Welcome to “The the Frontlines of Fraud”, Guardian Analytics’ new blog.  We want to give our financial institution customers, prospects, followers, industry analysts, bloggers, pundits and solution providers an immediate platform to discuss what’s happening right now in the ever-evolving world of payments and the escalating war on cybercrime.

We have amassed a significant body of research data over the years, which we’ve published in the form of Fraud Informer, independent research and white papers. This blog serves a different purpose.  We hope it will be more immediate and collaborative.

Why now? Three reasons.

First, the villains. Cybercriminals have upped the pace of their attacks on financial institutions and the sophistication and adaptability of their cybercrime technology. The sheer success rate and impunity of this global network of cybercriminals are at an unprecedented high, with no sign of abating.  The fact is the bad guys are succeeding at stealing money with very little risk of getting caught.  Most of the stolen money is moved offshore, to parts of the geopolitical world that are not sympathetic to the US financial system or our laws.  As a community, we need to use every tool at our disposal to stop them.

Second, the victims.  The backbone of our economy, small and medium businesses, along with community groups, churches, school districts, consumers and the community centered banks and credit unions that serve them have been victimized systematically and on a devastating scale. The impact is enormous and in some cases the financial stability of the victimized account holders cannot be recovered. Their stories need to be heard.

Finally, the heroes.  We have the privilege of working everyday with people at leading financial institutions of all sizes who have put protecting their retail and commercial account holders at the center of their business strategy.  They have stepped up to the challenges of this cyber war. They have leveraged the best technologies available, and along with educating their account holders, have made the business and process changes needed to stop these criminals in their tracks.  And the good news is it’s working.  Day after day we see firsthand cases of sophisticated fraud attempts, leveraging all the latest malware and criminal techniques, that are detected and stopped before any money is taken and before the bank and the victim have to go through the gut wrenching process of trying to recover.  This is where the war will be won and these successes need to be highlighted, shared and learned from.

So this blog is here now.  Our hope is it will provide a forum to expose the criminals, support the victims and enlist more heroes. We want the blog to serve as a platform for ongoing discussion on the most important issues facing banks, credit unions, and anyone concerned with payments, mobile and online banking fraud. We’re looking forward to lending our perspective based on daily interactions with the people who are in the trenches fighting this war: CEO’s, CSO’s, online and mobile banking executives, fraud managers, businesses and consumers. Moreover, we hope that “The Frontlines of Fraud”, is an open platform for knowledge sharing of best practices and lessons learned as we all work together to win the cyber war.

Looking forward to our ongoing conversation,

Terry Austin