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Mobile Transaction Risk Prompting Big Online Fraud Detection Spend: Time to Get Certified

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Mobile Transaction Risk Prompting Big Online Fraud Detection Spend: Time to Get Certified

June 15, 2016
By Steve Anderson
Contributing Writer

Mobile devices are proving to be the key to advancement in a variety of retail sectors. From users shopping and paying directly from these devices to those using them as payment mechanisms and research tools, mobile devices mean a lot more activity for shoppers. That also means a lot more target for fraud, and a Juniper Research (News - Alert) study suggests annual spending on online fraud detection will rise in a big way over the next five years.

The Juniper Research study suggests annual spending should hit $9.2 billion by 2020, which represents a rise of almost a third—30 percent—over current levels. Essentially, many cybercriminals have realized that desktop-based security measures are about as good as can be, but mobile operations are still a work in progress. That means a lot of vectors of vulnerability to exploit. 

The report's author, Gareth Owen, noted that not only is there are clear demand for products designed to protect such systems, but also, there's growing interest in supplying that demand. In “the medium term,” Owen noted, digital security companies were considering mobile fraud response systems as a “key revenue generator,” one that allowed technology to step in and make mobile-based purchases just as safe as any currently-known online method. One of the biggest focuses in that field was biometrics.

Biometrics allows a security system to operate based on the essential points and schematics of certain body parts. A fingerprint, for example, can be used as a security check in a biometric system, and is perhaps one of the most common such methods along with the thumbprint. It's far from the only biometric tool; iris scans, vein tracking, and even voice print analysis are all part of biometric possibilities. These are especially prized security measures as it's very difficult to spoof such a system, and it's very easy to use as few forget to have their thumb with them.

Security must not only be strong, but it must also be easy to use. Easy to use security is often not strong—reused, simple passwords are a major problem for security today—but security that's too strong won't be put to use and is therefore as good as no security at all. Biometric security does a great job of splitting the difference, and that makes it a popular choice. It can be difficult to implement—though moves like Apple (News - Alert)'s Touch ID are changing that—and that's made biometrics a little slow to catch on so far. With plans to put more investment into security, though, that may change.

Regardless of what form it takes, and there are a lot of options for online fraud detection, we need more of it, and businesses seem ready to put that in place in short order. That's good news for mobile device users, and especially for mobile shoppers. It also presents an opportunity for IT security professionals to get educated on the tools available to protect against mobility-centric exploits and certified as experts on reducing risks by advocating for investment in such tools. 

Edited by Peter Bernstein

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