12 Steps to Start a Successful Digital Transformation at Banks, Financial Institutions and Digital Enterprises

Digital TransformationInsights for Banks and Financial Institutions

By Whitney Anderson for Fraud.net


Much has been written about the process of digital transformation among banks, financial institutions, and financial services companies. Digitization and digital transformation are among the most hyped concepts of this decade.  Hype aside, banks that put off a digital transformation too long, face an existential threat.  82% of consumer banking transactions will likely occur via digital channels within 5 years. With a new version of the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and other regulations facilitating consumer account portability, it is imperative that banks and FIs begin competing head-to-head with both better-capitalized banks and more agile fintechs on service. The sooner you embark on a digital transformation journey, the sooner you will be capable of competing for consumers on the merits.  We have helped dozens of multi-billion enterprises through their digital transformations and have learned much about what ensures positive outcomes and what completely de-rails the best-laid plans.  The difference between success and failure is often subtle and almost always avoidable.  We hope you can use this guide to ensure your own digital transformation’s success.

Short Description:

Digital Transformation is not a milestone that, after an incredibly long and laborious journey involving hundreds of consultants, many thousands of employee-hours and tens of millions of dollars, one day is suddenly achieved. It is a process and it does not need to be complicated or difficult to begin.  Much less attention has been focused on breaking down this lofty and often intimidating concept into the simple steps that can be used to de-risk the first digital project and make the journey more simple and actionable.

This guide provides that simple set of achievable steps for mid- and large-sized financial institutions around the world to start or accelerate the process of digital transformation. We’ll begin with the most basic concepts, which you can skip if you’re already in the digitization process, although even if you have started, it is always beneficial to go practice the basics to make ensure you have the strongest possible foundation for your organization. Your digital transformation initiative, as some of you already know, is a momentary goal, that once achieved becomes an opportunity for continuous improvement, no matter how good of a job you’ve done to date. The steps that we’ll go through are as follows >>> READ MORE

Identity doesn’t have to be stolen when it can be conjured up out of thin air.

Understanding Synthetic Identity Theft

By Cathy Ross for Fraud.net


Synthetic identity theft (or more accurately, synthetic identity fraud, which is also in sharp contrast to stolen identity fraud) has no specific consumer victim. That’s an important advantage for the fraudsters. After all, if Mary Doe steals Jane Smith’s identity, then Ms Smith has every incentive to report the theft to the authorities and credit bureaus. She serves as a key tool in the detection and mitigation of such fraud. But if Mary Doe invents a Ms Smith, then this key tool is missing from the toolbox.

A related problem, from the point of view of lenders and merchant creditors: it is very difficult to get a fix on how big a problem this is. Often the invested Ms Smith’s account will simply be written off as bad credit, and unrecoverable debt. It won’t be accounted for as a cost of fraud.

On a macro level, Gartner Inc. has estimated that synthetic fraud accounts for 20% of credit charge-offs.

Short Description:

Broadly speaking, synthetic identity fraud takes one of two forms. Our Mary Doe can try to create a new cyberspatial identity by slightly altering her own self, or she can start from scratch. The results are sometimes called “manipulated synthetics” and “manufactured synthetics,” respectively.

Sometimes the synthetic identity creator does not intend to defraud those with whom she deals. This (relatively) innocent form of false identity creation is likely to fall under the first of those two headings, manipulated rather than manufactured. Mary Doe might start calling herself Maria Dough, and invert two digits of the social security number she provides, in order to try to get out from under the effects of a bad credit history.  She might make legitimate purchasers and intend to repay them.

But if “Maria” is in fact cobbled together from a variety of sources, the personally identifiable information (PII) of a number of people, the date of birth of one the address of another, the SS number of a third, etc., the perpetrators are more cold-bloodedly fraudulent.  Increasingly, synthetic identities are being created from a single identity element, like a social security number, which a fraudster uses to seed an otherwise fabricated identity.  While the first new credit application filed with lenders may get rejected as having too little history, the second or third has a much better chance of being approved as the credit agencies being queried may now recognize the identity as legitimate.  An example is as follows >>> READ MORE


Click here for solutions on how to prevent synthetic identity fraud.

Ecommerce Security Best Practices for Online Businesses

When it comes to online shopping, businesses are responsible for more than just product quality, timely shipping, and excellent customer service. As more and more consumers are transitioning to ecommerce, businesses must incorporate fraud prevention technology platforms and understand data security best practices.

Here are 15 steps you can take to secure your ecommerce site:

Encrypt all communications with the web browser by updating your site to HTTPS.
Secure transactions through the use of two-factor authentication.
Prevent denial-of-service (DoS) attacks with firewalls and application gateways.
Choose a hosting service plan with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protection.
Ensure the hosting plan works with the newest ecommerce and CMS software.
Use services with security software to prevent malware attacks.
Keep your plugins, CMS, and software updated.
Create new administrative passwords every six months.
Schedule data backups to occur automatically.
Audit your site for vulnerabilities regularly.
Advise employees to avoid suspicious activity on social media.
Teach everyone in the company how to recognize phishing scams.
Use secure online payment methods.
Generate a user-friendly privacy policy.
Delete all unnecessary customer data as soon as possible.

It’s true that online shopping is increasing (though still far behind shopping in physical stores), however, consumers are growing weary of how businesses handle their sensitive information. One study shows that 67% of online respondents fear their private data will be released in a data breach in the near future.

In order for ecommerce businesses — from entrepreneurs to corporate giants — to be successful, they absolutely must know how to manage data privacy. You might have heard of some companies that learned the hard way: Target, Equifax, and Under Armour, to name a few.

See how these businesses recovered and learn how to protect yourself and your customers from data breaches and malware attacks. This infographic from Wikibuy explains the best ways to address online shopping concerns in today’s online marketplace, including tips on what to do should you fall victim to a breach.

How Business Owners Can Address Online Shopping Concerns

How to Spot Malicious Emails

The ability to distinguish legitimate emails from malicious ones is a new skill set that business owners need to acquire. Ignoring hundreds of spam emails every month is one thing, dealing with malware and ransomware attacks that could cost your company millions in damages is entirely different.

Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report shows that 55% of emails employees received in 2018 were categorized as spam. With 1 in 412 emails being potentially harmful and considered malicious.

Based on Symantec’s findings the following chart shows which subjects, keywords, and attachments are most often used in malicious emails and considered significant red flags to employees.
Infographic: 'Urgent Invoice' - How to Spot Malicious Emails | Statista

Where Malicious Spam Comes From

Approximately 52 percent of all e-mails sent worldwide last year were ads or spam emails. China accounts for 12% of global spam as the largest contributor. The United States follows in 2nd place with 9%, and Germany taking 3rd with 7%. In good news though, the total spam traffic in 2018 was 4 percent lower than it was in 2017.

Infographic: Where Spam Comes From | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

5 Cybersecurity predictions, facts, figures and statistics you need to know for 2019 to 2021

What you need to know about the trillion dollar cyber economy over the next 3 years.

Cybercrime Magazine extrapolates the top 5 market data points from our research in order to summarize the cybersecurity industry through 2021.


1. Cybercrime costs $6 trillion annually by 2021

2. spending $1 trillion 2017-2021

3. 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021

4. Attack surface 6 billion people by 2022

5. costs 57X from 2015-2021

Join the fastest-growing group of online merchants mobilizing against fraud

United Against Fraud

Join the largest collaborative anti-fraud efforts developed by, and for, online merchants. Report your fraudulent transactions and make sure that the fraudsters cannot repeat their schemes unnoticed.

  • Identify Known Fraudsters
  • Reduce Soft Fraud by Reporting Chargebacks and Policy Abuse
  • Help Contain Data Breaches
  • Quickly Identify New Fraud Schemes
  • Disrupt Organized Rings
  • Finally, a Way to Fight Back

With thousands of businesses on the lookout, Fraud.net helps catch fraud before it gets to you.

Make E-commerce safer

Online fraud is growing faster than online commerce. Help reverse that trend through your participation and help e-commerce thrive.

Access to network

By joining the network you gain immediate access. Compare suspicious orders against hundreds of thousands of active fraudsters currently being tracked.

Reduce risk, fraud and chargebacks

Fraud often takes the form of unlawful chargebacks and repetitive abuses of your return, shipping and customer service policies. Wouldn't this be great to know before you ship.

Improve company performance

Reporting fraudsters, and detecting fraudsters that have been reported by other merchants, will save you time and money.

Recourse against fraudsters and hackers

Fraudsters who have been able to repeat their scheme across multiple merchants and sectors can no longer remain unnoticed

Help law enforcement

Fraudsters usually keep transactions too small to attract attention from law enforcement. Aggregating the numbers may help reach prosecutable minimums.

Join the largest collaborative anti-fraud efforts developed by, and for online merchants by Fraud.net