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Take an analytic approach to fighting fraud

General Manager, Safer Planet, IBM

The year 2015 saw some of the gravest financial crimes of our time. Headlines told of major banks not only falling victim to these crimes, but also facing billions of dollars in fines. The March 2015 Association for Financial Professionals survey concluded that 62 percent of respondents were targets of payment fraud in 2014 and wire fraud almost doubled from 14 percent in 2013 to 27 percent in 2014.

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Fraudsters are some of the earliest adopters of technologies that attempt to outpace the protective measures of today’s financial institutions—threats are more often, more severe and more sophisticated. And the challenge is growing for those whose mission it is to protect us from these adversaries. IBM’s Safer Planet division was created to position us to continue to develop technologies that stay one step ahead of those criminals.

I have often said that, for those of us who fight crime, the promise of technology is that it can move faster than the speed of threat. Yet, the challenge is how quickly can we consume and assimilate to what technology is telling us.

Today we announce the acquisition of IRIS Analytics GmbH, an award-winning provider of real-time payments fraud prevention software. This strategic acquisition aims to strengthen our entire Safer Planet portfolio with the addition of IRIS’s advanced machine learning techniques and automated model generation to quickly anticipate, adapt and alter operations to help protect institutions and their customers.

With this acquisition we can now provide a differentiated analytic approach, providing clients with more control and transparency. This makes it possible for businesses to spot new financial crime patterns earlier, adapt sooner and apply countermeasures to help fight the episodic nature of constantly evolving fraud themes.

I am proud that IRIS is now a part of our Safer Planet mission. In the race against fraudulent threats, we bring our customers a competitive edge that helps to prevent loss, facilitate safer payments and optimize business operations.