Navigating the Era of Cybercrime as a Service

Fraud and Financial Crime

James Richardson

James Richardson

Mar 30, 2020

Just as banks are digitally transforming their operations, criminals have digitally transformed the way they rob banks. No longer does a crook walk into a bank branch with the hope of getting away with thousands. Now, a crook sits in front of a laptop robbing banks of millions from the other side of the world. We’re now in an era of cybercrime as a service. As a result, banks and businesses are on the back foot. They’ve got to up their security game to not only meet the challenges of today, but get ahead of the evolution.

Today, criminals think and operate like startups that have the ability and agility to quickly explore new opportunities and shift focus. Cyber fraudsters have the edge because they can chase where the dollar is. For example, as credit card security has matured, fraudsters have moved to softer targets like wire fraud. Banks need to update their security strategies on a near-monthly basis. A bank that is operating with last year’s strategy is hopelessly behind.

It’s not like a physical firewall of putting up a barrier into a building. These things are constantly being challenged by fraudsters trying to outwit what exists within the market. The best technology out there is adaptive. It recognizes that threats evolve or regulations change very frequently, and it can learn what is normal or abnormal behavior.

In addition, with every new banking innovation comes new opportunity for theft. For example, while Faster Payments allows organizations to move money around the world almost instantly, it also means there is less time to react to a fraudulent payment. As payments get faster, banks and corporations will need to work harder to make sure payments are going to the correct destination.


Threats aren’t the only things that are evolving. New regulations are constantly being introduced, with the first half of 2020 seeing the fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD 5), SWIFT CSP 2020, FATF16, and Confirmation of Payee initiatives all coming into force. However, Richardson says many banks are more focused on managing deadlines than becoming secure.

Too many banks have the mindset of, ‘That’s next year’s problem; I can wait to implement that. But cybercriminals aren’t waiting for a compliance deadline to try to compromise a bank. They’re doing it now. Banks and corporations need to stop looking at these deadlines from just the compliance perspective and start working to implement these regulations as soon as possible. That’s the only way to outsmart the bad guys.

What Are the Experts Saying?

To find out what other industry experts think the future holds for the global payments and banking industries, download the full ebook, "Global Payments and Banking 2020: Experts Weigh-in on What's Next".


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James Richardson

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James Richardson

James Richardson has 15+ years’ experience in payments, working with FIs and Corporates to secure critical payments and reduce fraud risk. James is Head of Market Development, Risk & Fraud, for Bottomline Technologies.
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