By Domingo Guerra, EVP of Trust and GM of North America, Incode Technologies
It’s been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it – and while the modern technology landscape is constantly making tumultuous shifts, being in-tune with innovators in the space can give us an idea of where the next offshoot may lead. Mighty oaks all grow from their roots, although unforeseen developments – like the explosion of generative AI in our tech realm – can ignite irregular growth patterns.
With these considerations, I’ve ideated six predictions for what’s coming around the corner in 2024 based on what I’ve observed in the identity verification (IDV) market.
Prediction 1: Knowledge-based authentication and voice verification will become obsolete
With the emergence of generative AI, more traditional forms of IDV like voice verification, security questions or knowledge-based authentication (KBA) will no longer be viable options. After gathering a few minutes of someone’s audio, which many people have on social media, threat actors can easily use AI to type anything and replicate a voice. Similarly, KBA-based methods, which rely on questions like “Did you grow up on this street?” or “What is your mother’s maiden name?” are now easy to bypass thanks to AI. AI technology has made it much easier for threat actors to scrape data, collect sensitive information from old data breaches and answer those types of questions immediately. Organizations will have to look beyond these legacy approaches given the advancement of AI technologies.
Prediction 2: Reusable IDs will catch fire in the market
Seamlessness and ease of use are key for the IDV market. Users increasingly expect they should be able to verify their identity once and then authenticate with it as many times as needed, using any service compatible with that specific network. Many current facial recognition technologies are clunky; they require users to spend a fair amount of time uploading their selfie and photo ID, taking phots from the front and back, etc. Users will increasingly push back against this, which means businesses need to be looking to more frictionless options that don’t require so much work on the user’s behalf. Otherwise, you run the risk of user fatigue and onboarding fatigue, and that can potentially lose you customers. Organizations that can conduct this process seamlessly will be the winners in the space and demand for reusable IDs will grow.
Prediction 3: As expectations change, IDV vendors that don’t own their full tech stack will struggle
Organizations will increasingly look to reduce the number of different vendors and technologies they use. Having to use a different company for liveness checks, capture checks, OCR, etc., won’t be sustainable for many of them – especially if you have to ask each vendor to build new things or adapt to changing needs. That’s not sustainable given the speed of innovation today.
Prediction 4: Customer expectations for biometric performance are rapidly increasing
As customers have gotten accustomed to being able to unlock their phones multiple times a day at near-instantaneous speeds using things like fingerprint or facial recognition, it’s raised the bar in terms of expectations. Users want to be able to use biometric authentication for other purposes with the same speed and ease of use they’ve gotten used to. And that means new platforms and other biometric solutions entering the market must match these performance standards to stay competitive and build “stickiness” with users. Vendors that can make decisions in minutes instead of seconds will struggle.
Prediction 5: Know your employee (KYE) and know your customer (KYC) will boom as social engineering attacks expand
KYE/KYC will experience huge growth in the cybersecurity space. We still see too many instances where an individual is granted access to systems or applications they shouldn’t have access too because there was no good way to verify who the user was. Passkeys, two-factor authentication, and multifactor authentication are all great methods until a social engineering attack results in giving the wrong person access to sensitive information. Social engineering attacks are at the heart of the majority of breaches and hacks today. Biometric solutions like KYE/KYC will gain traction as ways to help mitigate this risk.
Prediction 6: New IDV technology must be designed for all levels of experience/tech-savviness
There’s a big opportunity to use biometric authentication to address challenges for different populations or generations that may not be as tech-savvy. There’s fear in the market that attackers are going to begin rapidly exploiting the retiring elderly population that may not fully understand cybersecurity best practices, such as multifactor authentication (MFA) or strong passwords, but still use online banking and investments. Biometrics is another great use case for this situation where people don’t have to learn complex fraud protection solutions by simply taking a selfie.
Paving the way for IDV technology
The IDV marketspace has been boiling, with innovators all vying for the next great universally adopted solution. Companies need to be cautious of the latest, shiny solutions they’re presented with and be sure to stay focused on the aspects of platforms that are truly critical for business function. Low friction, flexible deployment solutions rooted in legitimate sources of truth are key pillars of identity verification. Whether on behalf of employees or customers, businesses will quickly see the dividends of employing a proper authentication strategy in regard to onboarding, revenue and overall security.