Financial Crimes Survey Finds Banks Exposed to Losses Due to Ineffective Investigations

Authentic8 and ACFCS Partner on Survey; 90% of Fraud Analysts Want Better Resources to Conduct Anonymous and Auditable Investigations

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Authentic8Authentic8, provider of Silo, the Web Isolation Platform, today released the results of its 2020 Global Financial Crimes Survey, conducted in partnership with the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists (ACFCS).

The survey findings quantify how financial corporations face increasing risks and exposure to losses as they battle against hackers and online adversaries. While the volume and sophistication of financial crimes continue to increase, the capabilities of internal fraud investigations teams are failing to keep up:

  • 90 percent of survey respondents state that “More investment is needed [in their open source intelligence (OSINT) gathering capabilities] to accelerate time-to-insight for investigations.”
  • 75 percent admit “No” when asked “Are you / your team researching and collecting evidence from the dark web.”
  • 46 percent would collect more intel from the dark web and other toxic sources “If it could be done securely and with an audit trail.”
  • 28 percent indicate their biggest challenge in online investigations is “Training to keep up with evolving criminals / technology.”

This struggle to keep pace exposes companies to a litany of risks: the risk of costly write-downs on fraudulent transactions; compliance risk and penalties for not keeping up with regulations; money-laundering losses; risk to their brands from embarrassing data breaches and ransomware heists; and ultimately risk to their bottom-line profitability and stock price appreciation.

Adversaries are growing in both sophistication and number, but the surveyed firms are telling us the productivity of their fraud analysts is not improving at the same rate,” said Scott Petry, co-founder and CEO of Authentic8 Inc. “The imbalance leads to more risk exposure for financial firms and other regulated industries. They risk write-downs, legal penalties, damage to their brand reputations, and more. What this survey is telling us is that companies need to focus more resources on the productivity of their financial fraud analysts, and specifically on the investigation tools that their analysts need in order to be effective in their research.”

Other highlights from the 2020 Global Financial Crimes Survey include:

  • Need for anonymity: 91 percent say it is “…desirable or critical that online research activities be conducted anonymously.”
  • Need for zero exposure: 74 percent state “We need to protect our IT infrastructure while browsing unsafe sites / malicious content.”
  • Need for appropriate investigation tools: 59 percent strongly agreed that “We need integrated tools for evidence capture, analysis and storage.”
  • Need for global coordination: 58 percent describe their investigations to be global or multinational in scale when asked “What is the geographic scope of your online investigation activities,” regardless if the organization operates globally or not.
  • Need for collaboration: 50 percent of cases involve two to four analysts working together on the investigation; 14 percent involve teams of 5 or more, indicating the need for secure collaboration tools.

Members of the press can request full survey results by contacting Rich Mullikin at Companies can request a full survey by visiting

Authentic8’s patented Silo for Research (Toolbox) lets corporate fraud analysts conduct secure, misattributed, and anonymous research on the open and dark web without risk — from anywhere, and on any device. Silo for Research is trusted by OSINT, threat intel, law enforcement, financial fraud, cyber security and other research communities.

Survey Methodology

Authentic8’s 2020 Global Financial Crimes Survey was coordinated by the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists (ACFCS) and involved a battery of twenty questions administered via a web-based questionnaire during the two weeks between August 20 and September 4, 2020.

A total of 175 fraud analysts from 150 financial organizations participated in the survey, yielding results with a +/-7% margin of error at the 95% confidence level.

Respondents included analysts with specialized expertise in a range of disciplines including financial crime (anti-money laundering, tax evasion, bribery), fraud (identity theft, credit card theft, account theft, phishing) and governance, risk & compliance (general GRC, know your customer, customer due diligence).

About Authentic8

Authentic8 enables anyone, anywhere, on any device to experience the web without risk. Founded by the principals from Postini, acquired by Google in 2007, Authentic8’s web isolation platform, Silo, brings a “trust nothing” stance toward the underlying systems and resources we interact with online daily.

The Silo Web Isolation Platform separates the things you care about like apps, data and devices, from the things you cannot trust like external websites, users, and unmanaged devices. Silo executes all web code in a secure, isolated environment that is managed by policy, to provide protection and oversight.

Today, the world’s most at-risk organizations rely on Silo to deliver trust where it otherwise cannot be guaranteed.


Rich Mullikin, APR

Rocket Science PR, for Authentic8
Telephone: +1 415 464 8110 x216

Mobile: +1 925 354 7444

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