Kimberly Sutherland, Vice President of Fraud & Identity Strategy at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions took the time to share a few observations on the different ways in which financial services providers have used technologies to secure customer identities and reduce threat through 2020 in this QnA with GlobalFintechSeries:
Hi Kimberly, tell us about your journey and role at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions…
This is my 15th year at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions and I have been a part of all aspects of consumer fraud and identity the entire time. From product management to product strategy to market planning, I have had the opportunity to help evolve how our company helps businesses and government agencies verify and authenticate consumers, prevent fraudulent activity and mitigate fraud risks. As vice president of market planning, I lead the North American commercial market for consumer fraud analytics, identity verification, authentication and fraud investigations.
We’d love to hear about LexisNexis® Risk Solutions’ recent Cybercrime Report: can you highlight some of the top findings and concerns for the banking and financial services industries from it?
The most recent version of our Cybercrime Report analyzed more than 22 billion online transactions processed through our LexisNexis® Digital Identity Network® during the first half of 2020. We saw overall transaction volumes increase 37% YOY, while human-initiated fraud attacks declined 33% YOY and automated bot attacks targeting financial services increase 38% YOY. We detected fraud networks through their manipulation and malicious use of email addresses, telephone data and devices as they operated across industries and regions using fraudulent devices, as well as stolen and synthetic identity data. This reinforces the importance for businesses to be armed with fraud defenses that layer multiple solutions to detect and block the full spectrum of attacks and respond as cybercrime moves across geographies, industries, organizations and customers.
How have you observed cybercrime evolve in 2020 in light of the pandemic? Can you share a few observations on how leading financial institutions have used advanced technologies to protect data and customer identities and threats during this time?
2020 has been quite a chaotic year for everyone. Despite the fact that organizations have been adopting a digital first approach over the past few years, the pandemic accelerated adoption of these efforts in unimaginable ways, increasing fraud threats with the less digitally savvy consumers and the bad behaviors of those considered to be more digitally astute. Organizations that have fared the best have essentially developed robust fraud processes by integrating more advanced capabilities to assess the digital health of the devices that their customers use. They have also increased their evaluation of the risk signals associated with where the transaction is truly originating, detecting inconsistent and risky device interactions or transaction behavior and quickly identifying erroneous customer provided data. This has been a time that balancing and ultimately optimizing the consumer experience against the fraud and risk controls has become increasingly important in order to differentiate legitimate users from high risk and potentially malicious threats.
In what ways have you seen emerging technologies influence the roadmap of (development / innovations) for LexisNexis® Risk Solutions?
One of our main goals is to provide global solutions that adapt to the evolving nature of fraud without negatively affecting the consumer experience that our customers want to deliver. The newest products introduced in 2020 included behavioral biometrics, advanced email intelligence and fraud analytic scores to detect and prevent fraud. These products represent how our company continues to integrate machine learning analytic models that can continue to learn and adjust for consumer behaviors and trends, incorporate global data sets that can address the expanding geographic reach of our customers and use passive forms of fraud detection and authentication.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the future of cybercrime and what businesses globally should be most prepared for, at a time when remote work, cloud infrastructure and data concerns are now basic frameworks?
Fraud schemes continue to change rapidly and long-term trends also remain unclear as consumers change the way that they interact with businesses and engage with new services and platforms. We believe that navigating through uncertainty requires adaptability, as uncertainty is not new to fraud and identity; however, COVID-19 has accelerated the evolution of customer interaction and the use of traditional approaches, single-layered strategies and inflexible decision-making are becoming critical vulnerabilities for enterprises. More than ever, organizations will need to access more robust consumer interaction channels and execute risk appropriate identity and authentication methods in order to meet the increasing expectations of convenience from their clients while providing consumers with transaction safety.
As global fintech trends change and the market shifts due to business environments (and also Covid-19), what are your comments on the state of fintech in 2021 and beyond?
This is actually an exciting time for businesses as they have an opportunity to establish a stronger relationship with their customer base and better understand how they want to interact. Organizations able to accommodate the needs of their customers during this high stress period will build more trust and loyalty, greatly reducing the likelihood of attrition. This is the time to improve the identification of your repeat customers, improving their experience with lower friction and increased personalization including their preferred way to authenticate to protect their account. It is also the time for businesses to increase sharing of confirmed fraud attempts with other organizations because shared intelligence is one of the best ways to defeat fraudulent attacks.
We’d love to hear about some of LexisNexis® Risk Solutions’ upcoming plans and innovations?
We have quite a full roadmap of new solutions and functionality that we will be introducing in 2021 to continue helping organizations have the most complete view of consumer identity – physical, digital, and behavioral. The key is our focus on the ease of integration, building onto and complementing an organization’s existing investments as much as possible. We plan to expand our threat intelligence and authentication capabilities, increase fraud capture rates for our customers with new analytic models across our product portfolio and introduce additional global consortia and networks to share consumer risk intelligence and strengthen overall fraud detection.
Before we wrap up, what are a few biggest learnings and tips you’d like to share with fintech innovators and leaders?
Fraud rates should not just be considered a cost of doing business. There are effective ways to reduce the cost of fraud for your business, allowing fraud and identity efforts to not just act as an expense but also as a revenue accelerator if done properly. Focus on trying to eliminate blind spots in your organization by increasing the shared intelligence across departments, throughout the customer journey and even outside your organization (cross-industry and cross-geography) – it truly makes a difference if we all work together. Stay safe!
Kimberly Sutherland is the vice president of fraud and identity strategy for LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, a provider of advanced technology and data analytics solutions that helps customers evaluate and predict risk and enhance operational efﬁciency. Based in Alpharetta, Georgia, she leads the LexisNexis® Risk Solutions’ Americas commercial market strategy for consumer fraud analytics, identity verification, authentication and fraud investigations.
With over 20 years of experience leading business strategy and product management, Kimberly’s responsibilities have spanned from building global professional services practices to developing cross-industry best practices and technical standards. Kimberly previously held prior leadership roles at Cendant Corporation and Avaya. Kimberly currently serves on the advisory board of Women in Identity. Kimberly is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Otterbein University with graduate degrees in public policy and business administration.