By Roger Thornton, VP, Products and Technology, AT&T Cybersecurity
A lot of cyber fraud can be boiled down to simple terms: bad guys want to fool someone by posing as someone else, usually for monetary gain. They phish for your passwords. They pose as a charitable organization. They create fake Wi-Fi networks. All to gain unauthorized access to steal from an account you own, such as a bank or online shopping account, or to use your information to social engineer and steal from others.
Now, they may even try to take your phone number as a means of hijacking the information stored on your phone, because the explosion of mobile applications has made it easier to do everything on your phone, including access your secured accounts.
We recognize the threats you face, and to better protect both businesses and consumer customers in a world where the mobile device is at the center of our lives, we introduced our AT&T Authentication and Verification Service, or AAVS. AAVS offers a new method to help businesses determine that you are, in fact, you.
It’s another innovative way we are working to help protect you and your data.
This is how it works.
If a business or other company builds the AAVS capability into its website or mobile app, it can automatically connect with us when you attempt to log in. Through that connection, the number and the phone are matched to confirm the log-in. If this service detects that the SIM card is not in the right device, the transaction won’t go through without further authorization.
It’s like an automatic background check on your phone’s history, but with no personal information changing hands, and it all happens in a flash without you knowing.
Think about how you do business with companies on your mobile device now. You typically log into an online account or a mobile app using a password or fingerprint. Some tasks might require you to receive a PIN from your institution for additional security, but once you have access, you complete your transactions.
With AAVS, the process is more secure, and nothing changes for you. That’s the beauty of it.
Security often works best when it goes unnoticed. By creating an additional layer of security without adding any steps for the consumer, we can take larger strides in helping businesses and their customers better protect their data and prevent fraud.
Even if that extra layer of protection is designed to go unnoticed, we want you to know that it exists. We are working with several leading banks to roll out this service to protect their customers accessing online accounts and mobile apps in the coming months, with more to follow. By directly working with those banks, we can help to better protect your information.
If you’re standing still, you’re falling behind. That’s the way AT&T sees cybersecurity and fraud prevention, and AAVS is a great example of our belief. We are committed to continually innovate and develop solutions to confront rapidly evolving threats because our goal is to better protect our customers.
Check in with us here on CyberAware from time to time for more information on steps we’re taking to help protect your data from fraudsters. For information on mobility tools you can use to protect not only your data, but your online identity, visit www.att.com/features/security-apps.html.