Using recent data from ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network, the data identified the top U.S. cities for online fraud. The data found that many of the top cities for fraud are also home to hosted data centers. Following high profile data breaches, cybercriminals are seizing the opportunity to use stolen identities to their advantage and exploit hosted servers. The top cities for online fraud data represents the intersection of locations that have the largest concentration of data centers with offline identities that have been compromised in recent breaches.

The top 10 list of U.S. cities for online fraud, according to the data:
Tampa, Fla.
New York, N.Y.
Manassas, Va.
San Jose, Calif.
Atlanta, Ga.
Ashburn, Va.
Los Angeles, Calif.
San Mateo, Calif.
Chicago, Ill.
Phoenix, Ariz.

As cybercriminals continue to take advantage of the downstream effects of data breaches, including compromising digital identities and hosted data centers, how can businesses protect consumers against emerging threats?

1. Flag transactions coming from hosted servers and data centers

These transactions should automatically set off a red flag to businesses, as fraudsters use these servers to route traffic using stolen data. Instead of hosted servers, authentic customer transactions are likely to come from business, consumer and mobile networks.

2. Leverage global shared intelligence

To proactively counter cyber threats, your organization needs to look beyond its own walls to share actionable threat intelligence about compromised identities and devices. With every data breach, all businesses operating online become targets of the digital debris, as pieces of a user’s digital identity can be used over and over again, with each attack increasing in sophistication on a daily basis. By sharing threat information across a global network, businesses can ensure suspicious transactions and activities are blocked without adding friction for authentic and returning customers.

3. Assess digital identities

Every business should have a cyber security strategy that includes real-time decision analytics that dynamically assess consumer digital identities, devices and behavior across channels and institutions. As millions of stolen identities are in use following high profile data breaches such as Anthem and JPMorgan Chase, a digital identity network analyzes consumers’ digital information – including devices and behavior – in one place and flags it if compromised credentials are not being used by their legitimate owner, in real time.

In addition to businesses implementing advanced security strategies to protect against emerging threats — including cybercriminals targeting data centers — consumers need to take caution with online activity. All too often, consumers overlook security for the sake of convenience, but taking a few simple steps — such as using unique passwords across websites, limiting the amount of personal information shared online, avoiding use of public Wi-Fi and flagging suspicious transactions or account activity — can go a long way in staying protected online.

Courtesy of Andreas Baumhof, Contributing Writer, Phoenix Business Journal