#FraudLifecycle Series: The Role of Balancing Fraud Prevention

October 3, 2014 by Maria Scalone

In a recent webinar, we addressed how both the growing diversity of technology used for online transactions and the many different types of access can make authentication complicated.

Technology is ever-changing and is continually reshaping the way we live. This leaves our industry to question how device intelligence factors into both the problem and solution surrounding diverse technologies in the online transaction space. Industry experts Cherian Abraham from the Experian Decision Analytics team and David Britton from 41st Parameter, a part of Experian, weighed in on the discussion.

Putting It All Into Context

Britton harkened back to a simpler time of authentication practices. In the early days of the web, user names and passwords were the only tools people had to authenticate online identities. Eventually, this led organizations to begin streamlining the process. “They did things like using cookies or placing files onto a computer so that the computer would be “known” to the business,” said Britton.

However, those original methods are now struggling to fit into the modern-day authentication puzzle. “The challenge has been that for both privacy reasons and for the advancements of technology we have actually moved to a more privacy-centric environment where those types of things have fallen away in terms of their efficacy.  For example, cookies are often easily deleted by simply browsing incognito. So as a result there’s been a counter move approach to how to authenticate online,” said Britton.

New Technology – A Quick Fix?

Don’t be fooled. Newer technologies cannot necessarily provide an easy alternative and incorporate older authentication methods. Britton referenced how the advent of mobile has actually made recognizing the consumer behind the device, the behavior of the machine and the data that the consumer is presenting even more complex. Additionally, rudimentary methods of authentication don’t actually exist well in the mobile environment.

On the other hand, newer technologies and the mobile environment force a more layered approach to authentication methods. “There is a better way and the better way is to look at a variety of other inspirations beyond user names and passwords before vindicating the customer. This is all the more evident when you get to newer channels such as mobile where consumer expectations are so different and you cannot rely on the customer having to answer a long stream of characters and letters such as a user name or a password,” said Abraham.

Britton weighed in as well on device intelligence and the layered approach. “Our whole philosophy around this has been that if you can recognize aspects of the device in the form of device intelligence – we’re able to actually leverage that information without crossing the boundaries of good privacy management. Furthermore, we are then able to say we recognize the attributes of the device and can recognize the device as that person is attempting to come back into an environment,” said Britton. He emphasized how being able to help companies understand who might be on the other end of the device has made a world of difference. This increasingly points to how authentication will continue to evolve in a in a multi-device, multi-screen and multi-channel environment.

For more information and access to the full webinar – Stay tuned for additional #fraudlifecycle posts.