Tag Archives: Cybersecurity

Analytics & Optimization The Future of AI: Smart Machines Will Save Us, Not Destroy Us

FICO 25 years of AI and machine learning logo
Aug162017

To commemorate the silver jubilee of FICO’s use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we asked FICO employees a question: What does the future of AI look like? The post below is one of the thought-provoking responses, from Shafi Rahman, a principal scientist at FICO, working in San Diego. The most memorable scene in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey is when HAL 3000 turns off the life-support functions of the crew in an attempt to keep itself from getting disconnected. This was my first encounter with what we call artificial intelligence. Then in Terminator, we were introduced to Skynet, a neural network based AI, which raised an army of robots for self-preservation. Hollywood has always portrayed the future of AI in a dystopian, cataclysmic manner. In reality, I believe things will be different — benign and beneficial to the human-kind. In the last 10 years, we have seen huge... [Read More]

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Fraud & Security Cybersecurity: To Be (Empirical), or Not to Be?

Hamet with data background
Aug022017

That is the question for cybersecurity risk assessment. FICO has been in the analytics business since our inception back in 1956.  Our founders, Bill Fair and Earl Isaac, had the novel idea that businesses could make better decisions through data. Before anyone thought to call the resulting algorithms “analytics,” they set off to create game-changing approaches to correlating signals with outcomes to help companies manage risk, reduce expense, and maximize opportunities. Bill and Earl began looking for problems they could solve through an empirical analysis of data, and credit underwriting was a use case that was well-suited to the technique. Most credit-granting organizations had credit applications tucked away in filing cabinets (a source of consistent signal data), and most also had a reasonable handle on outcomes – i.e., who was managing credit to terms and who was in arrears or in default. The ability to relate data known at the time of the... [Read More]

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Fraud & Security How Are Telecom Providers Managing Cybersecurity Risk?

Man with laptop
Jul182017

Data breaches are in the news on an almost daily basis and telecom companies are not immune to attack – indeed, cyber-attacks have led to the loss of almost 50 million customer records in the past 10 years. For telecom businesses it’s not only the frequency and number of records that are breached that is of concern, it’s also the type of data that can be lost. Telecom companies are guardians of a rich set of customer data, including financial information. They also hold a valuable set of behavioural data about their customers based on how they use their services. This rich data set is a honey pot for cybercriminals – particularly those using data to fuel identity theft. We included telecommunications providers in the cybersecurity survey carried out on our behalf by independent research company Ovum. What did we find? A full assessment of our findings for the Telco industry... [Read More]

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Fraud & Security Cybersecurity – Who Is The Biggest Internal Risk?

Man with laptop
Jul062017

When it comes to cybersecurity, crooks need a way into our businesses and often someone gives it to them – mostly unintentionally. An understanding of who the unwitting accomplices are will help IT security to protect the organization. In a recent survey conducted for us by research company Ovum, we asked senior security executives which employees or third parties posed the highest cybersecurity risk to their firm. Although 77% of respondents said that their employees have sufficient information on how they can contribute to prevent breaches, internal staff were still perceived to present the biggest threat to cybersecurity. Interestingly, most respondents saw the highest risk as coming from their internal IT function – they highlighted their own departments as the weak link. While most do think they have educated employees well, we had many comments regarding the need for further education programmes. The need to secure employees devices, particularly in... [Read More]

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Fraud & Security Cybersecurity Insurance – 3 Reasons Businesses Aren’t Buying

Cybersecurity risk score scale
Jun262017

We recently commissioned a study from independent research company Ovum on how organizations are tackling cybersecurity and what they plan to do next. Losses because of a data breach or other cyberattack can be severe, particularly when factors such as customer and shareholder confidence are taken into account. We therefore expected that cyber risk insurance would be an increasingly important way in which organizations are mitigating their risk. The results were far from uniform: The UK was the most insured country we surveyed, with 69% of respondents holding some kind of insurance, and the USA was the least insured – only 51% of US respondents had any kind of cyber risk insurance. Across the industries surveyed, financial services firms were the most likely to be insured (71%), and healthcare the least likely (26 percent). Even when businesses have invested in cyber risk insurance, it’s unlikely to cover them for all... [Read More]

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Fraud & Security 6 Principles for Cyber Risk Scores — and Why We Need Them

Cybersecurity risk score scale
Jun202017

The use of scores that rate a firm’s cybersecurity risk — such as the FICO® Enterprise Security Score — is picking up momentum. In an effort to ensure that these scores consistently add value, and to ensure that they help rather than harm businesses, a group of firms recently convened to develop industry standards for cybersecurity ratings. FICO joined this group, along with several Fortune 500 companies and a number of the country’s biggest banks, and I am proud of the principles we developed. By creating these principles, we sought to: Promote quality and accuracy in the production of security ratings Promote fairness in reporting Inject best-practice decision management governance standards into a new domain Include a coordinated process for adjudicating errors or inaccuracies in reported content Establish guidelines for appropriate use and disclosure of the scores and ratings Why were principles needed? One reason is that there is a... [Read More]

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Fraud & Security Cybersecurity – Is a Lack of Good Benchmarks Misleading Execs?

Jun142017

A recent survey carried out on our behalf by research company Ovum found that 48% of organizations think that in a year’s time, an assessment of their cybersecurity will show improvement. Only 3% think that their cybersecurity position will have worsened. Most companies also think they are doing well compared to their competitors; a mere 6% think their cybersecurity is below average and 54% think they’re above average or a top performer. This is statistically unlikely. It seems that many are taking an optimistic view of their cybersecurity. Could a lack of objective measurement be to blame? Here’s what our survey participants said: It is encouraging to see that 94% carry out some form of assessment. However, consideration must be given as to how objective the methods used are. 38% of respondents say they self-assess based on their own criteria, this is the largest and possibly the most worrying category.... [Read More]

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