Yesterday, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its latest report. The analysis of fraud and computer misuse shows that this type of crime is more prevalent than many traditional crimes, with data for the year ending September 2017 showing individuals to be 10 times more likely to be a victim of fraud and computer misuse than a victim of theft from the person and 35 times more likely than robbery.
Commenting on this, Don Duncan, director at NuData Security, a Mastercard Company, said “It’s reassuring to see cybercrime and fraud stats included in the annual national crime figures. I’m hopeful that this is a signal of change in law enforcement’s attitude toward online crime and fraud, heralding a growing acknowledgment of the impacts and scale of crime committed online. Anything that will help law enforcement agencies prioritise cybercrime in the UK, and demand more resources to counter such an existential threat to consumers and businesses that transact online, will be a vast improvement over what we have today. Provided these funds are spent judiciously, the fact that the government is saying they are investing £1.9bn in cybersecurity over the next few years is a huge step forward.
According to these latest figures, fraud accounted for 4.7 million incidents in England and Wales by the end of September 2017, and 3.2 million of those were related to bank and credit account fraud. Unless the UK would like to see these rates climb ever higher, and the damage inflicted on the public continue to grow, institutions, governments, and private companies must take these threats as seriously as other forms of crime.
However, this recorded fraud figure is still astounding, and bad news for consumers who often bear the brunt of many direct costs and pains (especially in account takeover and new account fraud). The increasing volume of global attacks has also been attributed to more fraudsters willing to commit the crime, more data available on the black market, and more financial institutions and merchants that are vulnerable to attacks. It’s incumbent upon companies to secure their customers’ trust by keeping their accounts safe from hackers without hurting their customer experience. They can’t afford to hear their customers say, ‘My account got hacked again.’
Sundeep Tengur, Banking Fraud Solutions Manager SAS UK & Ireland added “Although the number of cases reported has fallen, recent research shows that the value of the UK’s fraudulent activity hit a 15-year high of £2.11 billion in 2017.
Financial organisations have seemingly improved their game but let’s not forget that fraudsters are constantly gaining in sophistication, often at a faster pace. Even a single missed fraud attempt can result in a very costly hit.
Detection is no longer the end game for businesses and they need to learn and adapt to new fraud threats. The true challenge in the fight against fraud now lies in bolstering the ability to proactively detect and prevent fraud, ideally in real time. With new payment schemes such as SEPA instant credit transfer, and the disintermediation of the banking sector with PSD2, speed of execution is now more important than ever for an effective anti-fraud system. It’s therefore imperative to make better use of the data available and automate the hunt for suspicious activity.
By using a hybrid analytical detection model and by implementing security in layers, it’s possible to spot the warning signs before assets are compromised and at the same time deliver operational benefits such as a smoother customer journey and lower investigation costs. In that regard, the adoption of machine learning and artificial intelligence can empower businesses to quickly identify and stop fraud attacks.”