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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

FIDO Alliance explores U.S. IDV strategy

Experts from government and private sectors convened virtually on Feb. 4 and 5, 2021, to discuss advances in identity verification technologies and strategy. Hosted by the FIDO Alliance, Better Identity Coalition and ID Theft Resource Center, the event drew participants from the Biden administration, U.S. Department of Treasury, Small Business Administration and technology providers.

In light of documented increases in identity verification fraud, experts discussed collaborative strategies for mitigating attacks and leveraging IDV technology to improve access to digital services. Participants agreed that establishing benchmarks and uniform approaches to identity verification (IDV) can help reduce fraud and improve user experience.

To that end, government agencies are deploying FIDO standards for secure online authentication, FIDO representatives noted, adding that use cases can be found at fidoalliance.org/fido-government-deployments-and-recognitions/.

Scott Clements, chief executive officer, president and director at OneSpan, noted that recent developments, such as login.gov, provide a secure access point to multiple government agencies. While the site does not currently support all government departments, it is building a foundation, he stated.

"Secure trusted digital identity should be thought of as an infrastructure project of the first order that can have massive and long lasting ripple effects across the economy and improve citizen access to digital services both public and private health care financial services," Clements said. "And to continue with this infrastructure allegory, there are several things already underway that the administration can support and sponsor that can help make digital identity progress shovel ready."

Shovel-ready IDV

Clements pointed out that President Biden's American rescue plan includes funding for cybersecurity and GSA services like login.gov that improve access to identity services. In addition, he expects reintroduction of the Improved Digital Identity Act of 2020, co-sponsored by Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., and Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., to elevate digital identity issues to the highest levels of the executive branch.

Clements further noted that the United States needs privacy and data protection laws, similar to those of other countries, to help its citizens control the use of their own data.

Michael Magrath, director, global regulations and standards at OneSpan, agreed, stating that some states, such as California and Virginia, are ahead of others in protecting consumer privacy and identity. He added that Foster and Katko's legislation, if passed, will substantially improve the U.S. approach to digital identity.

"In the past several years, Europe has launched numerous national ID programs, and Columbia is launching one," Magrath said. "Here in the U.S., we don't trust our government as much, and there has been a lot of pushback around a having a national ID in this country, which puts us at a clear disadvantage when it comes to digital identity and knowing that a person is who they say they are when they're conducting transactions."

Uniform global strategies needed

Separate studies published Feb. 9, 2021, by Aite Group and Arkose Labs, found a sharp uptick in synthetic fraud and identity theft in 2020. The Aite study, reported $1.8 billion in synthetic identity fraud in 2020. These numbers are expected to double within two years, according to Aite researchers. (For more information on the Aite report, see our breaking news story ""Fraudsters lie low, ready to pounce again" at www.greensheet.com/breakingnews.php?article_id=2503.)

"As the world is more digital and economic turmoil continues, heightened attack levels are here to stay," stated Kevin Gosschalk, founder and CEO at Arkose Labs. "Businesses need long-term strategies to defend against high velocity fraud and abuse."

Arkose Labs' Q12021 Fraud and Abuse Report linked increased fraudulent activities to a global spike in digital commerce by homebound citizens during the coronavirus pandemic. Popular attack vectors were synthetic identity and automated account takeovers, Arkose researchers noted, adding that the shift from cash to card-not-present transactions caused businesses to "relook at authorization, fraud models and how to manage identities, especially in the wake of fraudsters increasingly using synthetic identities."

Magrath stated that continuing collaborations by government and private sectors will protect identities and improve trust among business owners, federal agencies and individuals as they transact in an increasingly digital environment and commerce ecosystem. end of article

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