Guilty Until Proven Innocent: How Incorrectly Identifying Good Customers as Cybercriminals Damages Your Bottom Line

In today’s online marketplace, however, consumers have multiple online personas and interact with dozens of websites on a daily basis — interactions that can be used to help verify and authenticate the user’s identity for all online transactions.

Context-Based Authentication: A Better Way
Context-based authentication is a passive security approach that evaluates a user’s device, associated online personas, transaction context and previous online behaviors in real time, enabling retailers to gauge user credibility according to a wide range of variables. Rather than relying exclusively on your brand’s own history with a user, context-based authentication and a global intelligence network allows you to quickly differentiate good customers from fraudsters, eliminating unnecessary customer friction.

Let’s say a customer attempts to log in to a retail account using a new, unfamiliar device. If the customer used previously authenticated and trusted credentials (e.g., name, physical address, email address and credit card) to make a recent purchase from another retailer, the device can be authenticated in real time since the customer’s key credentials have remained unchanged.

One of the primary benefits of this approach is that it gives equal weight to the identification of both cybercriminals and good customers. Context-based authentication and a global network eliminate transactional hurdles, reduce friction and stop any further damage to the customer experience — without sacrificing security against legitimate fraud attempts.

Based on recent trends, online sales will likely break another record during this year’s holiday season. Context-based authentication and global network intelligence can dramatically improve e-commerce security, but the caveat is that you need to consider implementing this technology now to avoid a potential catastrophe by making major security changes during the busy fourth quarter.

Reed Taussig is the president and CEO of ThreatMetrix, a provider of context-based security and advanced fraud prevention solutions.

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