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How biometrics can protect you from identity theft

(Updated: 19 March 2024)

Since 2020 there has been a steady increase in the number of fraud cases impacting businesses around the world. We can see this in a recent crime report released by the Southern African Fraud Prevention Services (SAFPS), which noted a 236% increase in identity theft cases during April 2022 and April 2023.

With Gauteng flagged as a hotbed of fraudulent activity, with a noticeable 66% increase of fraudulent incidents occurring in the economic hub, businesses are required to implement various security protocols to combat the ever-growing threat.

This is where biometrics can become the next logical step forward in the fight against fraud. In this article, we will take a closer look at what biometrics is and how it can help you protect your business data.

What is biometric technology?

Biometrics can be classified as “the automatic recognition of individuals on the basis of their biological and behavioural characteristics” according to ISO 2382-37. Think of biometrics as your unique physical or behavioural trait that the technology uses to verify who you are. For example, biometrics can come in the form of a digital fingerprint, physical fingerprint, facial recognition, or voice recognition.

These serve as a secure key to your data, ensuring only you have access to your personal information. After all, no two individuals can share the same biometric data, making it a highly effective form of identification information data security and verification.

How accurate is biometric technology?

Biometric systems are designed to safeguard your privacy, with amazingly accurate features that allow you to take back control of your information, letting you choose how your data is shared or used. That being said, biometric technology has been considered the “sharpshooter of the digital world” according to Veridas, with the technology boasting accuracy levels that exceeds 99.9999%.

Biometrics and identity theft

By introducing biometric technology to your business, you can avoid the need to provide passwords or detailed personally identifiable information to third parties, thus enhancing your data security. By storing your personal data onto highly secure platforms you can essentially validate and secure your data, minimizing potential attack vectors.

Gone will be the days of worrying about whether you remember your password or have your ID on you. Instead, you will be your own key, which make identity theft extremely difficult and data theft highly unlikely.

How biometrics can be used to protect your business

With identity fraud targeting victims at random, it’s become incredibly difficult to prevent such acts and authorities around the world remain frustrated with this type of fraud. Therefore, the need for stronger security mechanisms like biometrics has become crucial to businesses.

By implementing biometrics authentication technology into your offerings, you can protect your business, your client’s information, and drive business growth.

Here are 5 ways biometric systems can benefit your business:

  1. Biometrics offers your customers a secure, seamless and convenient way to gain access to physical spaces, login to accounts, make secure payments, and other various activities where it’s necessary to verify their identity. This eliminates the need for passwords, allowing businesses the ability to enhance their user experience.
  2. Biometrics adds an added layer of protection against fraudulent activities such as identity theft or unauthorized access, both of which have been known to wreak havoc for businesses. Therefore, businesses can utilise biometrics to safeguard sensitive customer information, enhancing your company’s’ trust factors among customers.
  3. By analysing the biometric data gathered, businesses can gain insight into their client’s individual preferences, behaviours, and emotions. Allowing you to tailor services to their specific needs, create rewards programmes, or entice further buying behaviour with product specific discounts etc.
  4. Biometric technology can provide business owners with real-time data, which can help them identify bottlenecks, optimise workflows, thus making data-driven decisions that will drive business growth.
  5. Biometric technology provides businesses looking to adhere to regulations associated with KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) laws, a secure and compliant solution. By implementing robust encryption techniques and adopting privacy principles, you can mitigate the risks associated with data breaches and regulatory fines.

Maximising security with biometrics

Biometrics satisfies the conditions of authentication, non-repudiation, confidentiality, and integrity. Out of all the currently existing security methodologies, biometrics is able to provide very strong access control and security solutions.

The implementation of fingerprint based biometric security can significantly increase the security of data stored on electronic devices such as on personal computers or company computers. Therefore, organisations and individuals looking to enhance the security of their networks, systems, and data can do so conveniently and reliably with the help of biometrics.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, hackers will always try to steal identities and the valuable data that is associated with them. However, taking the necessary steps to protect your personal information can save you from becoming a victim of identity fraud or theft.

If you suspect that someone is not quite who they say they are, you should delve further and verify their identity. At MarisIT, we offer a Biometric ID Photo Lookup service that you can use to verify the fingerprints of a person against Home Affairs database and it will return a photo of the individual if available.

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