The Record - Issue 20: Spring 2021

84 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om BY L I ND S AY J AME S “Keeping pace with the sophistication and sheer number of incoming attacks is a huge challenge” T he Covid-19 pandemic has seen an expo- nential increase in the number of people working from home, along with a seismic shift towards digital banking and spending, and fraudsters are ready and waiting to exploit vul- nerabilities as they appear. According to analysis from Experian and the National Hunter Fraud Prevention Service, financial fraud attempts rose by a staggering 33 per cent during the UK’s first lockdown. Meanwhile in the US, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received almost as many fraud reports in one month as it had in the whole of the previous year. At the same time, financial institutions were faced with pressure to enhance their Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorist Financing approaches. Country regulators and global bodies such as BASEL have been raising the bar in terms of what they expect from finan- cial services organisations, and new regulations such as the AML Act 2020 in the US will increase penalties and responsibilities. “All of this has only added to the pressure facing financial institutions, who were already struggling to stemthe flowof financial crime,” explains Rupert Nicolay, Microsoft’s worldwide financial services industry solutions lead. “Keeping pace with the sophistication and sheer number of incoming attacks is a huge challenge. Bad actors are able to operate in networks and share intelligence in a way that it is difficult for financial institutions to do. They are also able to change their modus operandi quickly – sometimes more quickly than banks can respond. Not only this, but the process of digitising processes that were not previously online – often referred to as the last 20 per cent – has the propen- sity to open the door to financial crime.” Against this backdrop, it should come as no surprise that the cost of preventing and detect- ing financial crime has escalated significantly. According to LexisNexis, the projected total cost of financial crime compliance across the globe amounted to $180.9 billion in 2019, a number that rose by 33 per cent as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold. Banks and insurers around the globe are witnessing a remarkable rise in financial crime. Stepping up to help, Microsoft and its partners are delivering a range of solutions that combine the power of the cloud with artificial intelligence to actively monitor, detect and prevent fraudulent activity fight against The financial crime F E ATUR E