Skip to main content
No application fee for online programs. Get started today!

The Role of Digital Identity in Economic Crimes

Every time you go online, you leave something of yourself behind. Your internet service provider records your travels through cyberspace, and websites know when you visit and what you do while there. Your social media accounts know just about everything about you. Your usernames and passwords are in databases, along with your email, phone number and physical address. Credit card numbers, shopping preferences, medical records, financial transactions and academic achievements are all out there.

Altogether, that is your online digital identity. That sensitive, personal information is a high-value target for cybercriminals.

According to the Pew Research Center, 26% of Americans reported fraudulent online credit or cash card activity, 11% said cybercrooks hijacked their email and social media and 7% said digital identity thieves used their personal information to apply for a loan or line of credit.

“All told, 34% have experienced at least one of these things in the past year,” the Pew Research Center found.

The online Master of Science (M.S.) in Economic Crime Forensics – General program offered by La Salle University includes studies that build and strengthen expertise in future-proof disciplines such as computer and internet fraud and fraud detection and prevention.

What Vulnerabilities Do Hackers Leverage to Steal Digital Identities?

When considering ways to protect your digital identity, ask yourself: Do I use an encrypted VPN when logging into unsecured Wi-Fi networks? Do I update my operating systems to ensure the installation of security patches? Do I know enough about social engineering, phishing, smishing and malware to avoid getting duped by those common attack techniques?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, you are leaving a hole in your personal protection. But of all the vulnerabilities, hackers most often exploit easily guessed or recycled passwords.

“Weak passwords are responsible for most data breaches, yet despite this, many people do not take the time or trouble to devise more complex ones,” according to Cybernews.

How Do Businesses Use Digital Identities to Defend Against Cybercrime?

Cybercrooks can exploit those vulnerabilities by hacking your computer, intercepting unencrypted data while in transit to legitimate websites, creating fake websites that look legitimate and buying them from large, organized cybercrime rings.

They then use your stolen or compromised data to infiltrate cybersecurity measures at sites where you conduct business to hijack your account. Defending against that requires a separately generated, one-time digital identity to supplement your login information and gain access.

Multifactor authentication, typically included in websites’ security options, comes in various forms. For instance, some businesses can require a separate PIN, a unique access code, an authenticator app and biometrics.

“The sum of these factors that enable organizations to uniquely identify a user constitute digital identity,” according to F5.

But even that added layer of digital identity protection is under attack.

What Advanced and Emerging Technology Do Cybercriminals Use to Hack Digital Identities?

“The future of hacking is here,” Technopedia warns in an article explaining how cybercriminals use artificial intelligence, machine learning and other advanced technologies. Among other things, AI can crack strong passwords, create deepfakes, corrupt blockchain smart contracts and exploit vulnerabilities.

Moreover, easily accessible, open-source generative AI platforms can enable cybercriminals to create unlimited versions of your known password(s) for credential stuffing and account takeover attacks.

As cybercriminals leverage AI, organizations must adopt more sophisticated protections to withstand increasingly advanced-tech-driven personal digital identity attacks.

“It requires enterprises to rethink their identity and access management strategy — both on the employee and consumer fronts — to capably ensure and maintain a robust security posture,” Forbes advises.

How Will Businesses Implement Advanced Cybersecurity Measures?

Demand for cybersecurity professionals exceeds supply by wide margins, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BLS predicts employers will add over 53,000 positions annually through 2032 for a job growth rate of 32% (about 10 times higher than expansion in all other job categories).

“A robust digital identity solution enables organizations and individuals to interact securely and easily, providing a good user experience while helping reduce time and costs,” according to Accenture.

La Salle’s online M.S. in Economic Crime Forensics – General program curriculum prepares graduates for careers as fraud examiners and investigators, forensics investigators, compliance officers and risk managers. Those positions are increasingly critical for developing sophisticated and well-integrated cybersecurity defenses.

Learn more about La Salle University’s online Master of Science in Economic Crime Forensics – General program.

Related Articles

Our Commitment to Content Publishing Accuracy

Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only. The nature of the information in all of the articles is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered.

The information contained within this site has been sourced and presented with reasonable care. If there are errors, please contact us by completing the form below.

Timeliness: Note that most articles published on this website remain on the website indefinitely. Only those articles that have been published within the most recent months may be considered timely. We do not remove articles regardless of the date of publication, as many, but not all, of our earlier articles may still have important relevance to some of our visitors. Use appropriate caution in acting on the information of any article.

Report inaccurate article content:

Request More Information

Submit this form, and an Enrollment Specialist will contact you to answer your questions.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Or call 844-466-5587

Begin Application Process

Start your application today!
Or call 844-466-5587 844-466-5587
for help with any questions you may have.