Continuous authentication: the effective way to stop all types of ID fraud

To combat ID fraud and synthetic ID fraud, continuous authentication is required to weed threat actors from genuine users. Let us show you how.

Marc Fessler

Senior Sales Engineer

4 July 2023


6 min read

Despite all the complexities of fraud-fighting, a fraudster's goal always remains the same - to mask their real identities by making every effort to evade detection. They will try to achieve this, often at your expense, by gaining access to online accounts, or even using a mix of real and fake IDs to create new accounts (in the process of using synthetic ID fraud). This is why it is especially prudent to effectively monitor all stages of a user's journey: from registration through to subsequent login attempts. One of the key components in detection all types of ID fraud is the use of non-invasive continuous authentication of users. Now, more than ever, we must understand every online user’s intentions - in real-time - to negate threats, while providing a frictionless experience for genuine users.

What is continuous authentication?

Continuous authentication works by assessing user behavior patterns on an ongoing basis. Unlike traditional authentication, which evaluates users just once at login, continuous authentication considers changing risk factors such as location, device, hardware and software setups, along with other behavioral data.

Continuous authentication estimates the likelihood that service users are the ones who they claim to be throughout an entire user lifecycle. For example, John Smith from London registers an account and continues using it, often from the same devices (laptop, smartphone, tablet), connected to the same wifi network or even mobile network associated with the same geographical location, or near the registered address.

Of course, people’s digital movements are now more mobile than ever before, and there may be slight variations in an IP address, geo-location etc., which is why one small deviation to the aforementioned settings is not deemed suspicious in itself. The warning signs come from numerous data attributes that indicate a high probability of fraudulent behavior such as numerous changes to John Smith’s regular account usage - concerted efforts to hide true location, identity and numerous other settings. All of these can be detected, so let’s see how continuous authentication works in practice.

Stolen, fake and synthetic ID fraud - the threat is real

No one stage of a user’s online experience is safe unless effective measures are taken by businesses to weed out fraudsters and prevent them from causing damage - from initial account registration, repeated service use with recurring logins, right up to the point of an attempt at online payment fraud and beyond to the dispute process, abusing return policies. Failure to effectively deal with fraud in its early stages is like giving fraudsters the green light to commit fraud - it may even embolden them, giving them a sense that your anti-fraud setup has failed to detect their activities. A fraudster may boast about their exploits in darknet forums to boost their cybercrime credentials, while simultaneously marking your service as a weak target for other fraudsters. This can lead to continuing fraud issues lasting indefinitely, or at least until detection - by which point the damage may already have been done…

And it's not just fraudsters using stolen identities and fake IDs. Dishonest customers can also use synthetic ID fraud to take advantage of any sign-up deals or giveaways your service may be offering. Both fraudsters and dishonest customers, although they may have different modus operandi, can result in potential financial losses by failing to detect and prevent them.

Without continuous authentication, what are the consequences of ID fraud?

To regular online users who are unaware they have become the victim of identity theft, the consequences of ID fraud may come as a shock. Victims may discover discrepancies in their online bank statements, or even be informed by a bank or law enforcement agency that their ID was used to create online accounts to commit fraud. Worse still, fraudsters may have racked up huge debts through numerous loan applications using a victim's details. The financial losses and stress can be a huge strain.

For online businesses, failure to protect their users’ data from potential hacks, and failure to spot the suspicious signs of a fraudster can lead to a loss of trust with current and potential customers. The potential media frenzy alone can cause irreparable damage, or at the very least, may take years to repair. But from a customer perspective - why should anyone choose to use your service if the security of their precious PII cannot be ensured? This is not just a fight against fraudsters and smoother authentication measures, but a chance to show your company takes cybersecurity and anti-fraud threats seriously. But for that, you’ll need some help.

Behavioral biometrics: the most effective way to conduct continuous authentication

Advanced tech capabilities have improved the art of deception in the online realm, however, thanks to these same tech innovations, it is possible to uncover all acts of deception. Any online businesses looking to improve their cybersecurity and anti-fraud measures, while helping to enhance the customer UX, should always try to incorporate continuous authentication of users. This alone is not a silver bullet, but it is definitely one very effective means of preventing fraud. And its success can be attributed to in-depth behavioral biometrics, or more to the point, continuous biometric authentication.

Behavioral patterns are the most important aspect of distinguishing threat actors from genuine users. Pairing real-time analyses of user behaviors along with device and network setups is the most effective way to unmask any fraudsters or dishonest customers. True identities and individual behaviors are unique to only one person in the world - you - even in the online world. This is why modern anti-fraud systems will analyse behaviors, device and network setups to distinguish legitimate service users from those involved in potentially fraudulent activities.

The in-depth analysis goes into far more detail than we suggest in this post. To be precise, more than 5,000 data attributes are automatically analysed in real-time, completely unnoticed by service users. They benefit from a smoother online experience, whereas potential threat actors are stopped in their tracks before they can even begin trying to fool anti-fraud by acting like a regular customer. Continuous authentication is by far one of the most efficient approaches to fraud prevention to date. To rely on other inefficient systems is potentially risky, especially as fraudsters become craftier than ever. A truly holistic approach to fraud detection and prevention is therefore possible with only the most advanced anti-fraud systems, powered by AI. Continuous threats require continuous authentication.

If you wish to benefit from the use of continuous authentication to truly Know Your Users, let’s talk. Click 'book a call' at the top of this page or contact Marc directly via email at or via LinkedIn.

It's time for you to detect fraud with continuous authentication

It's time for you to detect fraud with continuous authentication

With continuous authentication of all your site's users, you can effectively stamp out fraud. Arrange a call to discuss a tailored solution or explore our platform for free.

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