Anonymised Trust Intelligence: The Future of Fraud Prevention

Posted February 3, 2015


The ThreatMetrix® team was in Frankfurt last week for the sixth annual e-Crime Congress Germany event, and what a great show it was. As leaders in fraud prevention, education and awareness-raising has always been an important part of our job and where better to take the ThreatMetrix message than to the largest gathering of senior information risk and security professionals in the region?

It was a great opportunity to share our vision of anonymised trust intelligence, and of course to get valuable feedback from customers and prospective clients.

The big picture

This year we were lucky enough to have our solutions director Stephen Moody on board with a presentation which perfectly articulated our thoughts on what we believe is the future of fraud prevention. When Stephen takes the stage, people listen. He has over 10 years’ experience in the fraud prevention space and a PhD in astrophysics from Cambridge to boot. In previous roles for firms like BAE Applied Intelligence he’s pioneered advanced analytics systems to fortify firms against an estimated £3 billion in attempted fraud. This usually gets people’s attention.

He first revealed the scale of the problem facing firms today in all sectors – from healthcare to government, retail to social media, and everything in between. The fraudsters are getting smarter, more agile and more determined than ever before to steal your customers’ personal information and commit account takeover and payment fraud. IP spoofing; botnets; man-in-the-browser attacks; identity spoofing; and device spoofing. These are just some of the methods used to hide their true identity and purpose.

ThreatMetrix stopped a staggering 11.4 million account attacks globally, in real-time, in December – in itself no doubt only a small proportion of the level of cyber fraud in the run up to Christmas.

Fraud is moving increasingly into mobile channels – we suspect mobile will account for half of all fraud attempts by the end of the year – and it’s account takeover infractions that are becoming the cyber criminals’ favourite, said Moody.

The big answer

We know all of this thanks to our unique ThreatMetrix® Global Trust Intelligence Network, which analyses over 850 million transactions every month to determine whether they are fraudulent or not. This system, or the model it represents, is the best way we’ve got of combatting the tidal wave of online fraud heading our way. The problem is getting so bad that the British Retail Consortium last week called for better policing and more effective fraud reporting channels. But that won’t address the core problem. We need to sniff out dodgy transactions in real-time before the criminals have a chance to defraud us.

We do this by crunching device, behavioural and identity data with smart analytics and big data tools to work out if the person at the other end of the internet is who they say they are. It should be real-time, cheap and completely invisible to the user – or they may get fed up of waiting and abandon their log-in/transaction. It also needs to use anonymised data so that firms are happy joining up to reap the benefits of reduced fraud, lower cost and charges, without worrying about giving away a competitive advantage.

This is the vision Stephen set out in Frankfurt, which I’m pleased to say got everyone talking and thinking in a different way about fraud prevention. If you’re also interested to find out more do get in touch here.



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