Hackers for Hire
In the first half of 2017 alone, more than 6 billion records were exposed in data breaches. That’s nearly as many records compromised as there are people in the world (7.6 billion)!
To fight back, companies like Facebook, Apple and Microsoft are enlisting the help of white hat hackers to find holes in their security measures. For example:
- HackerOne, a white hat hacking firm, paid out more than $15 million in bonuses to white-hat hackers on behalf of clients like General Motors, Uber, and Starbucks.
- Google has paid out around $9 million through its bug bounty program.
- In the “Hack the Pentagon” program, the Defense Department encouraged more than 1,400 hackers to take aim at its public-facing websites without fear of punishment. The white hat hackers turned up 138 vulnerabilities.
While a great step, these white hat hackers are for the most part focused solely on preventing exploitation of networks, data centers. and computer systems. But what about eCommerce? With all the weaponized data out there from all those breaches, who’s testing and probing eCommerce systems looking out for vulnerabilities? After all, card-not-present (CNP) fraud grew a shocking 40% in 2016.
The short answer: Kount is. Without giving away secrets that could be exploited by fraudsters, Kount deploys a team of world-class security and risk experts who continually explore and evaluate eCommerce vulnerabilities.
Further, Kount uses our access to eCommerce transactions from hundreds of countries, plus patented Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning technology to produce a “virtual” version of white hat hacking that’s actually more powerful and timely than the human kind. Here’s how:
Every day, Kount analyzes billions of discrete data points associated with millions of transactions around the world, including the exploits by thousands and thousands of fraudsters. This rich trove of data is used by Kount AI and Persona™ technology to build virtual profiles of fraudsters and their tools, tactics, and techniques in real-time. These profiles, called Personas, are constantly updated to provide the most up-to-the-moment virtual “mug shots” of fraudsters and their behavior. Kount evaluates every transaction against these Personas, quantifying their level of risk based on how closely they match these virtual fraudster profiles.
How is this better than human white hat hacking? The immense computing and storage capacity of Kount AI far exceeds the capabilities of even the most accomplished human white hat hacker. After all, a world-class human white hat hacker may be familiar with a few thousand exploits at best. And even though the storage capacity of the human brain has been estimated at 2.5 petabytes (the equivalent of about 9,765 MacBook Air computers), the ability to apply this stored knowledge is limited. The most the human brain’s working memory can handle is just 4-7 different items at a time (working memory is the amount of information the brain can actually pay attention to and manipulate).
Again, without revealing information that would help the bad guys, the computing and storage capacity of Kount AI far, far exceeds these human capabilities. In milliseconds, it can spot patterns among billions of discrete data points that would be undetectable to you and me, even over several lifetimes.
In essence, Persona technology acts as an ever-learning, ever-evolving, near-omniscient “virtual” white hat hacker that continually builds realistic profiles of fraudsters and constructs fraud Personas that flag the exploits criminals are likely to use…before they themselves know they’re going to use them!
One example: in the weeks after a massive breach—but prior to it being announced—Kount’s Persona technology alerted us to the fact that an unprecedented event had taken place. Like everyone else at the time, we didn’t know what had happened or who was responsible. But our Persona technology rapidly analyzed the data, identified who was using the weaponized data and how they were using it, and then constructed the fraud Personas that helped block fraud attacks. Contrast this with a human white hat hacker, who would have been months behind the curve, unaware of the extent or nature of the exploits until the announcement was made about the the data breach.
To learn how Kount compares to a DIY fraud prevention solution, check out the eBook "The Cost Analysis of Build vs Buy".