Will Universal Security IDs Work Online?

LockedGateHAMPSHIRE, England – As mobile online engagement has soared, so has awareness of the the limitations inherent in password-based security. Consumers frequently use the same passwords for multiple sites they access on multiple devices, provoking a dramatic rise in the scope and scale of data theft.

A new study from Juniper Research estimates the number of data breaches worldwide is expected to rise from just under 6,000 this year to more than 16,000 by 2020, with an average of 500,000 records exposed per breach — dwarfing the notorious Ashley Madison breach that dramatically eroded consumer confidence.

Consequently, security networks and websites — mobile network operators, in particular — are scrambling to stay ahead of potential disaster by testing new technologies to outwit cybercriminals.

Juniper’s study, Mobile Identity, Authentication & Tokenisation 2015-2020, claims mobile network operators will derive an additional $700 million in revenue from new universal log-in and identity services by 2020, up from $20 million in 2015.

According to Dr. Windsor Holden, author of the research report, approaches such as that endorsed by the GSMA’s Mobile Connect initiative, which seeks to deliver a secure universal solution, would be far more effective than a fragmented approach. One proposal for the universal login approach would require users to log in using a combination of a mobile number and PIN. In a series of test cases, not only did such a system diminish the risk of fraud, but it also offered potential benefits such as greater customer conversion rates and reduced call center costs.

“It is imperative to reduce online user pain points,” Holden said. “Enabling a single, secure mode of entry could be a key development in this regard.”

However, the research noted the business case for mobile ID solutions has yet to be fully established. Holden pointed out that the problem facing operators opting for a subscription-based approach is that even a low level charge — $1 per month, for example — may represent a relatively substantial uplift in consumer spend.

Holden also stressed that for a mobile ID service to be successful, it would be essential for all network operators within a given market to support the scheme, thereby ensuring universal availability.


Marty O'Brien

Raised in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, Marty O'Brien was the first of the O'Brien clan to obtain a college degree. A former sports journalist, O'Brien got a peek at the inner workings of the adult entertainment industry while on an assignment to cover the Los Angeles Lakers. He joined the YNOT editorial team in late 2010 and now specializes in technology , business news and ogling starlets.

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