It’s been a year since the first lockdown was implemented. The pandemic is not over yet and getting almost everything done over the internet has become a standard to us. The process wasn’t easy, tons of emails, hours spent on helplines or on search for answers to our difficult questions. Confusion and unawareness has accompanied us all the way through, but now when the chaos is gone, and we have gained the necessary experience, we can focus on improving our presence in cyberspace. 

 

Cyber crimes increase

In the past year we have experienced smaller or bigger internet frauds. Research shows that in the last months of 2020 the number of attacks on healthcare institutions has increased in over 45%.      In July personal data of more than 17 million Couchsurfing users was found on dark web auctions. The data contained: full names, addresses and email addresses. 

In 2021 the number of cybercrimes will grow faster than ever. According to Statista, the number of identity thefts is expected to rise by 82% this year. Phishing attacks are also expected to increase. The more personal data is being digitized the bigger the chances are of it ending up in the wrong hands and the more successfully scammers are able to create new convincing phishing attacks. Hackers are also expected to use new, more sophisticated methods, like machine learning and artificial intelligence to make their attacks more effective. Such advanced methods are often undetectable for automatic verification programs. 

 

Tighter regulations

In response to the increasing cyber threats come the KYC and AML programs, of which procedures are to be tightened in many countries this year and Australia is one of them. Australian companies can use alternative verification methods, like statements from employers, police, religious community leaders or health professionals. The company may also ask for a video verification to improve its effectiveness and security.

Changes have also been made for the Member States of the EU. In December 2020 the Sixth Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD) was issued, and it must be implemented by the mid-2021. According to the new directive entrepreneurs from the cryptocurrency sector will now be covered by the principles of the AML program. 6AMLD also includes higher penalties for breaches of obligations. Additional rules regarding customer identification (KYC) are also to come into force, their aim is to estimate the threat posed by a new client. 

 

Safety first

Before the widespread coronavirus many companies did not use any advanced identity verification methods. However, with the great wave of digitization caused by the pandemic, the need to implement these methods has come. 

According to the PwC research, 55% of businesses plan to increase their current security budget, 51% want to hire employees who will be responsible for safety of the company on the Internet and 50% say that cybersecurity will be included in every decision and plan of the company. Such companies, not only will be more competitive in their market, but also their employees will be able to work with more intuitive and refined programs even out of the company’s office. As a result, their work will be more productive and safer, no matter where they work and what devices they use.

These improvements will be applied mostly in the four key sectors of the economy, including: health care, banking and finance, technology and telecommunication and in the public and social sector. 

Identity verification comes to the rescue

The previous year taught us a lot, among other things, it showed us how important security is, especially in cyberspace. The statistics clearly show that there will be even more scams this year, and they will be more sophisticated than before. Even with tightened KYC and AML regulations, it’s hard to be optimistic about this year when speaking about online security. It all comes down to one point – more advanced identity verification procedures will become essential for businesses that want to ensure the security of their company. 

It is worth reaching out for professional and advanced identity verification services, the ones that have the support of artificial intelligence. The use of AI in the fight against frauds has been successful. This constantly evolving field is making significant advances in the development of anti-fraud systems. AI is able to analyze a person’s face in a way that would not be possible for a human, the same applies to identity documents. This makes artificial intelligence  the perfect support for a properly trained verification employee. At Fully-Verified, we are using this solution, we currently support our procedures with the sharp eye of AI and the experienced gaze of our verification specialists. We can protect you from frauds that are waiting for you in 2021. 

 

Image source: Freepik.com (1, 2, 3)

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