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

Why Your Device Password Should Never Be 1234 Qwerty?

In the world of modern technology where security is frail, it is imperative for people to protect their online data from theft, breaches, and leakages. Even security professionals fail to practice good habits when it comes to password protection.

In fact, 50% of them refrain from changing social network passwords for more than a year and 65% of companies have over 500 employees that have never changed their password. This is a bit alarming, especially if we remember how common hacking and accidental information leakage is with many social platforms experiencing breaches and other risks.

If you think that is problematic, then knowing that people are also astonishingly bad at picking their passwords will send you confounded. Running their fingers at the top row of their keyboards is easy and convenient. Using your name or birthdays is another handy trick too. But are they safe?

Today, we look at several reasons why you should never choose 1234 or Qwerty for a password.

1234 and Qwerty are Two of the Commonly Used Passwords

The first levels of your keyboard are often used as passwords, and they have been topping the list for years. These passwords are unimaginative and laughably predictable. Yet they persist, year in and year out.

Using such passwords opens you up to attacks, risking your financial and personal details.

Personal Details and Information are Collected and Shared

When you sign up to a website or network, you need to provide personal information like your name, address, email, and phone number. Most platforms and apps collect these data and share them outside the network.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, for example, gather your important data and use them for tailored advertisements and information. Third-party entities outside the network can get hold of them too.

Social network sites and apps are vulnerable to attacks. One thing you should remember when it comes to the internet is that no data is safe forever. Most apps and sites have weaknesses. Data breaches and leakages are possible by design or by accident.

In 2012, more than 6 million LinkedIn passwords were stolen. NH Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group found in 2014 that Viber stored user data in an unencrypted cloud environment. This put the privacy of nearly 150 million users in danger. Google experienced a security flaw in 2015, rendering millions of users vulnerable to hackers.

Wrapping Up

Although passwords cannot be guaranteed to keep our data safe 100%, it is still highly advisable to be careful when choosing one. It should never be 1234 Qwerty.

Aside from making sure your password is strong, you should also begin the good practice of changing it regularly and making use of two-factor verification.

Take a look at the infographic that follows to learn more about the importance of online data security.

How Safe Is Our Online Data?

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

Time to get your 'Shield Up' against hackers

Trump Administration Warns of Economic Espionage Risk From China, Russia, Iran

The Trump administration has launched a public awareness campaign for the U.S. private sector, urging businesses to better defend themselves against online attackers who may be trying to steal their sensitive data or wage supply chain attacks.

Written by Mathew J. Schwartz (euroinfosec) for DataBeachToday.com

DataBreadToday Twitter  |  LinkedIN Group  |  Facebook

The effort, being run by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, aims to improve the minimum level of information security practices in place at businesses. At a minimum, NCSC is urging all organizations to review supply chain security, safeguard against spear-phishing emails, beware of social media deception and expect that, when traveling abroad, their equipment will be subject to surveillance or interference.

The NCSC has branded the effort as "Know the Risk, Raise Your Shield," and released a range of videos, posters, brochures and flyers via its website that promulgates strategies to help protect data, assets, technology and networks. The materials were previously distributed to the federal workforce.

"To enhance private sector awareness, we're arming U.S. companies with the information they need to better understand and defend against these threats," says NCSC Director William Evanina.

Advice from the NCSC

The U.S. NCSC is a center within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, not to be confused with the U.K.'s National Cyber Security Centre, which is the public-facing arm of British intelligence agency GCHQ.

The U.S. NCSC's 2018 Foreign Economic Espionage in Cyberspace report, released last July, singles out China, Russia and Iran as posing the biggest nation-state hacking risk to the U.S. private sector. Laws in China and Russia, in particular, allow government agencies to compel firms to assist in their efforts.

But officials warn that the threat is much broader.

"Make no mistake, American companies are squarely in the cross-hairs of well-financed nation-state actors, who are routinely breaching private sector networks, stealing proprietary data and compromising supply chains," Evanina says. "The attacks are persistent, aggressive, and cost our nation jobs, economic advantage, and hundreds of billions of dollars."

Last year, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told Congress that in the online realm, Russia poses the top online attack threat to the United States, while China, North Korea, and Iran are also top threats, "although many countries and some non-state actors are exploring ways to use influence operations, both domestically and abroad."

Robert Hannigan, speaking at the June 2018 Infosecurity Europe conference in London, said cybercrime groups and nation-state attackers are increasingly blurring together. (Photo: Mathew Schwartz)

Indeed, the former head of the U.K.'s signals intelligence agency, GCHQ, last year warned that it was becoming increasingly difficult to tell cybercriminals and nation-state actors apart (see: Cybercrime Groups and Nation-State Attackers Blur Together).

"In some cases, you can see these groups sitting in the same room, and in some cases, you can see where people have been conducting state activity during the day, and then doing crime activity at night," said Robert Hannigan, who headed GCHQ until 2017, speaking at last year's Infosecurity Europe conference in London. "It's an interesting mixture of profit and political intent."

Charges Filed

As part of its effort to warn private businesses to take information security more seriously ..... (CLICK TO READ MORE)

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

Redefining Ecommerce security and efficiency on the blockchain

Elysian, a blockchain based startup, is all set to create a relationship of trust between the businesses and consumers in e-commerce like never before by addressing the most common shortcomings of this thriving industry. This decentralized ecosystem will drastically transform the standard e-commerce business model by ensuring faster delivery, secure customer data storage, and identity theft protection.

Cryptocurrency meets Ecommerce

Elysian is a team of Ecommerce and cryptocurrency experts with a plan to connect the multi-trillion dollar E-commerce industry with the multi-billion dollar global cryptocurrency market by creating a revolutionary, new eCommerce platform. We envision a future where Elysian is the epicenter of a new model for Ecommerce, powered by the blockchain. The Elysian ecosystem presents a model for sustainability and healthy growth, along with community integration to connect Elysian supporters directly with the team.

Elysian is making quick inroads towards their pursuit to deliver a decentralized e-commerce platform with innovative security and revolutionary user experience. A blockchain based ecosystem, Elysian will be the first e-commerce platform to integrate blockchain for the secure storage of all customer data and utilize the technological advances such as Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality to deliver an unprecedented user experience.

Business to consumer (B2C) e-commerce is a massive global market, expected to generate global sales exceeding $4 trillion by 2021. However, the lack of trustworthy cybersecurity, primarily in the form of identity theft, remains to be a serious concern for the industry. Moreover, the cryptocurrency enthusiasts all over the world are still waiting for an e-commerce platform that will accept cryptocurrency in exchange for all their products and services. From an overall perspective, until now, the industry still has much room for improvement in terms of user experience, specifically by integrating new types of technologies.

Elysian makes e-commerce trustworthy by creating an improved level of data storage security by using the Proof-of-Authority algorithm. This will ensure the creation of an ecosystem with a private blockchain to store encrypted credit card information and other user data securely over a distributed network. With the application of Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality, it will allow shoppers the freedom to shop at home in an intimate environment and…

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