Transaction Protection in a Human-Not-Present Age

Imagine it is 10AM and you’re sitting in a meeting at work. You gaze out the window only to see your car drive out of the parking lot, turn left at the end of the road, and disappear around the corner.

Your car, having sensed it needs a change of oil and seeing today’s calendar is full of meetings (your calendar is synced to the car), makes the decision to drive to the shop for servicing. Along the way, it pays for a toll, and of course, the oil change.

That future is not too far off. In less than three years, there will be 10-million self-driving cars on the road. But it won’t just be your car; your fridge will also spend money on milk when it has sensed that yours has gone sour. Your home will also sense lots of stuff and act accordingly, ordering new water purifiers when the ones you have are not doing the job, for instance.

And with over 20-billion connected things expected to be in use by 2020, the Internet of Things (IoT) will usher in the age of Human-Not-Present, in which things will be accessing your bank account and transacting with your money in different ways. All while you are sitting in a meeting.

But IoT is not the only driving force; the API economy, which is being adopted by financial institutions around the world, is a major stepping stone for that future. In this new API-based world, financial institutions will provide programmatic channels for third parties to access end-user financial accounts. Be it legislation or innovation, the financial industry is at the cusp of huge change, opening up its closely guarded monetary systems to the world.

How can we protect our money? “ is the question most often asked with the above context in mind. As financial institutions open up additional channels and more connected entities access your account, understanding the relationships and behaviors of each will become paramount. This is why RSA is investing in what we term Deep Entity Profiling, leveraging our unique visibility into consumer behavior—from online banking to eCommerce purchases to behavioral analytics and deep web intelligence—to better detect fraudulent activity across any channel and keep the money safe.

Whether the human is present or not, the challenges ahead of us are significant. Be it new channels or new devices, our money will become far more accessible. Understanding your users, their relationships and behaviors will be the key to winning the fight.

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