Thursday at CNP Expo kicked off with two superb keynote addresses. First up, Supervisory Special Agent Elvis Chan of the FBI examined the current cyber threat landscape and outlined how the fraud industry and law enforcement can engage more effectively. And, blockchain entrepreneur Samantha Radocchia brought attendees into the future to see how blockchain-based technologies might affect digital payments and fraud moving forward.
Chan noted criminal fraud’s place in the spectrum of cyber threats and named synthetic ID fraud as the top concern in this area for the FBIs. He agreed with yesterday’s keynote, Brett Johnson, that social engineering is how most accomplished fraudsters are obtaining the information or access they need to steal from online companies. Where Johnson plied his social engineering tactics over the phone, Chan notes that social engineers are using other channels, too.
“Online these guys are ninjas,” Chan said, “They are really good at figuring out who a person is and tailoring an email or text that will really make them want to click on it.”
Chan said that any loss in excess of $5,000 should be enough to generate a call to law enforcement, but because of limited investigative or prosecutorial manpower the FBI may not establish a case. Your information, however, may be valuable in solving an existing case.
Radocchia, on the other hand, evangelized for blockchain and its widespread use to establish trust in all kinds of business cases and transactions. Her short history lesson started with small communities that, since everyone knew each other, conducted business in a trusted environment. As society grew trust had to be built by large, centralized institutions—governments and businesses.
In the “blockchain-enabled future,” however, people will be in control of their identities. And, in an industry so reliant on validating the identity of users, that’s a powerful notion “I will be self-sovereign, in possession and control of my own identity,” Radocchia said. “It will be monitizeable and interoperable.”
In addition to being able to establish identity easier, businesses also will use the layer of trust provided by the blockchain to reduce or eliminate chargebacks and to perform online transactions.