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Cybersecurity Fraud

Why Collaboration is Key When Fighting Fraud – An interview with Anthony White, Manager Oceania – Fraud & Counterfeit, Canon Australia

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The ever increasing and accelerated adoption of technology has created more opportunity for technology enabled fraud attacks to be committed, leaving organisations, employees and customers more vulnerable than ever before.

This has been seen across the APAC region, who has one the most accelerated digital adoption rates in the world. According to Experian’s 2019 Global Identity and Fraud Report, it found that 50% of businesses in APAC had seen an increase in fraud losses over the past 12 months. The report also found that 67% of businesses reported an increased concern for fraud losses since 2018.

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can only expect to see these numbers soar, as history teaches us that fraud incidences only increase during a downturn and crisis – both of which we are experiencing right now.

There are many tools and tactics employed to fight fraud, including the use of collaboration. As fraud attacks enabled by technology often span across business units, industries, countries, jurisdictions and more, a collaborative cross-sector approach including data sharing to enhance fraud detection and prevention strategies is vital.

To gain deeper insights on why collaboration is key in the fight against fraud, we recently caught up with Anthony White, Manager Oceania – Fraud & Counterfeit for Canon Australia. Anthony knows about collaboration as a fraud professional – in addition to his role at Canon, he is the Chairperson of the Australian Online Fraud Council – an industry collective across various verticals that come together on an annual basis to collaborate and share learning’s in the fraud and risk mitigation space. Further to this, Anthony also coordinates an informal peer – peer group who gather regularly to exchange data and talk about what’s happening across their organisations.

Not only does Anthony imbed a collaborative approach into his work, he is busy advocating for collaboration to be the norm in the fight against fraud – here’s what he had to say:

DD: When it comes to fraud prevention and detection, why is effective collaboration so important?

AW: Effective Collaboration is Important as other companies especially within your industry can help see bigger pictures and patterns and help you get ahead or at least be on top of trends as they happen, I know in my industry we see around a 70% cross over rate. I know if someone hits me, they are going to attempt to hit other companies within my industry.

Remember Cyber criminals talk and when they hit a roadblock, they will often put their heads together and come up with a solution, we need to do the same.

DD: How can fraud managers better collaborate with key stakeholders – especially law enforcement and across jurisdictions?

AW: It is critically important to open a dialogue with law enforcement; criminals know that cross border/cross jurisdictional crime is much harder to pursue and as such they pray on that factor.

Talking to law enforcement at all levels, and to your peers and industry bodies about what you are seeing is so important. Remember to report all your incidences, even though you may not always get the result you hope for, if you are reporting all fraud events – that data can be used to allow proper resource and funding to law enforcement so always report.

DD: How important is data sharing across organisations and the fraud community, and how can they move away from the need to “protect” data, and find ways to share data that doesn’t compromise sensitive and commercial information?

AW: This can be very challenging as any time you talk about sharing data across organisations you have to keep in mind privacy issues for both your company and your customers as well as broader issues like collusion and commercial sensitivity. The first step should always be engaging your internal privacy officer and Corporate counsel to have a conversation about how you can legally share data, what purpose can you share data for and how much data is your company comfortable sharing (It’s important to remember the law does allow data sharing in some instances). Every company will have a different appetite.

It is helpful to have discussions also with your peers in the industry and see how they framed the conversation internally and if they have any helpful tips around the internal conversations they have had and how they got to their position and what are the benefits they have found.

Also consider having a conversation with an industry group like the Australian Online Froud council, they can sometimes help with the conversation of put you in touch with people who have already been down this road before.

DD: What are your thoughts on peer networking and its role in identifying fraud patterns and preventing fraud incidences?

AW: Peer Networking in my view has been one of if not the most important tool I have found in fraud prevention. When you are only looking at your own data in isolation picking up patterns is important but that can sometimes mean you get hit a couple of times by a new attack vector before the pattern is evident.

If you are networking and discussing what your peers are seeing or looking at their data, the sample you have is that much larger and it means that you can pick up trends even before you see them within your organisation. This means you are in a much stronger position to

protect your company, your customers and help your industry be a harder target for criminals.

You don’t always have to be the best, just harder and smarter then then the industry in another country and you may find the criminals will attack a softer target, but also remembering that nothing is 100% fool proof.

So, to summarise, when it comes to using a collaborative cross industry and data sharing approach for fighting fraud – remember:

1. When cyber criminals hit a roadblock, they will often put their heads together and come up with a solution – Fraud teams need to do the same.

2. Talking to key stakeholders including law enforcement, peers and industry bodies and reporting all your incidences is important despite the outcome, as that data can be used to enable proper resource and funding to law enforcement.

3. When trying to share data across organisations you must keep in mind privacy and broader issues like collusion and commercial sensitivity. You must engage your internal privacy officer and Corporate counsel about the parameters for sharing data.

4. Networking and discussing fraud data with peers offers a larger sample of data that can enable you to pick up trends even before you see them within your organisation.

Anthony will join over 17 speakers at the APAC Fraud Virtual Summit taking place next week 27th – 29th Oct. He will present on using collaboration and transparency to enhance fraud operations, delving deeper into key areas such as:

  • Collaborating effectively with your stakeholders – how to finesse a conversation
  • Getting the business to understand the benefits of exchanging data
  • Helping the business to understand what data to share, and when
  • Using peer networking to talk about and identify fraud patterns

This week is your last chance to register to attend the Summit, don’t miss this opportunity to explore Why Collaboration is Key When Fighting Fraud – we look forward to seeing you there!

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