By: 17 January 2019
IFB and SAS fight fraud with industry-scale intelligence database

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has launched a new fraud prevention platform that will allow insurers and authorities to safely and quickly share information to clamp down on fraudulent activity.

Data analytics provider SAS has developed the platform for the IFB, which identified a need for an industry-scale intelligence database that detects fraud rapidly across the widest possible spectrum.

Insurers face a increasingly complicated threat from fraudsters, who are becoming more organised and sophisticated, at the same time as data protection regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation restrict how insurers collect and share customer data, according to the IFB.

Traditionally, the methods by which insurers reported suspicious activity to one another was manual, slow and highly fragmented, the IFB explained in a release. “There was a clear lack of a joined-up process meaning that information was shared imperfectly, leaving many firms unaware of and vulnerable to known threats.”

The new platform from SAS boasts consistent data quality policies that will enable the system to easily and quickly share information between different bodies and authorities. It will track everything from small-scale, opportunistic fraud to organised cash-for-crash operations.

The IFB said that the platform will serve as a broker between organisations, ensuring they can view each other’s fraud intelligence without knowing the source. This will help prevent data misuse while ensuring compliance.

“Many people believe that fraud is a relatively small and victimless crime. However, the truth is far more serious,” explained Ben Fletcher, director at the IFB. “Insurance fraud ensnares thousands every year, ruining lives and plunging many desperate people into criminality. It is vital that the industry pulls together to challenge this common enemy. It’s in everyone’s interest that fraud is effectively tackled and reduced in scale.”

“We decided to work with SAS as it had a proven track record of helping organisations tackle fraud, with many of the functionalities that the IFB needed off-the-shelf. However, SAS also helped create bespoke features including two-factor authentication, visualised results and search functionalities specially for the IFB platform.”

Charles Senabulya, vice president and country manager at SAS UK & Ireland, said: “Fraud is constantly evolving. Being agile and able to evolve quickly is a major advantage that fraudsters have held over the insurance industry for years.”

“However, the IFB’s new platform enables insurers to share information on fraudulent activity much more quickly, helping them pool resources and collaborate with authorities for a rapid, decisive response. The fight against sophisticated fraudsters will continue, and use of best-in-class technology is key to winning the battle.”