Is a Username and Password Enough?

It seems like every few weeks a new story comes out about a large-scale business or financial institution being hit by a cyber-attack that exposes the private information of its customers. While some of these organizations have their security infrastructure hacked, others are infiltrated by gaining access to an account owner’s credentials, such as an employee’s username and password combination. Preliminary investigations into a major healthcare data breach suggest that hackers employed the user name and password of a company executive to get inside the system and expose the personal data of over 80 million people. So, does this rise in data breaches as well as identity theft and other fraud schemes that target account opening mark the beginning of the end for the traditional username and password?


As fraudsters get more sophisticated in their efforts, it becomes clear that organizations need to add additional layers of security during customer and employee interactions with sensitive data. By implementing an innovative and collaborative fraud platform, organizations can leverage enhanced techniques for identity verification that can authenticate legitimate access beyond simple username and password.

Layered Authentication

The New York State Department of Financial Services is “very likely” to impose new cyber-security rules on the banking and insurance industries, according to a report by TIME. These new regulations would require businesses in these areas to strengthen their ID verification processes to ensure that each customer is who he or she claims to be. While just an individual step, the move is indicative of the need for all companies working in a customer-not-present environment to improve their authentication methods.

Layering solutions such as multi-factor authentication, knowledge-based authentication and automated photo ID scanning & validation tools help augment traditional username and password combinations and assist organizations in their efforts to reduce risk.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

Although it is clear that organizations need to implement layered authentication methods that go beyond a simple user name and password, it is important to anticipate the effect on customers. Successful organizations will be able to deliver a seamless and secure customer authentication experience that only increases the level of verification when needed – based on level of risk. Therefore good customers can easily gain access to products and services, and fraud is detected and deterred. An effective fraud platform achieves these goals by giving companies tools to not only stop fishy transactions in their tracks, but also improve customer satisfaction through a streamlined user experience.

As the practice of usernames and passwords gives way to more sophisticated and secure methods of identity verification, being on the front lines helps businesses drive revenue, prevent fraud and strengthen customer relationships. Learn more about the entire IDology fraud platform by contacting a representative today at (866) 520-1234.


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