[Exclusive Interview] This Is How You Can Outsmart Fraudsters Who Are Trying To Steal Your Money & Data

Mohul Ghosh

Mohul Ghosh

May 25, 2023

Recently, we interacted with Mr. Nikhil Jois, Head of Growth at Bureau, which is a No-code Identity Decisioning Platform.

Here are the interview highlights:

Mr. Nikhil Jois, Head of Growth at Bureau

Mr. Nikhil Jois, Head of Growth at Bureau

1. Off late, has there been an increase in the number of BFSI / banking cyber-attacks in India? What are the different types of such cyber frauds happening in the country?

There has been a notable increase in cyber fraud targeting the BFSI sector in India. Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies, taking advantage of the digitalisation and online transactions that have become prevalent in recent years. These attacks come in various forms, including data breaches, social engineering scams, money mules, phishing scams, malware attacks, and UPI fraud, among others.

According to Bureau’s ‘Anatomy of Fraud Report 2023’, between July-Dec 2021, 192mn instances of fraud took place during transaction payments. The consequences of these frauds can be severe, leading to financial losses for individuals and organisations, as well as reputational damage. It is crucial for customers in the BFSI sector to stay vigilant and adopt strong security measures to protect their personal and financial information. This includes regularly updating passwords, being cautious of suspicious emails or messages asking for sensitive information and keeping software and systems up-to-date. Additionally, collaboration between the industry, regulators, and cybersecurity experts is essential to enhance security measures and mitigate the risks associated with cyber-attacks in the banking sector.

2. BFSI cyber-frauds have become more sophisticated over time. How does Bureau’s solution address the evolving nature of such cyber threats and provide companies with effective means to combat them?

At Bureau, we address the evolving nature of BFSI cyber-frauds by utilising advanced technologies, robust data analytics, and industry expertise. We leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to detect and analyse patterns, anomalies, and trends in real time, enabling us to identify new fraud techniques promptly. Our robust data analytics capabilities allow us to analyse vast amounts of data, including transactional data and customer information, to identify fraudulent activities. By continuously monitoring and analysing data, we can detect and respond to new cyber fraud effectively. Furthermore, our team’s industry expertise ensures that we stay updated with the latest fraud trends and techniques, enabling us to provide companies with effective means to combat these sophisticated cyber threats.

3. What would be your advice to the end consumers? Any guidelines for them?

As an end consumer, it is essential to prioritise your cybersecurity and take proactive steps to protect yourself from potential threats. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Create secure, distinct passwords for all of your online accounts. Avoid using common phrases or personal information. Use a combination of alphabetic characters, numeric digits, and special characters.
  • Enable Two Factor Authentication (2FA) whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a secondary verification method, such as a fingerprint or a code sent to your phone.
  • Be cautious of suspicious emails, messages, or calls asking for personal or financial information. Verify the source before sharing any sensitive details.
  • Maintain an up-to-date operating system, antivirus software, and applications. Frequently, updates include security upgrades to address vulnerabilities.
  • Refrain from accessing sensitive data or conducting financial transactions on public Wi-Fi networks. Utilise a virtual private network (VPN) to browse securely.
  • Regularly review your bank statements, credit reports, and financial accounts for any suspicious activity. Report any unauthorised transactions immediately.
  • Remain updated on the most recent cybersecurity trends and best practices. Educate yourself about common scams and techniques used by cybercriminals.

People need to remember the basic idea that ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.’ By following these guidelines, you can enhance your online security and reduce the risk of falling victim to cyberfrauds.

4. How does Bureau’s solutions assess the trustworthiness of digital identities?

Bureau’s solutions employ advanced techniques to assess the trustworthiness of digital identities. Through data analysis, identity verification, and risk-scoring algorithms, we enable companies to evaluate the legitimacy of digital identities. Our solutions verify identity information, analyse user behaviour patterns, and assess risk factors to determine the trustworthiness of digital identities. By leveraging collaborative intelligence and accessing relevant data sources, we provide a comprehensive evaluation of digital identities, empowering organisations to make informed decisions and mitigate the risks associated with identity fraud.

5. What are the general modus operandi of such fraudsters? Are there any patterns that would help companies in early identification of trigger points?

Fraudsters employ various tactics to perpetrate cyber-frauds in the BFSI sector. Some common modus operandi includes phishing attacks, social engineering, account takeovers, identity theft, malware infections, and payment fraud. While specific techniques may vary, companies can look for certain patterns that can help in the early identification of trigger points. These patterns include a sudden increase in failed login attempts, unusual user behaviour or activity, multiple account access from different locations, irregular transaction patterns, unexpected changes in account details, and abnormal network traffic. By implementing robust monitoring systems, employing anomaly detection algorithms, and leveraging advanced technologies, companies can detect these patterns and identify potential fraud at an early stage. Timely identification of trigger points enables proactive measures to be taken, such as blocking suspicious activities, notifying customers, and enhancing security measures to prevent further damage.

6. Is it possible to backtrack and identify such fraudsters? Any idea if these fraudsters are operating individually or if there is a larger racket?

Identifying cyber-fraudsters and determining their operational scale is a complex task. While some fraudsters may operate individually, many are part of larger criminal networks or organised cybercrime syndicates. Backtracking and identifying these fraudsters require collaboration between cybersecurity agencies, law enforcement, and other relevant authorities. Investigations involve techniques such as digital forensics, analysing network logs, tracking financial transactions, and gathering evidence from affected systems. International cooperation and information sharing among law enforcement agencies play a crucial role in dismantling these networks and prosecuting the perpetrators. It is important for cybersecurity firms, financial institutions, and regulators to continuously adapt and enhance their capabilities to stay ahead of evolving cyber-frauds. This proactive approach enables the early identification of trigger points and swift action against cyber-fraudsters to mitigate their impact.

Mohul Ghosh
Mohul Ghosh
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