SAS Beefs Up Cyber Protection With New Fraud and Security Unit

SAS has created a new global Fraud and Security Intelligence Division to help organizations better detect and combat threats from fraudsters and hackers. The division will further focus and sharpen the SAS efforts to combat fraud and cybersecurity threats. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that the typical organization loses 5 percent of annual revenues to fraud, equating to trillions of dollars in losses worldwide each year.

SAS already has more than 400 employees in 25 countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia focused on this area and it plans to add 100 employees to the division over three years. According to PwC’s 2018 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey, 49% of companies say they’ve been victims of fraud and economic crime in the last two years – up from 36% the year before.

Stu Bradley will lead the new SAS division as vice president of fraud and security intelligence; the division has 250 people and plans to add another 100. Most recently the SAS vice president of cybersecurity solutions, Bradley has 20 years’ industry experience fighting fraud and abuse, the last nine at SAS.

“Over the last 15 years, SAS has built a reputation as the leader in fraud and security intelligence,” said Bradley. “The rise of the digital economy has been matched by the rapid spread of fraud and cybersecurity risks, making now an ideal time for SAS to redouble and refocus its leadership in this area. We want to meet customers where they are in their analytics journeys, particularly as they adopt technologies like AI, IoT and cloud. With SAS to help them, they will be even better equipped to break down data silos, adjust to shifting regulations, and safeguard against present and future risks.”

One of the great challenges in fighting fraud developing the intelligence and analytics to avoid false positives that can annoy customers and lead to loss of their business. SAS says that banks need a strategy and the right technology to manage risk while providing the service customers expect.

For Landsbankinn, the largest bank in Iceland, finding the balance between providing service for its 120,000 customers and screening transactions for suspicious activity is crucial for its compliance staff.

“Landsbankinn seeks to fulfill the strictest requirements regarding money laundering, criminal financing and other illegal activities,” says Thordur Orlygsson, chief compliance officer for Landsbankinn. “And to meet those demands, we need to have a sophisticated and robust solution.”

The company chose SAS®Anti-Money Laundering to identify patterns in its data. Landsbankinn also uses SAS Visual Analytics to provide data visualization capabilities for analysts across the organization.

While a vast majority of the transactions Landsbankinn processes won’t trigger any alerts, a handful may point to suspicious activity. That’s where the company’s compliance team comes in.

“It’s not possible for us to look manually at all transactions,” Orlygsson says. “We need a system like SAS to help us do pattern analysis to identify suspicious transactions to be referred for investigation.”
Computers are better than people at analyzing fraud. In e-commerce trails in the U.S., where customers don’t present a card — the transactions are known as CNP for Card Not Present — software like Forter and Radial have proven to accept many more good transactions than well-trained fraud prevention teams.

SAS said its new fraud and security intelligence division will drive greater innovation by bringing together software developers and technology professionals from across the fraud, compliance and security domains.

“SAS customers will benefit from hybrid analytic approaches with embedded machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and social network analytics,” the company said in its announcement.

About Tom Groenfeldt

I write - mostly about finance and technology, sometimes about art, occasionally about politics and the intersection of politics and economics. My work appears on and and occasionally in The American Banker and Banking Technology in London.
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