How we bring trust to the digital world – Interview with ThreatMark

Tuesday 22 September 2020 08:02 CET | Editor: Oana Ifrim | Interview

Michal Tresner, ThreatMark: We want to change the current security paradigms by providing a trust-first anti-fraud solution to the businesses so they can secure seamless user experience to legitimate users while keeping the fraudsters away

What is the story of ThreatMark, what is your target market and how do you differentiate among other fraud prevention solution providers?

Kryštof (co-founder) and I established ThreatMark back in 2015, when we were working together as cybersecurity consultants. Within our work we saw that most of the security solutions are detecting threats on their past evidence - signatures of past problems. We wanted to change that by establishing trusted behavioural and contextual profiles of every user.  With the profile established, all activities that differ from the trusted profile would be noted as suspicious.

ThreatMark’s mission today is to bring trust in the digital world by leveraging advanced technologies. ThreatMark uses Machine Learning over a vast amount of data points to precisely validate the user’s identity, detects threat & evaluate risks.

Although the technology itself has a variety of use cases, we noticed that banks have the biggest need for our solution. And now we’re focused mainly on making online banking systems trusted and secured. 

Our offering, ThreatMark Anti-Fraud Suite (AFS), is the only solution on the market that includes everything a bank needs to build trust and protect their users. From continuous identity validation with behavioural biometrics, transaction risk analysis to threat detection across all digital channels - we provide it all. 

Also, we took a different approach and proudly provide fast and flexible deployment. In some cases, it only takes a quick installation of our JS snippet on the bank’s website or SDK in the mobile apps for us to provide value to the bank. It can happen really fast, within weeks in some cases. 

Within ThreatMark we’ve established a Security Operation Centre (SOC) that complements the technological side of our product with a professional and human touch for a complete security overview and fraud prevention. Our cybersecurity team vigilantly monitors the internet for new threats and actively mitigates them.

Could you please provide more details about your products and solutions? (and some examples of success stories and partnerships?)

ThreatMark ensures trust and security through three main areas: identity, threats, and transactions.  Or to phrase it differently, our solution focuses on users, sessions, devices & transactions to build trusted user profiles. We do provide these 3 main areas as modules, and combined we packaged it in our core offering - ThreatMark AFS product. 

Let me try and break that down a bit. The identity part of ThreatMark AFS uses deep behavioural profiling to precisely identify and validate users. When our machine learning algorithm collects enough data – including behavioural biometrics, we can precisely say if a user is real, valid or if it’s a fraudster with malicious intent.  

On the other hand, threat detection is externally oriented. Its core mission is to recognise and prevent threats in the digital world. We have developed a comprehensive toolset to capture, assess and evaluate ongoing threats in real time. 

And finally, the transaction risk evaluation. This is more of an operational part where we evaluate occurring banking transaction details and assess whether it’s a legit one or not. 

That being said, we do have a lot of success stories and data we can share upon request. Here, I’d note some highlights and benefits we’ve picked up from our clients.  

Beyond security and fraud prevention, a tangible benefit is related to improved user experience and diminishing of authentication costs - ie banks save millions on SMSs with ThreatMark. Additionally, banks using ThreatMark also record fewer false positives in transaction analysis which leads to more efficient fraud analysts’ teams and streamlined transaction monitoring. Also, ThreatMark’s adaptive threat detection, comparing it to our peers, detects 70% more threats across all digital channels. 

And finally, since ThreatMark AFS is a single product complemented with SOC professionals, banks benefit from a lower cost of ownership, personalised professional & cybersecurity services. Complemented with our orchestration capabilities – case management, policy & decision engine – banks do not need any other system when it comes to online fraud prevention and adaptive authentication/authorisation.

What are the core technologies, systems, and strategies that the company is using to fight fraud?

Our solution usess over 60 different data points to provide a complete security overview about the users, their identity, activity and intentions while engaging with online banking systems. All this, regardless if they’re using a web browser or a mobile app. 

Beyond our technical solution, we use our SOC center – comprised of security specialists always vigilant about new threats and their mitigation. The team is a perfect complement on what we’re working on and what we aim to achieve. 

Also, we’re working on a new public initiative, that uses strength of community and peer sharing to provide threat intelligence, protection and prevention venues. We’re going to launch it soon and hopefully with information available on our website.

What sort of specific challenges are banks and businesses facing when implementing a fraud prevention strategy, especially in a COVID-19 world, when digital banking systems and threats are on the rise? How is ThreatMark addressing these challenges? 

Yes, the fraudsters are scaling their activities during the pandemic. We’re seeing an increased number of phishing, malware attacks and malicious activities of all sorts. We’ve published a blog post about how hackers are using coronavirus fears to target users all around the world. And the situation is not calming down. 

The whole digital world, especially banks - that safeguard the public’s most precious assets - need to step up and recognise the active threats and do more to protect and secure their systems.  

ThreatMark is built to tackle these challenges. Using deep behavioural profiling, ThreatMark can recognise if the user is real or not. All anomalies are precisely assessed and detected in real-time; and with our solution all abuse is minimalised. Our comprehensive net of probes, complemented with our SOC specialists, can quickly identify various attacks and even mitigate them for our clients. 

What is foreseen for ThreatMark’s evolution over the next couple of years? What developments are in store? (tech innovation, partnerships, expansion etc.)

ThreatMark is growing in all aspects. As a company, we’re growing our team and attracting new talent. Business-wise we’re enrolling new clients and protecting more and more users. From all sides – it’s an extremely exciting time for the team, the product and our users. 

Though there’s still a lot of potential to reach and venues to expand. There are still markets we’d like to engage on, and we’re are working hard on it. Furthermore, we’re looking to expand onto other verticals where there’s a need for strong user authentication and cyber threats prevention. 

As for tech innovation, that’s a given in this industry. Recently there has been a great innovation and recognition in the field of identity and behavioral biometrics. And I’m glad we’re in the middle of it, with our own behavioral biometrics solution - which we use to strengthen authentication of users and build their trusted profile without a need for expensive authentication methods. I’m looking forward to see the future and innovative usage of this tech.  

Ultimately, as long as the fraudsters are creative and active in their threats, we also need to be smart and quick to recognise the new threats and develop ways to mitigate them. At the same time, we need to provide a comprehensive security focused solution without significant impact on user experience and privacy. It’s a worthy challenge we’re solving daily.  

About Michal Tresner

Michal is a successful information security professional & entrepreneur. For 10 years, he worked in IT security consultancy business for Deloitte, Cleverlance and AEC where he led the largest team of ethical hackers in Central Europe working for various clients around the world. In 2015, Michal co-founded ThreatMark and since then he’s been the company’s CEO. At ThreatMark, he leads the company through explosive growth and expansion. He creates the company’s vision and works tirelessly to ensure that the delivered solution meets the market needs and satisfy customers‘ expectations. Michal likes innovation, technology and cyber security; and he enjoys exploring those fields in his free time as well.

About ThreatMark

ThreatMark brings trust to the digital world by providing cutting-edge fraud prevention solutions. Major banks use ThreatMark's AI-powered technology to build secured banking experiences by undoubtedly validating their legitimate users, seamlessly across all digital channels. All while keeping the fraudsters away. ThreatMark’s advanced solution is complemented by a dedicated team of fraud & cybersecurity experts, who vigilantly watch for new malicious activities across devices, throughout the digital landscape.  

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Keywords: Michal Tresner, ThreatMark, security, trust, fraud prevention, interview, machine learning, digital identity, banks, behavioural biometrics, transaction analysis, authentication, transaction monitoring, behavioural profiling, banking, artificial intelligence
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech