Unlocking the future of secure digital transformation, with Frank Abagnale

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Capita Customer Management 20th June 2019 5 minute read

Unlocking the future of secure digital transformation, with Frank Abagnale

Last week Capita teamed up with Trusona to host an exclusive event on the future of digital security. Attendees gathered at our head offices in London to hear a line-up of industry experts discuss the role technology has to play in enabling a secure yet transformative customer experience – including Frank Abagnale of ‘Catch Me If You Can’ fame.

Capita Chief Growth Officer Ismail Amla opened the session by introducing the mission statement for the day. In the past year, $124bn was spent on cyber security, yet it’s a space that only seems to be getting worse. The question everyone was gathered in the Studio to answer was – how can we get cyber security right?

This then led into a speech from the event’s keynote speaker, the infamous Frank Abagnale. Frank’s story was the inspiration for the hit film ‘Catch Me If You Can’, and he has over 40 years’ experience teaching on identity fraud and cyber security at the FBI academy. He reflected that with every data breach he worked on, it happened because someone at the business failed to carry their task out correctly. “Hackers don’t cause breaches. People do. Hackers just wait for doors to open.”

Frank also highlighted the growing sophistication of phishing emails as a main source of cybercrime, with $12bn lost to phishing in the US last year. Hackers increasingly take information publically available on social media in order to make phishing emails seem more authentic – small details included in the message make the victim more likely to be fooled that a request for a money transfer genuinely came from the CEO of their business.

The key to preventing cybercrime? According to Frank, it’s ensuring that people have access to education. “Education is the most powerful tool for fighting crime. People are basically honest – so they don’t believe that a phishing email that purports to be from the CEO of their company could possibly be a scam. There never will be any technology that can defeat social engineering – the only way to defeat social engineering is through education.”

There was then a speech from Barry O’Donohoe, CIO of RAiDiAM. RAiDiAM is an IT services company that consults with businesses on Identity and Access Management. Barry spoke about the company’s work in the area of Open Banking, and how the new standard allows for increased efficiency for the customer, while still ensuring complete security.

Frank and Barry were then joined by Rupal Patel, Head of Digital Operations for Capita, and Oded Noam, Chief Architect at Orbs, for a panel discussion on how technology can provide the solution to data security issues, and how this may affect the customer experience. The panel answered questions from the audience on responsibility, the blurring of lines between human and bot online, and Blockchain. The conclusion from Rupal was that, “people don’t give much thought to their data security if it makes life simple – see the popularity of virtual assistants like Alexa. As long as it makes life convenient, the majority of people don’t think about data protection. That’s why organisations like us should be there, to provide security and guidance.”

To bring the session to a close, Frank recounted the story of his life and reflected on what he had learned from his time as a con artist.

This was then followed by demonstrations of new technologies from Capita, Trusona and others, and a networking session with drinks.

The event was a great success, with guests coming away both informed and entertained. We asked some attendees what their key takeaway from the day was:

  • Rupal Patel, Head of Digital Operations at Capita: “It was interesting to hear about supporting technology implementations into culture change. Frank talked about how it was important to educate people given that fraud is ever-evolving and technology and people need to keep up with it. It was also great to see the live technology demonstrations – I downloaded and registered onto Trusona’s app and it was a seamless experience!
  • Olly Brough, Managing Director of Trusona: “Frank talked very emotionally about the importance of parents and family for children, given his great sadness as a 16 year old when he learned of his parents’ divorce and was forced in the moment to choose between them. He noted, ’16 year olds are just kids, don’t ask them to be adults.’ As a dad of children this really resonated with me.”
  • James Brooks, Innovation Lead at Capita Customer Management: “I think for me the key takeaways were firstly, digital security needs to be central to the development of technology. In order for customers to embrace new technologies, the user experience needs to be easy and frictionless. Bolting on a cumbersome method of authentication at the end is no longer the answer and won’t simply be accepted by customers today or in the future.

“Secondly, technology is an enabler but the human element is still key. Listening to Frank talk about his past highlighted the fact that processes and procedures can be circumvented but the route inside generally stems from human error, and that is still the case today. Security and privacy needs to be a mindset for all of us in order to reduce and prevent security breaches.”

Our thanks to Trusona and Frank Abagnale for assisting us in hosting this unique event.

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