GASA revamps global ATM crime database

Source: GASA

The Global ATM Security Alliance (GASA) has today announced the launch of its newly structured and simplified global crime data management system, Cognito.

The system, currently containing over 2,000 ATM crime incidents from 2004 divided into GASA's nine global ATM crime categories, is a world-first for the ATM industry, which has never before recorded and researched ATM crime in a standardised, systematic way within countries (with the one exception of the United Kingdom, where there has been national co-ordination of ATM crime data for three years now), let alone across the world.

A report by Celent Communications, "ATM Security & Fraud", published in July 2004, for example, highlights the problems the industry faces in measuring ATM fraud: "The industry has grave difficulty in measuring ATM fraud given the lack of a national (and international) classification, the secrecy surrounding such frauds, and the unfortunate fact that one cannot know the true cost of fraud until one is hit with it." (p.3).

The new user-friendly Cognito aims to solve this problem outlined by Celent by providing anonymous, generic, standardised ATM crime data with no fields in the system for any name of a deployer, bank or manufacturer.

"This anonymity and confidentiality of data on Cognito allows for ATM crime to become a non-competitive issue," commented Mike Lee, CEO of ATMIA and founder of GASA. "The whole industry needs to unite in joint crime-fighting exercises and systems."

Celent estimates that ATM fraud cost the US industry alone between $50-60 million USD in yearly losses.

"Without accurate and comprehensive ATM crime data, furthermore, it is impossible to conduct proper cost-to-benefit ratio assessments when looking at security solutions for the different types of ATM crime," Lee continued. "Cognito is a tool to empower the industry with the crime intelligence needed to underpin dynamic, up-to-date security strategies."

The database has been structured around GASA's International ATM Crime Directory with its nine categories of ATM crime. Its key fields include ATM crime category, criminal modus operandi, Type of ATM location hit, losses, Type of ATM hit.

Features of the new global data management system include:

  • A new html interface
  • Encryption for each and every piece of data
  • High-speed data processing
  • A formal registration process for using the log on section with ATM crime data
  • A section for sorting global ATM crime data according to search criteria like ATM crime category, criminal modus operandi, Type of ATM location hit, Type of ATM hit
  • A section for recording and researching available countermeasures and security solutions for specific ATM crime types
  • An online User's Guide


Cognito is managed by the South African Fraud Prevention Services on behalf of GASA and ATMIA.

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