The Network Approach to Fighting Cybercrime

Posted August 22, 2017

The Network Approach to Fighting Cybercrime

Just as businesses in the digital economy have evolved over time, so have cybercriminals. They’ve followed the money and, in essence, gone corporate.

The New Cybercrime Industry

Cybercrime has morphed from petty thieves and lone hackers into a full-fledged global industry – this according to Neil Walsh, chief of the United Nations Global Cybercrime Program, who we recently interviewed for a guest blog on digital predators.

These networked crime rings buy, trade and augment stolen identity data and perpetrate increasingly successful, large-scale attacks. They have become an extremely organized business that thrives on knowledge sharing and a highly skilled workforce.

The recent increase in overall cyberattacks and the frequency of these attacks, as well as the varied origination of attacks, further demonstrate that cybercrime is becoming ever more global and networked.

With such formidable opposition, the question for digital businesses is…why would any business face these organized cybercrime networks alone?

After all, even cybercriminals recognize that there is strength in numbers.

One for All and All for One

We at ThreatMetrix, as well as our more than 5,000 customers, are accustomed to the notion that it takes a network to fight a network. Others are beginning to catch on to the idea of sharing intelligence on cyber threats.

The city of Los Angeles, for example, recently unveiled its Los Angeles Cyber Lab, with the goal of having local businesses and government officials share data on cyberattacks they witness so that others can more readily identify what’s coming and how to stop it. I applaud that effort as it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

Separately, the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) recently published a report on how to improve cybersecurity for connected vehicles. No surprise, its suggestion is to share information through industry-to-industry collaboration.

Recently, Forrester also recognized ThreatMetrix as the sole Leader in Risk-Based Authentication. Our solutions are powered by around 75 million digital events each day, which are anonymized and shared globally.

Today, of the roughly 3.5 billion people transacting on the Internet, ThreatMetrix knows something about more than 1.4 billion of them. This includes whether they are legitimate, trusted identities or ones compromised by fraudsters.

By understanding how people transaction across websites and apps using their devices, locations and non-regulated personal information, we effectively connect the dots to create one unique digital identity that is dynamic and can’t be faked. These identities are then used by businesses across industries and geographies to instantly and transparently validate the multitude of trust decisions they make in every digital transaction. Do I accept this new account application? Do I allow this user to sign in? Is this a legitimate payment? All of these decisions are powered by a globally connected network.

Digital Networking

I recently came across a quote about networking and business, which stated “Networking is an investment in your business. It takes time and when done correctly can yield great results for years to come.” This, of course, refers to offline networking, the old fashion way. But there’s a digital corollary.

In the digital economy, this means sharing trust data with other businesses to keep cybercriminals at bay. By doing so, all businesses in the digital economy gain the upper hand against cybercriminals, and they regain control of the digital relationship by protecting profits, intellectual property and brand reputation.

Isn’t that an investment worth making?

Armen Najarian

Armen Najarian

Former Chief Marketing Officer, ThreatMetrix

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