actors. Consumers, too, seem to know what it takes: 57% of them are open to sharing data in service of stronger security, and 63% believe data sharing is worthwhile (up from 51% last year). 

These are encouraging stats, but enlisting a fraud prevention solution that has its own stockpile of identity intelligence on tap is a much easier route.

Deduce proves that airtight cybersecurity without friction isn’t fiction, thanks to our Identity Network that pulls from over 500 million anonymized user profiles, 150,000+ websites and apps, and more than 1.4 billion daily activities. In fact, Deduce sees the majority of the transactional US population multiple times per week. Deduce’s real-time identity intelligence preempts fraud before it happens and ensures users aren’t wrongly identified as bad actors. This dramatically reduces false positives during account creation and expedites authentication for returning customers—both common sources of churn.

We love that more consumers are invested in their online security. With the Deduce Identity Network behind them, B2C companies can treat users to the safe and frictionless experience they deserve.

Want to provide your customers with a seamless and secure online experience? Try Deduce for free today.

New Gartner report rethinks the marketer’s to-do list

According to a recent Gartner report, CMOs have a new priority at the top of their to-do lists—and it isn’t to order more custom flash drives and beer koozies.

The State of Marketing Budget and Strategy 2022, Gartner’s annual survey of enterprise CMOs, indicates that marketing brass are shifting most of their attention to “Customer Acquisition, Retention and Engagement.” As users grow more impatient and wary of fraud, meeting all three of these needs requires an airtight, yet seamless approach to security. It also requires a combined effort from marketing and security teams.

Though still below pre-COVID-19 levels, marketing budgets are, on average, 9.5% higher than last year. Here is why spending on the right security solution is central to attracting, engaging, and keeping users around.

In the beginning…

All customer journeys start with identity, and optimizing the customer experience (CX) starts with account creation.

This means taking a good, hard look at outdated account signup measures such as email verification. At Deduce, we’ve talked to companies signing up millions of new users every month that have churned 10 percent of these accounts because of email verification issues. Further damage awaits downstream, negatively impacting lifetime customer value and brand reputation.

To neutralize fraud—including synthetic fraud—while maintaining an easy-breezy signup process, deploy an antifraud solution that provides real-time trust signals at the account creation stage. For regulated industries, these trust signals can also reduce the cost of customer onboarding.

A churning sensation

Remember those trust signals from two sentences ago? They not only fastrack signup, but alleviate another major customer pain point: false positives.

Once customers are acquired and have created their account, getting blindsided by a false positive upon logging in will often trigger a DEFCON-1 churn reaction. Security solutions bereft of real-time identity data that rely exclusively on behavioral biometrics and device fingerprinting will generate more false positives and smack users with a multi-factor authentication (MFA) alert.

Many users don’t think MFA is worth the increased security. They don’t have time for clicking CAPTCHA squares of traffic lights or authenticating via one-time passcode. And, thanks to SIM swapping, SMS codes aren’t 100-percent secure, let alone user-friendly, anyway.

A delicate balance

If CMOs wish to treat users to a Ritz-Carlton-esque app experience, they’ll need a security solution that’s rock-solid yet frictionless.

Fortunately, Deduce lies at the intersection of CX and security. With a real-time identity network comprising 500 million anonymized user profiles, 150,000+ websites and apps, and over 1.4 billion daily activities, Deduce uses real-time identity intelligence to ensure a user is legit during account creation and beyond, greatly decreasing the likelihood of a false positive MFA trigger. Spoof-proof trust signals—geolocation, new device, time of day, etc.—promise a smooth verification process throughout the customer journey.

The trusted user experience needn’t be a slog. Safe can also mean seamless, and vice versa.

Looking for a CX-traordinary security solution? Try Deduce for free today.