Network Operators Position Themselves in Identity Market Ahead of Mobile World Congress Americas

September 10, 2018

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The market for mobile identity is predicted to reach $20 billion by 2022, as mobile identity services roll out across the world’s economies. In lieu of this increasingly precious market opportunity, key representatives of network operators and other technology companies in this burgeoning field will be participating in the Mobile Connect Seminar: Reducing Fraud through Secure Authentication and ID Verification Services, taking place between 1-3pm on 12 September in Los Angeles, as part of the Mobile World Conference Americas (MWCA) 2018.

As public awareness of the privacy and data security increases, the old methods of user authentication – such as asking the user to choose and remember a username and password – are proving inadequate.  With around 300 million subscribers across 50 mobile networks, Mobile Connect, the mobile industry’s universal identity service, is an offering that enables secure and convenient log-in, authorisation and verification to applications and websites by matching users to their mobile phone.

Incidents such as the recent Air Canada data breach demonstrate that, despite repeated data leaks and security vulnerabilities,  companies across all sectors are struggling to deal with the challenges of the digital age. In this instance, “unusual log-in behaviour” revealed that the personal data of around 20,000 Air Canada mobile application users had been compromised. Hacker’s stole highly sensitive information such as passport details, phone numbers, and dates of birth. Air Canada’s credit card details were spared, but in another more recent cyber-attack against British Airways, hackers stole card numbers and CVV codes. The ways in which companies can integrate network-based identity services, mitigate security risks and prevent fraud are central to the expert-led seminar taking place on 12 September.

US operators Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile, are working to gain a foothold in this valuable market, collaborating to produce a secure, operator-facilitated authentication solution. The service, designed in accordance with the principles of Mobile Connect, involves a multi-layered approach to authentication, including cryptographic phone number and IP address verification. Senior representatives from all three operators will be present at the Mobile Connect Seminar to discuss the project. Attendants at the GSMA Innovation City (Hall South, Stand S.1345, 12-14 September) will also have the opportunity to experience a live demonstration of the fruits of this collaboration.

Older methods of authentication often sacrifice security for convenience. As consumers have access to an ever-increasing number of online services, they are seeking quicker ways to log in – as has been claimed by many experts in identity – the password is dead. An early alternative, logging in via social media, negates the requirement for the user to create new credentials each time they up to a new site. However, social login has serious drawbacks. Consumers might not previously have given much thought to logging in to their favorite retailers, news websites and apps using their social network credentials. But in the wake of so many high-profile privacy breaches, such as the Cambridge Analytica inccident, there are serious concerns about the liberal sharing of data between such platforms. As argued by Joakim Nylund, CEO of Exomi, mobile network-based identity is a safe and convenient improvement on social login that harnesses the inherent security of mobile networks.

The fact is, the digital economy is becoming increasingly dependent on secure identity. Banking, finance, insurance and other services that handle highly sensitive data are often in need of improvements to their authentication methods. At the Mobile Connect Seminar, Equifax and Zumingo will present a case study on how mobile technology has been used to support digital identity in the US banking sector – a subject which will undoubtedly provide great utility in this high-value market.

The task of improving users’ control, privacy, and security are top of the agenda in the digital world, and mobile authentication is set to be a major part of the solution. Join network operators and industry experts at the GSMA Innovation City and Mobile Connect Seminar, and become a part of this crucial development in mobile technology.

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