Council for Identity Protection Fights Fraud

By Samuel Greengard

Rapidly advancing technology and conflicting attitudes about privacy have created enormous challenges for organizations. Sorting through all the issues and arriving at the right enterprise decisions is a task that’s fraught with risk.

As a result, identity protection service LifeLock has launched the Council for Identity Protection, an organization dedicated to breaking down enterprise silos and addressing the core issues in the privacy, identity fraud and cyber-security arenas.

The goal, says Todd Davis, chairman and CEO of LifeLock, is to take a more focused and holistic approach to understanding and addressing the social risks and unintended consequences associated with today’s technology and the related behavioral changes it creates. “It is our belief that challenges in the digital age are not independent, but must be viewed with a more integrated view of the problem and ultimate solutions,” he explains.

The organization aims to create a framework for discussing and debating emerging issues on these topics. An online community will explore key issues and look for ways to find common ground—and workable solutions—for an array of issues involving fraud, privacy and identity theft. The site will also serve as a hub for news, videos, industry information and best practices.

“This program is unique in that it brings together industry leaders from various sectors and takes a holistic approach to solving identity theft issues,” points out Ori Eisen, a member of the council’s board of directors and founder and chairman of The 41st Parameter, a software firm that specializes in fraud protection and prevention. He says that the biggest challenge facing the industry is addressing the big picture rather than “independent issues” facing specific companies.

Eisen says the organization hopes to stimulate cross-industry discussion across businesses and industries that often have different, if not conflicting, views and interests about privacy and cyber-security. “By bringing together individuals from different sectors, we are hoping that the bigger issues can be addressed,” he adds. “A critical objective is to have everyone contribute.”

Among the core issues the council will address: identifying better screening methods at the point of account creation and sign-ups; improving screening at logon to detect account takeovers; boosting screening at the time an order is submitted in order to detect fraudulent behavior; and performing more thorough and holistic checks to spot questionable identity information and curb abuse.

It’s a critical time to address privacy, cyber security and other digital identity issues. A better understanding of the interests and needs of consumers, businesses and government—and how they can work together—is integral to avoiding a cyber 9/11 in the future, Eisen notes.

“In the 21st century, as we embrace digital business practices, our identities are becoming digital,” he says. The growing array of tech devices, including smartphones, tablets and PCs, add to the complication, as do social media and geolocation data.

“We need industry to come together and create a new norm for dealing with digital identities,” Eisen concludes. “If we fail, the crooks and fraudsters will rob the digital world of value and integrity.”