TransUnion released a new study showing a significant rise in account takeover attacks (ATO) in the United States. The survey of 600 federal, state, and local leaders shows the increase affects all levels of government.
TransUnion attributes the new data to the increased used of internet technologies to access government services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The breadth of services delivered on government websites creates complexity, and agencies face dynamic constituent and regulatory requirements to protect customers, verify identities, authenticate eligibility and secure payment transactions,” said Jonathan McDonald, executive vice president and head of TransUnion’s public sector business, said in a press release.
Mobile phones showed the largest spike, and TransUnion now believes they represent the biggest customer account security threat. Only 39% of survey respondents believe the government uses adequate security measures to protect sensitive customer information.
The survey findings also highlight government leaders’ belief that future fraud prevention methods must focus on artificial intelligence and better techniques for increased identity authentication.
“Combatting fraud in each vector, from mobile to online portals, is an imperative and essential task that government agencies must address in 2021. Focusing on emerging tools, such as AI, device risk assessment and identity verification, in addition to policies and best practices for a seamless user experience, will go a long way towards protecting and gaining the confidence of consumers,” McDonald said.
Authorities reported $7billion worth of payment fraud in 2020, highlighting the huge scope of the problem. In a post-pandemic world, government agencies of all kinds will need to improve their fraud fighting capabilities in order to adequately protect customer data.
“Each agency, be it federal, state or local, has unique regulatory and fraud challenges depending on the types of e-commerce services offered. Constituents expect positive online experiences from public sector agencies as government websites form a critical backbone for constituent service delivery,” McDonald said.