Identity crisis in the digital world

By : |April 17, 2009 0

MUMBAI, INDIA: Today, the expanding digital world has made life easier than before – whether its shopping, banking or accessing desired information, all is just a button click away.

However, apart from such facilities on the Internet, it is also becoming highly prone to online frauds and crimes such as phishing, hacking, data thefts and unauthorized access and so forth. In general, all these crimes are mainly linked to user identity, its security and misuse.

With crimes becoming more sophisticated, enabled by technology, protecting identity is very crucial not just for any individual but even for the businesses and organizations.

Also, there’s growing fear that rising online crimes could weaken people’s confidence of using the Internet for commercial purposes.

According to Dhruv Singhal, Oracle India’s director for Sales Consulting –Oracle Fusion Middleware, it’s very crucial for enterprises, organizations and financial institutions to retain customers’ confidence against online frauds and crimes on the Internet.

“If the customer’s confidence is not retained, it could shun the business opportunities on the Internet. So the onus is on the enterprises and businesses to provide secured environment to protect its users or customers’ identity,” says Singhal.

In fact, Singapore-based software company, Readiminds had done an online security survey, ‘State of online security in financial institutions in India-2008’, which reported that about 30 per cent banks were victims of identity theft, while 30 per cent banks suffered from phishing attacks during past one year. India’s top 40 banks were surveyed under this study.

On the sophistication of crimes, Singhal points that there are two major threats – keyloggers and phishing sites.

“Keyloggers works in background that monitors keyboard strokes and stores all activities of users, while phishing sites are duplicates of official website such as banks, which are used to steal user identity and key information such as login IDs and passwords,” he explains.

Further he adds that people accessing the Internet from cybercafes are highly vulnerable to keyloggers and are prone to identity thefts.

Singhal suggests that using Oracle Virtual Authenticator and Oracle Adaptive Authentication Manager (OAAM), user identity can be protected and also helps to block unauthorized access, externally as well as internally in any organizations.

Oracle Virtual Authenticator offers an on-screen virtual keyboard to users and protects from keyloggers, while Oracle Adaptive Authencation Manager is highly effective against phishing attacks. It adds one more authentication to the original site during its access.

For instance, while accessing any bank’s site, the user can add his/her picture or any question or phrase that can be a unique piece of information and can add security layer against illegal or unauthorized access.

Singhal explains that OAAM is backed by real-time analytics, which constantly monitors variations in information in real-time and protects the user.

It means, any change in IP address and location in view with time duration, will alert the system and subsequently will block the transaction or can ask for more informations to check the user identity’s authenticity.

Moreover, the ‘State of online security’ study concluded that about 70 per cent banks had implemented stronger security mechanism that reflected in better business performance. Apart from financial institutions, identity management and access control have greater role in preventing frauds and data thefts within organizations and enterprises.

Singhal reckons that entry or exit of any staff in organization should be linked the HR management system for provisioning access rights to certain applications and informations.

“By linking identity provisioning with HR management system, the management can control and monitor activities of its staff. However, it will need automation of all systems and departments within the organization,” he remarks.

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