By  on August 27, 2014

Verizon is providing QR code logins as part of its Universal Identity Services portfolio to improve online security and do away with the reliance on user names and passwords.

Data breaches commonly involve lost or stolen user names and passwords, the number-one way computer systems are compromised. Consumers can enroll for the Universal ID directly from participating Web pages. After registering, users can download to their smartphone a mobile app that can scan the QR code on a login page. Once a user’s identity is confirmed, the individual is considered authenticated to the Web site. Should additional security be required, the QR code can be used in combination with a PIN number or password.

Tracy Hulver, chief identity strategist for Verizon, said, “With Verizon’s QR code login, we are making progress in protecting users without increasing the hassle, headache or expense for the user and the enterprise.”

According to Verizon, the QR code login helps to reduce fraud and phishing attacks, and can reduce unnecessary expenses associated with help desk support and password resets.

In a Verizon study in April on data-breach investigations, the report noted that the most common attack patterns in retail involve point-of-sale intrusions, Web application attacks and payment card skimmers. The study noted that there were 467 security incidents in 2013 in the retail industry, with 148 of those incidents resulting in confirmed data loss.

Last year’s retail data breaches include attacks on the systems at Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. LLC and Target Corp., where at least 40 million to as many as 100 million consumers who shopped at the discounter between Black Friday and Dec. 15 had their personal data stolen. The breach also prompted Target to step up initiatives on security enhancement, including adopting chip and PIN technology.

And on Friday, the Department of Homeland Security estimated that more than 1,000 U.S. business have been infiltrated by malicious POS software. The issue of data breaches has been the subject of several Congressional probes and hearings.

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