Software security company Gemalto has created the Gemalto Assurance Hub (GAH) system, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help protect data, such as login information, specifically of financial systems across Africa.
GAH is an open hub that enables banks globally to assess all online banking sessions in real time. It also analyses attributes and signals from bank users and devices being used, such as geo-location, device profiling, Internet protocol addresses, device assessment and behavioural biometrics.
Gemalto Africa digital sales regional manager Ammar Faheem explains that this enables the GAH system to determine when irregular activity is taking place on a banking system. When it detects that a new device is being used or someone is trying to access a bank account from an unusual location, a secondary authentication will be required.
“When individuals make a transaction, there is always a question of security versus convenience. As users, we don’t like to go through long login processes – we want security from our banks, but we also want speed. However, banks are responsible to ensure they can verify who is using an account and that the current user is the rightful owner of the account,” he stresses.
In the past four years, the technology that was used by banking and other financial institutions has changed dramatically. He highlights that, from 2012 to 2014, it was sufficient to have a two-step authentication system that used an SMS-based, one-time pin.
However, with the rise of biometric technologies, such as fingerprint scanners, facial recognition and iris scanning in mobile devices, the available security checks have increased dramatically. This has changed what is considered strong authentication.
Faheem points out that, as the technology for securing systems has increased, so too have the techniques used by hackers to access data records. When one-time pins were used, unsuspecting victims were tricked into revealing their information through phishing scams.
“Traditional security methods don’t apply anymore, so we need to be very innovative in securing the data of our customers . . . ”
In this regard, the GAH system is helping to secure information technology and other systems, he adds. Using AI and machine learning enables the system to identify whether someone accessing financial systems is a threat. This, in turn, enables users to speedily use and access their finances through their regular devices, and protects them from their accounts being hacked.