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Securing Digital Identities with Help of AI New Path After Pandemic of 2020  

  Securing individual digital identities with the help of AI and biometrics is a higher priority for business and healthcare, in wake of a rise in cybercrime. (Credit: Getty Images)   

By John P. Desmond, AI Trends Editor  

Organizations are looking to secure their data and identities with the help of AI,  as business models move online and increased cybercrime follows.   

The new era of identity authentication incorporates AI and biometrics in more sophisticated systems that make it more difficult for cybercriminals. Biometric data such as fingerprints help prevent identity theft, since criminals would not be able to gain access to information by only providing credentials.    

Deepak Gupta, Cofounder and CTO, LoginRadius

“In order to protect data, digital identities need to meet a stricter set of security regulations.” stated Deepak Gupta, Cofounder and CTO of LoginRadius, a cloud-based consumer identity platform, writing recently in Forbes. “Stolen identities can allow criminals to impersonate someone else and access secured resources,” he stated. 

On a network, AI and machine learning make it easier to implement algorithms that can identify fraudulent activities; they can spy the difference between normal and abnormal trends, so can identify actions that may be coming from fraudulent activities.  

While authentication with AI is still in an early stage, businesses can begin to implement it by adding intelligent adaptive authentication, using location and device fingerprints to identify the consumer, Gupta suggested. Also, smart data filters can identify fraudulent IPs, domains and user data. “AI has the power to save the world from digital identity fraud. In the fight against ID theft, it is already a strong weapon,” stated Gupta. 

Pandemic Accelerated Online Interactions, Pressuring Cybersecurity 

Deborah Golden, US Cyber and Strategic Risk leader, Deloitte, Washington, DC

With the Covid-19 pandemic increasing reliance on digital interactions, more focus was put on cybersecurity. “The pandemic accelerated the critical role digital identity plays in providing the foundation for building trust among a broad spectrum of stakeholders, whether they be consumers, employees, partners or vendors, governments, and civilians,” stated Deborah Golden, US Cyber and Strategic Risk leader at Deloitte, based in Washington, DC, in a recent interview in Security Magazine. “It’s how we can protect ourselves from data breaches, identity theft, data misuse, and other forms of fraud and cybercrime,” she stated. 

Organizations have an opportunity to leverage digital identities to build trust, by applying AI, machine learning and data analytics to detect unauthorized access to enterprise systems, and fraudulent consumer activity, she suggested. “By using AI and analytics to facilitate trusted interactions, organizations can distinguish themselves for their vigilance in protecting data and proactively mitigating risk,” she stated. 

In B2C markets, she recommended that organizations provide consumers with incentives to enroll their devices, such as messages emphasizing that enrolling will make interactions faster and more secure while keeping data private, and/or points in a loyalty program.  

“Digital identity allows organizations to track and monitor how customer data, preferences, and consent are cataloged, shared, and used internally,” Golden stated.  

Organizations can use the identify data to make it easier to align user access to different data classifications, use policies and permissions. Anecdotal evidence shows that companies with digital identity programs get better results in security audits than companies that do not, she suggested. 

Secure digital identity techniques include passwordless authentication methods, such as proximity-based authentication, and digital identity behavior analysis. This can detect and prevent, for example, bot attacks, session hijacking and attempts to use stolen credentials. 

Telehealth Option Accelerated in 2020, Creating More Exposure 

Telehealth, the delivery of medical services by a professional online, grew dramatically in 2020 due to the pandemic. That put consumer confidential medical information more over the air into the electronic health record system of the providers, each with its own secure access system. These secure access systems posed challenges for many patients, and increased the volume of work for IT professionals at the medical institutions..  

“On our end, we saw a huge number of patients who struggled,” using the authentication portals to the telehealth systems, stated Adam Silverman, chief medical officer for Syllable, a healthcare AI services, in a recent interview in PYMNTS.com.  The difficulties created obstacles to care.  

“Health systems now were not only being inundated with people calling to schedule a video consultation, but… they were being flooded on their IT help desks by the same patients who could not log in to the portal in order to obtain care, and so it sort of reinforced this constant struggle between privacy on one hand and access or interoperability on the other,” Silverman stated.  

Health care consumers are concerned about whether they can trust the system where they submit their confidential credentials, and what companies have access to their personal medical data, suggested Vig Chandramouli, principal of Oak HC/FT, a venture capital firm focused on healthcare information services. “Every day in the news, you now read about some ransomware attack or cybercrime or see how some pipeline is shut down or some hospital was held hostage, and these are all very possible and increasingly more likely things going forward,” said Chandramouli in the PYMNTS.com account.  

He also recommended a move away from username and password authentication that have become “more frustrating and less secure” in favor of more advanced technologies, such as biometric identification systems incorporating fingerprints, iris scans, and facial images. “That would certainly improve their experience and would probably be less expensive, because people would stop calling the IT help desk, calls that take 20 to 30 minutes to try to complete and help somebody change the password, stated Chandramouli. HC/FT is an investor in Syllable.  

Retail and digital payments industries could have lessons for health care providers in how they identify customers online, which might require some retooling of operational systems on the back end. “That is where AI really can be very beneficial in monitoring the networks and identifying signals or patterns that are abnormal for a given persona,” stated Silverman.  

Expert Expects More Healthcare Fraud From 2020 Will be Uncovered  

Many observers expect many incidents of healthcare fraud that happened in 2020 but not yet known will be coming to light.  Jacques Smith, a partner at law firm Arent Fox and a member of the firm’s Business Loan Task Force, suggested that in a recent account in Healthcare Finance that fraud was likely more widespread than usual in 2020, but it was not a priority for the previous presidential administration.  

The chaos caused by COVID-19, said Smith, encouraged fraudulent behavior by some opportunists that seems to have run the gamut from PPE fraud to Medicare reimbursement shenanigans.  

“During the prior administration, there was a rumor that if you only apply for a million (dollars) or two, the government wasn’t going to have any oversight over that money,” Smith stated, adding that it is not the case. “We’ve seen investigations already for small amounts under $2 million. Quite a number of criminal cases are expected,” he stated.  

Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has shown interest in amending and modifying the False Claims Act so it can have a greater enforcement arm, as well as stronger whistleblower protection over the next four years. Greater incentives for whistleblowers could open the floodgates. 

“It’s a misnomer that last year was a down year,” stated Smith. “There were more cases last year. It was a record year in filings, just not recoveries.” That implies that prosecutors will have a busy year wading through the backlog of cases. 

Read the source articles and information in Forbes, in Security Magazine, from PYMNTS.com and in Healthcare Finance