Cybercrime Predictions 2016: The Year of the Digital Identity

ThreatMetrix®, the digital identity company, is predicting 2016 to be the “year of the digital identity.” In the 16 “Cybercrime Predictions for 2016,” ThreatMetrix outlines four main themes to emerge next year: businesses shifting to digital, cybersecurity moving to the c-suite, the threat of cyberattacks becoming increasingly global and heightened fraud strategies putting digital identity intelligence front and center.

The past year has seen record cybercrime numbers, with cyberattacks costing businesses about half a trillion dollars, according to Forbes. Unfortunately, high-level cyberattacks in several sectors – including healthcare, retail, government and financial, to name a few – have left nearly every American consumer affected, according to ZDNet.

“In 2016, it will be even more important to understand how to use shared intelligence to detect and prevent fraud,” said Vanita Pandey, senior director of strategy at ThreatMetrix. “As cybercriminals move attention online and consumers have more digital touchpoints than ever before, all businesses need to have a strategy in place for authenticating users in real-time.”

As attacks show no signs of slowing down in 2016, ThreatMetrix offers these core areas of focus for the coming year.

  •     Every business is a digital business: With the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), emerging methods of payments and mobile usage is expected to surpass 50% of all ecommerce and financial transactions, so the burden is on businesses to recognize customers across various touchpoints. These companies should seek out layered security solutions that orchestrate multiple vendors and evaluate risk to ultimately make better, safer business decisions.
  •     Cybersecurity in the c-suite: Businesses will put customer experience at the forefront of their cybersecurity buying process, with chief customer and digital officers having direct input in fraud prevention purchasing decisions. As these executives are more involved in day-to-day operations, we’ll see at least one C-level dismissal in the Fortune 500 due to a cybersecurity incident in 2016.
  •     Attacks will get bigger and more complex: Cybersecurity will be a focus of the upcoming presidential election as organized crime rings continue to expand and terrorism shifts online. Retailers will continue to fall victim to attacks and suffer millions in losses and debts, leading to more lawsuits, similar to the one in which Target settled with several U.S. banks for $39 million following their 2013 hack.
  •     2016 will be the year of the digital identity: We’ll see more regulations, mandates and retail sector controls in the coming year, due to continued security failings in all areas. Global information sharing and collaboration will increase and businesses will put digital identity intelligence front and center. Consumer-centric models of business are going to be the most successful in 2016, where businesses rely on dynamic sources of data for identity assessment and authentication.

“While we always want to see a decrease in cyberattacks, history has shown they will likely continue to rise,” said Pandey. “To combat these attacks, we predict an increase in multi-device and digital identity security. Cybercriminals are getting smarter and more creative, so staying one step ahead is critical to avoid losing sensitive information.”

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