Services that protect consumers from identity theft and fraud are expected to skyrocket in 2019, according to a new report by Fact.MR. In 2018, nearly 1,000 data breaches have exposed the personal data of more than 47 million consumers, including 1.7 million records hacked at banking, credit and financial institutions.
During 2017, a total of 16.7 million consumers were victims of identity fraud last year – up by 1 million for 2016.
“The identity theft protection services market witnessed an opportunity worth $ 7.4 billion in 2018 and will continue its upward spiral in the forthcoming years,” said the Fact.MR study.
One of the biggest needs is emerging among consumers with credit cards. The study notes that by the end of the year card fraud will amount to $2.9 billion continuing the increasing trend of past years. According to the Federal Trade Commission, more than 32 percent of Americans lodged complaints about credit card frauds during 2016, double the rate recorded in 2015.
The market for identity theft protection services has been growing substantially during the last five years, reports market intelligence firm Market Research Explore, and is expected to grow at a rate large enough to influence the global economy.
One of the biggest likely threats this year could come in the previously very safe area of biometric security such as Touch-ID sensors, facial recognition, and passcodes, according to the 2019 data breach forecast from the Experian data bureau. Until now, biometric data has been considered the most secure method of authentication but – like any aspect of technology – it can be stolen, manipulated, spoofed and deteriorate as it becomes more widely spread.
Experian found that four other looming threats for the coming year include:
- Skimming: Credit-card and ATM-card skimming could result in an attack on a major financial institution’s national network with the potential to upload malware into entire networks, resulting in millions of lost dollars.
- Attacks on wireless carriers: Experian foresees a likely attack on cellphone providers that could expose the personal data of millions of consumers and could even disable wireless communications in the United States.
- Breaching the cloud: Eventually, hackers will break through security in the cloud, compromising the sensitive information of major companies with the potential to expose billions of pieces of data.
- Gaming the gamers: The growing and robust online gaming community is emerging as another likely target, with hackers as gamers and gaining access to personal and credit card information, as well as valuable game pieces and tokens.
These threats will continue to drive the adoption of standards along the lines of the European Union’s recently enacted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), especially in the United States where frustrations over continued and growing data theft, fraud, abuse, and exploitation are reaching a boiling point.
Identity verification provider Acuant Inc. predicts that the increasing focus on technology behemoths such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, and others will drive the U.S. government to reign in the industry with new compliance requirements.
These growing concerns present savvy financial services providers with an immense marketing opportunity that can engage consumers and build brand loyalty, notes digital and data marketer DMN. By being proactive and consumer-friendly with data protection features, companies can move from the burden of meeting data safety requirements to offering consumers trusted protection for their personal information.
In the wake of data breaches, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, consumers often place the blame on their card-issuers, banks and other financial services providers. In the past, nearly 1 million consumers switching financial institutions because of fraud, taking a total of $4 billion in credit card spending with them. Giving consumers access to ID fraud prevention tools and protection can position those firms on the right side of the digital security divide.
The growing and frustrating threat of financial crime, identity theft, and fraud aren’t going to go away, but they do present financial and technical service providers a large range of opportunities to engage, support and bond with customers by helping them secure their personal finances.