CFN original: A few different expectations for the new year, based on the activity from last year

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Net Patrol International Inc.  Data Investigation and Forensic Services
Bankruptcy and Insolvency Trustees

With 2017 behind us, there’s a natural inclination to dive headlong into the new year with optimism, determination and a drive to create fresh content. But it’s also important to take a step back and look at what happened in the last 12 months and how it can influence fraud trends to come. It’s certainly possible to move into January with fresh enthusiasm while simultaneously analyzing what made 2017 important for our fraud community.

One of the problems with prediction articles is the conflation with fact-based reality. Even using the word prediction causes problems in the imagery it conjures up. What Canadian Fraud News is trying to do with this piece is extrapolate the trends and events that happened with the fraud community last year and explain what the likely possibilities are for this year, but also why these specific ideas, concepts, and trends are likely to happen in 2018.

Fraud literacy is going to grow exponentially

Here, we’re using the term fraud as an all-encompassing term that covers everything from cybersecurity, cryptocurrencies and data breaches. While the concepts of cybersecurity and cryptocurrency aren’t inherently fraudulent, we saw in 2017 a significant rise in the correlation of these terms and fraudulent activity.

Furthermore, with the impact of data breaches reaching new thresholds globally, we believe a shift in thinking is going to continue in 2018. Especially after it came to light that the Equifax breach was known internally by staff responsible for managing security. If 2017 proved anything, it was that the concepts and vocabulary synonymous with a niche group of people trained in understanding blockchain, the spectrum of malware terms and even IOT devices has finally seeped into the mainstream.

And at Canadian Fraud News we think this is a good thing. No longer are password managers unusual. Instead, these types of programs are fast becoming nomenclature. The ecosystem surrounding the world of IOTs are going to popular more than ever, for all the right and wrong reasons. So it’s going to be more important to understand these terms more than ever before.

Speaking of IOT security…

Security concerns with The Internet of Things will grow

The last few years have seen an evolution in the way we talk about our everyday devices. Toasters, fridges, thermostats, home assistants even shoes, can all now be connected to the internet. And while we’re inching closer and closer to the ultimate freedom, convenience and ease of use, the topic of security with these devices will increase at the same rate.

We’ve already written about Amazon and the home assistant Alexa and it’s potential security flaws, and it’s a conversation that seems quaint at this point considering Alexa was literally the tip of the iceberg. At one point, the IOT conversation certainly sounded like a paranoia echo chamber, but the router KRACK revelation from late last year also signaled a pivot to the next wave of devices that will ultimately supercharge (nee destroy?) our world.

One of the very interesting things about the IOT conversation that will definitely continue further into 2018, is the community that’s flourished around the devices themselves. And this is true of every subheading on this list down to the communities that serve our learning and growth when it comes to fraud.

Data breaches will still happen

This is probably the safest bet to make heading into a new year, considering what transpired leading up literally to the final day of 2017. And some people might question why we’d include such a no-brainer subheading in a predictions article. We think it’s not that data breaches will happen as being an interesting prediction, but instead, the way societies react to such breaches that make for an interesting trend to watching moving forward. 

I think that it’s fair to say a large number of people didn’t understand how to react to the numerous affronts that happened before, leading up to and during 2017 (or they simply didn’t care). But after the Equifax breach came to light, large swaths of people were less pissed off with the actual breaches, but how the companies and executives dealt with the fallout of the various situations. 2018 will see a rubber band affect in terms of the general public not accepting anything less than full culpability for any actions not taken in dealing with data breaches. People certainly understand that these things happen, but will still be looking for the appropriate responses.

Machine learning will remain strong and the end of passwords as we know it may be near

In our piece from October of last year, we wrote about how machine learning technology was responsible for helping curb different types of international phone fraud. This technology is only going to grow in its potential to help businesses created specifically to help curb international phone fraud, better known as Wangari. No doubt this technology will continue to evolve at a faster and faster rate, extending its ability to disseminate vast quantities of information at lightning speed. Whether it’s companies like PointPredictive using it to solve the growing problem of auto lending fraud, or Actimize preventing using it to prevent bank attacks by fraudsters, machine learning is on the rise.

And while we believe don’t think the death of the seven digit password that’s been the staple of internet communities for decades will happen in 2018, we do believe there will be a radical shift in how we utilize the front line of internet protection. The growth of Digital Identities one of the most significant technology trends in the world today and promises to end our reliance on simple keystrokes.  Whether it is digital driver’s licenses, digital credentials on mobile devices, or digital cloud passports this is the trend in fraud prevention to keep your eye on.

The UN and World Bank have launched an initiative to provide everyone on the planet a legal ID by 2030. In the UK, the government launched a digital identity program in 2016 and Australia launched its own digital identity program in 2017. Now again, those are pretty lofty goals to hit by 2030, and we don’t necessarily think that digital identities will take the place of passwords, but traditional passwords certainly won’t be the central focus of internet security moving forward.

2018 has just started and it’s virtually impossible to know exactly what’s going to be an important commodity in the world of fraud and cybersecurity. But understanding what transpired last year and how that impacted our communities moving forward is the first step we can take to curbing fraudulent activity in the near future.

Read our latest CFN original, here.