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Wednesday, 11 April 2018 00:35

SAS launches new global Fraud and Security Intelligence Division

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Analytics software vendor SAS has launched a new division to fight fraud globally, applying artificial intelligence and advanced analytics.

According to the Associated of Certified Fraud Examiners, the typical organisation loses 5% of annual revenues to fraud. This comes to trillions of dollars worldwide every year. This fraud can be from outside, by malicious hackers and crackers, and it can even be from inside, by staff misappropriating their access.

PricewaterhouseCoopers' 2018 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey says 49% of companies have been victims of fraud and economic crime in the last two years, up from 36% in 2017.

Some companies have no automated fraud detection, despite having a wealth of data at their disposal on transactions, payroll, invoicing, receipting, ordering and supply and more. Other companies have rule-based fraud checks, but for any business of a certain size the number of false positives this can generate that need further investigation can be overwhelming.

SAS says there’s a better and smarter way, leveraging the company’s deep experience in analytics and apply artificial intelligence to really drill into the items that merit attention. The company officially launched its new global Fraud and Security Intelligence Division during SAS Global Forum 2018, in Denver, Colorado this week. The division is headed by Stu Bradley who has been with SAS for nine years, moving from his role as vice-president of Cyber Security Solutions.

The division will further focus and sharpen SAS’ fraud and cyber security portfolio, which is staffed by more than 400 employees in 25 countries. SAS intends to add another 100 employees to the new division over the next three years, with 50 joining by the end of 2018.

The new division launches with some wins under its belt already, including anti-money laundering work with Landsbankinn, the largest bank in Iceland. This institution must find a balance between convenient and efficient service for its 120,000 customers while screening transactions for suspicious activity.

“Landsbankinn seeks to fulfil the strictest requirements regarding money laundering, criminal financing and other illegal activities,” says Thordur Orlygsson, chief compliance officer for Landsbankinn. “And to meet those demands, we need to have a sophisticated and robust solution.”

Landsbankinn selected SAS Anti-Money Laundering to identify patterns in its data, and SAS Visual Analytics to provide data visualisation capabilities for analysts across the organisation.

“It’s not possible for us to look manually at all transactions,” Orlygsson says. “We need a system like SAS to help us do pattern analysis to identify suspicious transactions to be referred for investigation.”

Other current customers include Amica Mutual Insurance, the Georgia Department of Public Health and Société Générale.

“Over the last 15 years, SAS has built a reputation as the leader in fraud and security intelligence,” said Bradley. “The rise of the digital economy has been matched by the rapid spread of fraud and cyber security risks, making now an ideal time for SAS to redouble and refocus its leadership in this area. We want to meet customers where they are in their analytics journeys, particularly as they adopt technologies like AI, IoT and cloud. With SAS to help them, they will be even better equipped to break down data silos, adjust to shifting regulations, and safeguard against present and future risks.”

As enterprising criminals become more organised and technologically sophisticated, the analytic tools used to thwart their schemes must outpace their advances. SAS says the formation of its Fraud and Security Intelligence Division will drive greater innovation by bringing together software developers and technology professionals from across the fraud, compliance and security domains.

The writer is attending SAS Global Forum 2018 as a guest of the company.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.