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Why your org should arrange for deepfake fraud before it happens

faces formed by blocks, deepfakes concept

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Some teenagers floss for a TikTok dance challenge. A couple of posts any occasion selfie to help keep friends updated on the travels. A budding influencer uploads their latest YouTube video. Unwittingly, each is adding fuel to an emerging fraud vector which could become enormously challenging for businesses and consumers alike: Deepfakes.

Deepfakes defined

Deepfakes obtain name from the underlying technology: Deep learning, a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that imitates just how humans acquire knowledge. With deep learning, algorithms study from vast datasets, unassisted by human supervisors. The larger the dataset, the more accurate the algorithm will probably become.

Deepfakes use AI to generate highly convincing video or audio recordings that mimic a third-party for example, a video of a high profile saying something they didn’t, actually, say. Deepfakes are produced for an easy selection of reasonssome legitimate, some illegitimate. Included in these are satire, entertainment, fraud, political manipulation, and the generation of fake news.

The chance of deepfakes

The threat posed by deepfakes to society is really a real and present danger because of the clear risks connected with having the ability to put words in to the mouths of powerful, influential, or trusted people such as for example politicians, journalists, or celebrities. Furthermore, deepfakes also present an obvious and increasing threat to businesses. Included in these are:


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  • Extortion: Threatening release a faked, compromising footage of an executive to get usage of corporate systems, data, or money.
  • Fraud: Using deepfakes to mimic a worker and/or customer to get usage of corporate systems, data, or money.
  • Authentication: Using deepfakes to control ID verification or authentication that depends on biometrics such as for example voice patterns or facial recognition to gain access to systems, data, or money.
  • Reputation risk: Using deepfakes to damage the trustworthiness of an organization and/or its employees with customers along with other stakeholders.

The effect on fraud

Of the risks connected with deepfakes, the effect on fraud is among the more concerning for businesses today. The reason being criminals are increasingly embracing deepfake technology to create up for declining yields from traditional fraud schemes, such as for example phishing and account takeover. These older fraud types have grown to be more difficult to handle as anti-fraud technologies have improved (for instance, through the introduction of multifactor authentication callback).

This trend coincides with the emergence of deepfake tools being offered as something on the dark web, rendering it easier and cheaper for criminals to launch such fraud schemes, even though they will have limited technical understanding. In addition, it coincides with people posting massive volumes of images and videos of themselves on social media marketing platforms all great inputs for deep learning algorithms to become a lot more convincing.

You can find three key new fraud types that security teams in enterprises should become aware of in this regard:

  • Ghost fraud: In which a criminal uses the info of somebody who has died to produce a deepfake which you can use, for example, to gain access to online services or make an application for bank cards or loans.
  • Synthetic ID fraud: Where fraudsters mine data from a variety of visitors to create an identity for somebody who will not exist. The identity is then used to use for bank cards or to perform large transactions.
  • Application fraud: Where stolen or fake identities are accustomed to open new bank accounts. The criminal then maxes out associated bank cards and loans.

Already, there were numerous high-profile and costly fraud schemes which have used deepfakes. In a single case, a fraudster used deepfake voice technology to imitate an organization director who was simply recognized to a bank branch manager. The criminal then defrauded the lender of $35 million. In another instance, criminals used a deepfake to impersonate a chief executives voice and demand a fraudulent transfer of 220,000 ($223,688.30 USD) from the executives junior officer to a fictional supplier. Deepfakes are therefore an obvious and present danger, and organizations must act now to safeguard themselves.

Defending the enterprise

Given the increasing sophistication and prevalence of deepfake fraud, so what can businesses do to safeguard their data, their finances, and their reputation? I’ve identified five key steps that businesses should set up today:

  1. Arrange for deepfakes in response procedures and simulations. Deepfakes ought to be incorporated into your scenario planning and crisis tests. Plans will include incident classification and outline clear incident reporting processes, escalation and communication procedures, particularly if it involves mitigating reputational risk.
  2. Educate employees. In the same way security teams have educated employees to detect phishing emails, they ought to similarly raise knowing of deepfakes. As in the areas of cybersecurity, employees ought to be seen as a significant type of defense, especially given the usage of deepfakes for social engineering.
  3. For sensitive transactions, have secondary verification procedures. Dont trust; always verify. Have secondary options for verification or call back, such as for example watermarking audio and video files, step-up authentication, or dual control.
  4. Set up insurance protection. Because the deepfake threat grows, insurers will without doubt provide a broader selection of options.
  5. Update risk assessments. Incorporate deepfakes in to the risk assessment process for digital channels and services.

The continuing future of deepfakes

In the years ahead, technology will continue steadily to evolve, and it’ll become harder to recognize deepfakes. Indeed, as people and businesses try the metaverse and the Web3, its likely that avatars will undoubtedly be used to gain access to and consume an easy selection of services. Unless adequate protections are placed set up, these digitally native avatars will probably prove simpler to fake than humans.

However, in the same way technology will advance to exploit this, it will advance to detect it. For his or her part, security teams should turn to stay up-to-date on new advances in detection along with other innovative technologies to greatly help combat this threat. The direction of travel for deepfakes is clear, businesses should start preparing now.

David Fairman may be the chief information officer and chief security officer of APAC at Netskope.


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