Back in mid-December 2013 – at the peak of the holiday shopping season – Target Corporation announced that 110 million customer debit and credit cards had fallen into the hands of hackers. That means that one in three Americans was affected by this cyber attack. While this breach originated within Target’s systems, at the end of the line the buck stops with the banks.
Not surprisingly, the breach sent a slew of large-scale banks into reactive mode. The sheer scale and scope of the intrusion presented a degree of risk that required immediate and decisive remediation. Consequently banks were forced to impose blanket account restrictions and limits as a knee-jerk reaction to prevent significant losses because they didn’t have real-time visibility into what was happening with individual accounts.
The potential for staggering losses is significant and industry-wide – and banks have more than stolen funds to worry about. The blanket fraud protection measures imposed broadly and preventatively across the account base creates a customer experience management nightmare. While customers rightfully want and expect rock-solid fraud protection, they’re not willing to give up unfettered access to their accounts as a preventative measure.
Balancing fraud prevention and customer experience management is tricky on the technology side. However, with real-time analytics, banks can continuously correlate and analyze streams of data from diverse sources to immediately spot anomalies indicating potential fraudulent activity. The beauty of real-time analytics with respect to fraud detection lies in the elimination of data latency. Essentially you’re able to detect and halt fraud as it’s happening – not after the fact – to better protect the quality of your customer experience while preventing massive losses.
The most challenging aspect of fraud prevention is the speed and scale at which it occurs. If your systems can’t detect fraudulent streams within individual accounts in real-time you are essentially compounding your losses with each passing second. And when you consider the scale of the Target breach, each passing second could be costing you millions.
The key takeaway here is that real-time analytics empowers banks to conquer large-scale cyber attacks before hackers stream through and fleece accounts in mass. Because real-time analytics strips away data latency down to the second, banks can identify and shut down fraudulent activity immediately and in scale. With fraud detection and prevention, every second counts.
Dale Skeen, Ph.D. Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Dale Skeen co-founded Vitria with Dr. JoMei Chang in 1994 and oversees the technology direction of the company. Dr. Skeen is credited with inventing distributed publish-subscribe communication, with over a dozen patents in this and other related technologies. Dr. Skeen has more than 20 years of experience designing and implementing large-scale computing systems in the areas of distributed computing and database systems. Dr. Skeen is the recognized industry visionary for creating and developing Business Process Integration and Real-Time Business Process Analysis, two of the innovative foundations for Vitria’s solutions.
Dr. Skeen is also a prolific author, having contributed to 10 books and written numerous journal articles on distributed computing and integration technologies. Prior to co-founding Vitria, Dr. Skeen was the co-founder of TIBCO Software, where he served as the Chief Scientist. Dr. Skeen has held faculty positions at the University of California, Berkeley as well as Cornell University.