Credit Matters Blog


Kim Radok 20 April 2023

Captain Solly was right. Technology does not solve all problems; it just changed the nature and types of problems. Furthermore, it is important to accept that fraudsters cybercriminals will always be excited when businesses and the general public are forced to do business by yet another digital process.

For criminals, crime is their business. In their eyes therefore, any dollars spent will bring about a return by finding new ways to exploit their victims’ weaknesses, or their strengths, or better still, their money.

On the other hand, for the business community and the general public, technology is dollar expensive to initiate and maintain. As a result, these costs are often deemed an “expense” which can then be brought more cheaply or a waste of time. The fact is however, spending on technology is an asset building spend designed to protect the business.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against the use of technology. When it works and does what it is supposed to do, I am all for technology. When technology is not designed properly or utilised as a cost saving benefit inappropriately, there will be unforeseen negative consequences.

These consequences will include the fact that it is recognised, whilst younger people are more adapt at using technology, they are also less security conscious. In addition, with the use of AI and ChatGPT technology, marketing scams will only increase with greater sophistication and likely increased results for criminals. Finally, and equally interesting, will be the war between the cybercriminals using AI technology verses similar technology used by their victims to defend their businesses.

A major problem exposed by the media shows that not even big business, the banks or even our governments, are immune from being hacked. It is not surprising therefore that many in the business community and the general public, are wary about using technology.

In previous times, defending your business from criminals and fraudsters was much easier as there were many well recognised and inexpensive strategies which had proven to be effective over time. Equally important, these strategies were just part of the normal business process of operating efficiently and protecting the business’s resources.

Today, as the well-recognised saying goes something like this: “it is not if you will be attacked, it is only a matter of time when you will be.”

It is almost impossible for the average business or member of the general public to protect themselves from fraudsters and cybercriminals. This fact has been known by cybersecurity experts for over 10 years. It is a message which seems to have been lost by technology advocates, senior management of big corporations, banks and our respective governments.

What is worse, these parties continue to use questionable statistics and ignore economic and societal situations which produced these flawed statistics in their messages. As a result, these parties continue to advocate:

  1. the efficiency and time benefits of technology,
  2. increased use of digital payment methodologies,
  3. digital payments safety verses the problems when paying in cash,
  4. technology which has produced negative and discriminatory outcomes for regional and rural communities, etc.

In face of such misinformation, it would be interesting to ask these parties about:

  1. the cost of implementing or upgrading technology and is it less expensive after the facilities for human interactions were removed from the business,
  1. have they measured the loss of business due to the rise and creation of competitors and the resultant loss of value and increased costs to their business,
  2. have they offered positive encouragement strategies to help their stakeholders use and feel safe when using new technology other than with another technology-based strategy, etc.

At the end of the day, technology can be a wonderful tool for business and the general public. Like any other tool however, if implemented badly, under a false proposition, then there will be unintended and negative consequences.

The fact of the matter which is exposed almost daily in the media, is that technology is one of the great tools of cybercriminals and fraudsters. Therefore, as big business, the banks, and governments rush into digital expansion at the expense of the human experience, they are unwittingly helping cybercriminals and fraudsters in their businesses. Consequence, when another digital expansion is initiated, cybercriminals and fraudsters are delighted.

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