Fraud in the UK jumped nearly 16% in 2008, with 214,342 cases identified throughout the year as recession-hit Brits turned to crime "to make ends meet", according to Cifas.
Unfortunately, one boom business in 2009 is for certain and that is the growth in online crime, especially with many people losing their jobs, bills to pay and desperation setting in across the globe, not just the UK. One worry is the loss of jobs in the corporate
and finance sector where former employees take away key knowledge that could pose a threat to accounts.
However we hope that the risk management teams of the corporate and financial institutions are working closely with HR to ensure such a risk is mitigated.
Further, there are quite a few actions the consumer can do to protect themselves from Identity Fraud and or Online Fraud but we need the financial institutions to assist people understand their potential to have their security, or their bank accounts, or
their Credit Card details compromised and build again a responsible Trust relationship between the financial institutions and the account holder. We need to be able to tell people before they login or enter private and confidential details that their PC or
mobile computing device is compromised, by providing real time feedback in the web 2.0 environment. For the financial institution it is also important to be able to make a decision prior to login or a purchase based on the security health and risk profile
of the PC or mobile computing device.
Until this is done we will see online crime continue to grow.
A major contributor to the growth in fraud related to "facility takeover", or account takeover, is the stunning rise in the number and severity of data breaches. Just in the past few weeks notifications of massive breaches have been sent by RBS Worldpay
and Heartland Payment Systems in the US (the largest breach, by far, ever reported). I've examined these connections on my blog at: http://www.ethoca.com/fraudintel/2009/01/27/heartland-data-breach-underscores-dark-trend/
While preventive actions and greater risk awareness can slow this alarming trend, breaches can't ever be completely stopped. Nor can the rise in criminal activity due to a slowing economy. Fraud management requires a multi-point effort starting with improving
front-end security and risk awareness, but also effective detection and prevention technologies and practices at the back-end.
However, to make significant inroads into reversing the growth in fraud, we need a 360 degree view of the fraudster -- something that can only be obtained by broad global collaboration by merchants, law enforcement, anti-fraud vendors, payment processors
and card issuers. The clarion call's been sounded. How will we respond?
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