What 2019 May Bring When It Comes to Fraud and Cybercrime

2019 fraud and cybercrime

The coming 12 months will mark a crucial period in the fight against cybercrime and fraud. As criminal activity becomes more complex and sophisticated, regulations tighten, and businesses continue to digitally transform, there will be new challenges for security and fraud teams. Data will increasingly be viewed as a liability as well as an asset. Only those with the right adaptive, data-driven tools in hand will be able to attain profitability while fostering customer loyalty as 2019 progresses.

Here are our predictions for the year ahead:

1. Fraud teams converge in finance

Increasingly we’ll see financial institutions breaking down the siloes that have kept fraud, compliance and financial crime teams working independently. This makes sense; centralized teams can begin to rely on consolidated tools to offer a single version of the truth. That in turn will help to make them more cost efficient and improve visibility, enabling teams to fight cybercrime more effectively.

In 2019, these teams must consider not only the impact of attacks on their own organization, but the role they play in the wider cybercrime ecosystem. Fraudsters use multiple attack methods and channels. They might test stolen cards out on one organization but then use them on another. If we can come together to share intelligence and work towards a common cause, we can make a larger dent in fraud. As an analyst at Javelin said: “As the disease of identity fraud reaches the level of an epidemic, prevention will require a new level of cooperation to eliminate the places that fraud has found to hide, fester, and spread, while effective detection and resolution will become more important than ever before.”1

2. Fraud becomes more complex

It’s undeniable that fraud is becoming more sophisticated. The bad guys have tools to cloak their identity, and use automated bots to help them test stolen credentials and steal data. On the back-end, the data available to organizations is more complex than ever before — coming from a variety of structured and increasingly unstructured sources. The key for fraud teams will be leveraging this data effectively.

3. Complex orchestration becomes essential

In the face of this complexity, and new regulations like PSD2 mandating strong customer authentication (SCA), fraud and risk teams will increasingly need tools to make intelligent decisions around authentication.2 Machine learning capabilities can be used to orchestrate complex authentication decisions, ensuring maximum fraud protection with minimal customer friction.

4. Digital transformation creates threat of ‘breach fatigue’

In an unforgiving business landscape, competitive edge becomes everything. Businesses will be looking to drive innovation even further and faster in 2019, converting internal capabilities into external revenue-generating products where possible. This will insert another point of failure unless security is properly managed in the process. As this happens, breach fatigue threatens to normalize poor security and create an even bigger downstream fraud challenge.

5. Online marketplaces will drive trust through adaptive fraud prevention

Online marketplaces are rapidly trying to replace the department stores. But their ascendancy will demand more rigorous attention paid towards fraud screening. Trust is key to these platforms and it must be provided to both seller and buyer. This is where adaptive fraud prevention will be crucial, helping to drive that trust by changing as fraud changes over time.

6. Data continues its role as a competitive advantage

Organizations looking to succeed in 2019 will be the ones who are able to leverage data to support effective decision making. The truth is that data is both a liability and an asset. It can expose your organization to breaches but it’s an essential tool for driving growth and fraud prevention. Although the GDPR states there is a “legitimate interest” to use customer or employee data for fraud prevention, the overall trend in 2019 will be for regulators to limit what organizations can access.3

This environment will continue to grow in complexity as we go forward, placing those which can use unstructured data legally to improve fraud detection in a winning position.

We wish a safe and profitable 2019 to all our readers!


1. Javelin, 2018 identity fraud, https://www.javelinstrategy.com/coverage-area/2018-identity-fraud-fraud-enters-new-era-complexity.
2. Simility, PSD2 compliance, https://simility.com/psd2-compliance/.
3.  ICO, Legitimate interests, https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing/legitimate-interests/.
Vanita Pandey

Vanita Pandey

Vanita Pandey | Former Vice President of marketing and product strategy at Simility. In this role she was responsible for establishing Simility's brand, driving Similty's go-to-market strategy as well as product and market positioning.
Vanita Pandey