This article is part of Kyckr’s new Future of Financial Crime Series, which features interviews with leading industry professionals and thought leaders to learn more about the evolution of financial crime and the trends shaping the future.
The following is an interview we recently had with Ethan Taub, CEO and founder of Goalry
What is the state of financial crime today?
Because of the pandemic, many more people have been at home. This is an issue because many don't have the protection needed in order to secure their internet connection from malicious users. Not only have spam emails and fake texts increased but there is something we have all done that has put us at risk: shopping online. Of course it is unlikely to be an issue to many, but those without a protected connection or those who have a virus on their computer are at risk with each purchase. Viruses like keyloggers are able to log all keyboard inputs which include emails and passwords for banking sites. Ransomware has also become a major issue, even over the past few months when the fallout of the pandemic was settling. Big companies are being threatened to hand over money or other data of the business, employees and the public who use their services are at risk. This is worse for shopping and banking sites as a member of the public's account information could lead them to having all of their money and information stolen and used.
How has financial crime evolved over the past 5 years?
With technology evolving, risks are higher. People are becoming more likely to use online services for banking, shopping and such because of convenience but also because of increased confidence in this technological evolution. However, the evolution of technology comes with more advanced ways for malicious users to extract information. As well as this, dating sites have become much more common. While they can be good for meeting new people, a lot of the users on there are acting as someone else in order to get money from lonely, vulnerable people. The ways in which money can be extorted from people has become much more sophisticated and common over the past 5 years. While I think technology is the main player for how this has happened, I also think a major issue is that it doesn't get spoken about enough. When this technology was new, many were skeptical and were much more cautious, even when what they were cautious of was completely safe. Now that we are showing everything off as a huge convenience to their life, people are taking that convenience over safety.
What's the future of financial crime?
I personally think that the future is looking brighter. With these vulnerabilities becoming exposed to the general public more through social media and TV shows, many are becoming aware of the tricks people play in order to get money. Many security measures are being implemented such as two-factor authentication methods for logging in to websites, but I still think more needs to be done to combat it as there are still workarounds. Time needs to be dedicated into investigating the multiple avenues that criminals try to take money from people. While technology is the biggest issue when regarding this as more issues have arisen as technology becomes more advanced, there are still other ways that people get money that is not legally theirs. I think that it is important that these issues are broadcasted more. While large faceless businesses are usually the targets of ransomware, people need to be made aware that this could affect them and tell them what they can do to protect themselves. We shouldn't scare people unnecessarily, but the more we talk about the issues, the more people know what to look out for.'