SecurityBrief UK - Technology news for CISOs & cybersecurity decision-makers
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Predicted surge in AI-fuelled scams in 2024 demands increased vigilance
Tue, 5th Dec 2023

Business Email Compromise (BEC), a type of online scam, is predicted to pose a significant and growing threat in 2024, thanks to the increasing involvement of organised crime groups who exploit artificial intelligence (AI) in their fraudulent activities. Consequently, there's an expected surge in investment scams initially emerging from the UK and Australia but rapidly spreading to the US, with the potential to infiltrate Europe.

Alex Beavan, former British intelligence officer and now Head of Ethics and Anti-Corruption at Convera, urged the necessity for increased vigilance and decisive action in this escalating battleground against cyber threats.

Furthermore, Beavan forecasts financial crimes will rise in response to stringent regulations in the payment sector going into 2024. The burgeoning domain of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) could potentially offer a new breeding ground for such malfeasance, leading to a predictable surge. 

"Fraud will skyrocket. AI emerges as an imminent menace, rendering red flags in scams more elusive. Brace for an era where the battle against deceit reaches unprecedented challenges," warns Beaven. 

According to Beavan, AI's role in the fraud landscape of 2024 can't be underestimated. Machine learning and other AI technologies make deception detection an increasingly complex task. Beavan indicates a foreboding era where centre stage is given to battling such elusive scams.

In the contemporary climate of real-time, rapid-fire transactions, the importance of robust security measures is of utmost importance. As transaction numbers rise in the coming year, so does the need for substantial screening.

Beavan stressed how businesses must navigate the fine line between real-time transaction dynamics and mitigating escalating risks, with those who master this balance poised to thrive in the future.

Beavan said, "In the era of lightning-fast real-time payments, security is non-negotiable. As transactions surge in the new year, so do the imperatives of robust screening. Customer demand for instant access and control will intensify."

"Companies must tread the razor's edge, aligning business strategy with real-time dynamics while staunchly mitigating the escalating risks. Speed demands security, and only those who master the balance will thrive moving forward."

As the threats evolve, Beavan stresses that payment companies need to adapt their organisational culture. To manage the complexities of fraud and compliance, businesses should lean towards specialisation instead of multitasking. Prioritising investigations and the pursuit of illicit funds requires dedicated and unwavering commitment.

"Payment companies, in an era of evolving threats, must shed the burden of wearing too many hats. Mitigating the dynamic evolution of fraud and compliance demands a specialised skill set, particularly in the realms of investigation and the relentless pursuit of illicit funds," said Beavan. 

"Companies must adopt a dedicated and unwavering approach to confront these issues head-on. Specialisation is the armour against the ever-shifting landscape of financial risks."