Last week saw a number of reports released about the UK’s continued battle against cybercrime and fraud, with the financial services sector highlighted as taking the brunt of the problem.
PricewaterhouseCooper’s global economic crime survey shows that cybercrime is on the rise, accounting for 38% of economic crime incidents in the financial services industry. The Annual Fraud Indicator from the National Fraud Authority was also released last week, with the shocking statistic that fraud in 2011/2012 cost the UK economy £73 billion. At a time of economic hardship, Government cutbacks and a difficult trading environment, this is money that the UK can ill afford to lose.
Such surveys will inevitably result in headlines that focus on the staggering cost of fraud in relation to the UK’s flat-lining economy, but hopefully they will also open the door to a serious discussion about how to tackle this problem. There are a range of fraud-tackling technology solutions available and it is imperative that we all have full knowledge of the options available to us.
Take the example of biometrics. Biometric security in identification processes is not a new concept. The unique nature of an individual’s fingerprints has long been recognised as an accurate form of identification. Indeed, 50% of the public is aware of biometrics, and of those, 85% understands fingerprint technology. But the appreciation of voice biometrics as a valid security tool is still growing. Whereas a fingerprint has approximately 40 unique characteristics, a voice has over 100 separate characteristics, making it one of the most secure authentication technologies available.
Yes, fraud is on the rise, but the technology to combat it is ever more sophisticated. Biometric identification is no longer a future possibility, but a realistic solution to a growing challenge, and banks, business owners and consumers alike need to recognise this, if they are to stay ahead of the fraudsters.