Are you Ready for the Gold?

As the world’s greatest athletes head to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, many business leaders are thinking about how their companies can aim for greater achievement. One area where any organization can vault to greater heights is security. Like a fencing master, criminals are constantly shifting angles as they seek to penetrate defenses. To land a knockout blow against threats, businesses need to understand what separates the best security solution apart from the runners up.

Settling for bronze

No one wins a competition by just doing the bare minimum.  That’s why a basic, defensive fraud prevention strategy earns your organization a bronze medal. CIO.com offers practical tips for ecommerce merchants to keep their sites safe and protect themselves from credit card fraud.  Some of these are simple techniques like asking for CVV codes or address verification during checkout or running credit checks on customers and partners during account creation to attempt to identify fraud and avoid losses.  

While these methods are good first round checks, the friction that they create make them an unsustainable long term strategy.  Worse, relying on black and white criteria like credit checks can be unreliable and often cut off the very customers you hope to attract. For instance, T-Mobile reported in early 2015 that the company was disqualifying half its customers from its most attractive promotions because their credit was not good enough.

It takes strong, proactive measures to face today’s sophisticated criminals – one that can evolve and adapt with time as fraud patterns change.  

Taking the silver

Many organizations have stepped up their game with tools designed to meet online security threats. However, the solutions sometimes lack the power needed for Olympic-level lifting. Siloed tools that evaluate data gathered from a single channel instead of drawing insights from transactions conducted across multiple channels are myopic and influence ill informed decisions.

Legacy fraud prevention tools often rely on inflexible rules rather than adapting to individual business’s needs and customer base.  This results in valuable customers being shut out of the system especially when those rules are black and white.

Many organizations, thinking that they are ahead, adopt tools that are perceived to be superior.   For example, this could be machine learning solutions offered by legacy players who were ruled based. While it seems like a great way to make a transition, all it ends up being is a compromise. The cost of such patched solutions tends to be much higher and far less effective due to lack of ground up engineering and technical know how.

The effects of outdated or improperly implemented security can be costly for both an organization’s bottom line and reputation. In 2013, Target suffered data breaches affecting 70 million customers, worsened by a weak response to warnings from security software. The company said that failure ended up costing $162 million, and it was sued by both banks and consumers.

Seizing the gold

If you want to pull ahead of the competition, then you need a security solution that is architected and designed to handle challenges as they emerge. Attackers are always probing for the weaknesses in your defenses, whether it’s during account opening, payment checkout or when selling merchandise through your platform . Your team needs the ability to cover all its bases with a solution that offers end-to-end protection – whether it’s online or offline, through credit cards or any other payment method.

Getting a gold means being the best among the best – constantly pushing the limits and raising the bar. Machine learning gives organizations this advantage without being blinded by human bias or judgement. Continuously learning models push the limits by understanding fraud characteristics in real time and applying them to each subsequent transaction. Data models that are monitored and optimized for better performance yield improved results by lowering manual reviews and false positives.  With attention to granular data and human-readable decisioning, intuitive dashboards and reports act as coaches for monitoring and elevating performance. 

If you are aspiring for a gold medal, stop handicapping your business’s security strategy and start excelling. Flex the muscles of big data and advanced algorithms so you can take your spot on the podium.  Learn more about how Feedzai can help you.