Phone-Centric Identity
Cybersecurity Insights Intelligence

Mobile Device Signals Can Help Prevent Identity Fraud: Whitepaper

Determining if an individual is who they claim to be is never easy and an increased usage of digital channels during the Covid pandemic has given fraudsters more opportunities to attack. But could mobile devices solve the problem? A new whitepaper suggests so.

Covid-19 has provided the ideal opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage of remote workers, pandemic-related financial assistance and a soaring number of online retail ‘newbies’, including both consumers and retailers.

This increased usage of digital channels has not only given fraudsters more opportunities to attack, but the ability to hide ‘in plain sight’ due to the volume of new users onboarding. Data breaches and theft of personally identifiable information, such as name, address and social security number, led to soaring identity fraud losses in 2020.

According to a new whitepaper from Prove and One World Identity (OWI), phone-centric identity technologies can solve common identity challenges. They can also be leveraged at each stage of the customer lifecycle to optimise the customer experience and protect against fraudsters.

Their paper, entitled Phone-Centric Identity: How to Solve Identity Authentication and Verification’s Biggest Challenges By Leveraging Mobile Signals and Behavioral Biometrics, puts a spotlight on the latest phone-centric identity technologies.

Mike Lynch, chief strategy officer at Prove, says: “One World Identity and Prove partnered to bring executives the answers to their top identity verification and authentication challenges as they work to deliver more seamless customer experiences through innovative mobile identity verification and authentication technologies. This research shows how phone-centric identity provides a logical and effective way to solve key identity challenges across the entire customer journey.”

While, Travis Jarae, CEO of One World Identity, adds: “By layering mobile signals and behavioral biometrics, organisations can dynamically meet changing risk profiles without adding additional friction in identity verification and authentication processes.”

The paper’s key points

Phone-centric identity can provide the following combination of deterministic and probabilistic data delivered in a privacy-enhanced manner:

  • Knowledge of the actual owner of the phone
  • Evidence of the possession of the phone
  • Assessment of the reputation of the phone
  • Device intelligence signals, such as WIFI, Bluetooth, IP address, location and others
  • Physical biometrics of the owner, such as fingerprints and facial features
  • Behavioral biometrics, such as walking gait, angle of device

Phone-centric signals can also be used at the time of onboarding for a faster customer experience that results in increased account registrations and application approvals.

The technology verifies the identities of prospective customers in a way that is largely passive through their mobile phones, minimising steps that prospective customers need to take to sign up.

The Prove and One World Identity paper also recommends the following recommendations specific to augmenting verification and authentication with mobile device signals:

    • Use the phone as an omni channel authenticator
    • Fortify one-time passwords with advanced authentication (MFA 3.0) technologies
    • Use passive identity techniques for a better customer experience
    • Authenticate users before they are in session
    • Authenticate the person behind the device


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