The Simility Blog

Accountability Matters: Why Firms Need to Step Up with Proactive Protection
Jayan Tharayil
October 10, 2010

Cybersecurity and fraud prevention go hand-in-hand for both businesses and consumers, just as cybercrime and online scams are intrinsically connected. That’s why we’re supporting National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) in the US again this October. With it comes a host of events and opportunities to spread best practices and make the digital world a safer place. 

For us at Simility, the message is all about accountability: organizations have a responsibility to proactively protect their consumers from account takeovers, new account fraud and other scams. That means ensuring they have the right blend of technology working in the background to automate better decision making. 

A Vicious Circle 

At present we seem to be trapped in a downward spiral where poor cybersecurity practice among many organizations is leading to the theft of large volumes of customer data. Once it hits the dark web, this data is picked up by fraudsters, who use it in everything from large-scale, automated credential stuffing campaigns to synthetic fraud operations. Losses related to the latter are estimated to hit $1.1 billion this year, a 95% increase on 2015 figures, according to Aite Group.1

Events like NCSAM therefore provide a welcome opportunity to improve awareness of cybersecurity among consumers and the organizations they do business with. This year’s message encourages users to be more privacy-conscious, improve log-in security and phishing awareness, and update to the most secure OS, software and browsers. But crucially, it also urges any organizations collecting data on users to protect it better. 

This kind of messaging will hopefully help to make it harder for scammers to get hold of the all-important identity data and passwords they need to commit fraud, by cutting it off at source. But we’d argue that organizations embracing this year’s NCSAM themes of accountability and proactivity can go even further. 

Making The First Move 

What this means in practice is taking steps to actively monitor in real-time any online activity which could be deemed fraudulent. Backed by the cybercrime underground, digital scammers today have an increasingly impressive set of tools to help them stay anonymous and try stolen credentials en masseTo meet this challenge head-on, organizations need to understand if their own technology is still fit-for-purpose. 

We recommend machine learning-powered solutions, like Simility’s Adaptive Decisioning Platform, which takes a contextual, data-centric approach to provide a 360-degree view of each customer. Manual rules can be written in plain English and tested by fraud teams in no time, while machine learning models are applied to discern patterns that humans may miss. That’s a winning combination of man and machine, customizable to each individual organization and their risk appetite. 

This kind of approach can help firms reduce chargeback costs, minimize administrative overheads, and work to eliminate the customer friction associated with many fraud prevention solutions. It can lead to a win-win of happier customers, lower fraud losses and a brand reputation untarnished by poor consumer experiences. Combined with improved cybersecurity awareness and response, proactive, data-first fraud prevention provides the foundation on which modern digital-centric businesses can thrive. 

To learn more about how Simility’s Adaptive Decisioning Platform can help businesses proactively detect and block evolving fraud, schedule a demo now.

1 Aite Group,