Security Problems of Identity Verification Systems

Identity verification systems are meant to instill confidence and trust. With that comes the belief that the solutions provided should hold  a higher level of privacy, as they are meant to protect rather than placing our personal details at risk of theft. These systems are in place to safeguard, but who is protecting us from the threat that comes with the abuse of power from those privileged gatekeepers?

 

The International Scale of the Issue

Currently the process of identity management has plenty of weak links and leaks – leading to a high risk of cybercrime. Additionally, because these systems do not overlap with each other – should something go wrong, even law enforcement is left helpless to conduct coordinated operations at an international level.

The problem has been recognized and the approach to ID verification is slowly changing for the better. As technology advances, so do security professionals who are ready and waiting to instill new stringent security measures, principles and develop stronger technologies for testing these scenarios. These high-end solutions are being implemented at both international and enterprise level, but oftentimes it’s the enterprises who ignore the need for inter-cooperability.  Leaving the public, government and businesses vulnerable still.

Newer generations of verification systems can easily respond to security problems related to areas such as AI algorithms. However, the fast-paced development of technology means that new, stronger risks continue to emerge.

Keep in mind, that when referring to ID verification technology, we’re also talking about everyday basics, such as digital transactions (credit cards, online purchases etc.) that require a large amount of trust and confidentiality that can only be achieved through consolidated identity solutions. The solution: creating a global community which interlinks a digital identity model to reduce security risks.

 

Risks to Secure Identity Verification

Due to the ongoing development of ID verifications systems, it’s not difficult to predict that cyberattacks will increase in environments where society becomes most reliant. Malicious entities will be ready and waiting to exploit any vulnerability they may find in devices and identification mechanisms to gain access to sensitive data.

 

With that being said, we have found a list of the top threats faced in the discussed context. We have even included the motivation behind compromising such systems:

Insider threat. Motivation: service disruption or money. An intruder disguised as a trusted individual can take advantage of access obtained by circumventing physical security.

Unethical competition. Motivation: gaining a competitive advantage. A malefactor can engage insiders and other third parties to carry out the attack.

Nation-state foul play. Motivation: politics and economic gain. This type spans espionage, account takeover, authentication system compromise and surveillance.

Organized crime. Motivation: money. The dodgy instruments include identity theft, account takeover, data abuse, authentication system compromise, man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks and document forgery.

Hacktivism. Motivation: disrupting a target’s operation, causing reputational damage. Account takeover and impersonation, as well as authentication and authorization compromise, can be applied.

 

Now, let us outline the key risks to the security of present-day ID verification systems.

Privacy: Perpetrators may obtain large amounts of personal data, including biometrics, behavioral and geolocation details.

Integrity: Undermining the integrity of these solutions could reduce trust between participants of the ecosystem.

Availability: Attackers may try to hack the identity verification infrastructure to disrupt a service that the participants heavily depend on, thus causing a cascading effect.

 

Information Security Professionals will continue to face an ever-growing list of challenges when it comes to securing the digital identity environment. Something as simple as a breach of email could have devastating consequences, regardless of the industry in which it takes place.

In the digital sphere, it is vital that a relationship of trust is built between both the service provider and the user. When choosing a verification provider, do your research – know where you’re putting your personal details.

At QuadraBay we use state-of-the-art, industry leading security protocols to ensure your personal details remain safe and protected. We build safer futures.

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