How Equifax is Helping Solve for Digital Risk

We all live in, and businesses benefit from, a society driven by digital technologies.  But that digital environment brings new opportunities for fraud. Fraud affects nearly everyone, and it’s not going away. Reports to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have increased an average of 20 percent every year since 2017.  The 2020 Consumer Sentinel Network Databook compiled by the FTC reviews the more than 2.1 million fraud reports it received in 2020, with impostor scams and identity theft again ranking as two of the top three reported categories. Just last year, losses totaling $43 billion stemmed from scammers through tactics like robocalls and phishing emails according to the 2021 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research

As a steward of data for both employees and employers, Equifax works tirelessly to help monitor, anticipate and incorporate security protections for the data entrusted to our care. In addition to teams of highly trained digital security experts and tools, over the past several years, Equifax Workforce Solutions has developed and refined a sophisticated, proprietary Risk Assessment Engine (RAE). The RAE is designed specifically to help address fraudulent and impostor access to online and call center support systems by monitoring multiple entry points and analyzing both statistical and behavioral data points. 

“The RAE was designed and built by Workforce Solutions, has been adopted by other Equifax services, including myEquifax,” said Ahmad Douglas, VP of Security for Equifax Workforce Solutions. “The RAE combines two powerful security capabilities, two-factor authentication and risk-based authentication, to help protect consumers. In practical terms, it means that each time a consumer connects to these services, multiple data points are evaluated for indications of fraud.  When there is a higher-risk activity - like setting up a new account or changing a password - depending on the circumstances additional vetting may take place to ‘challenge’ the user.”

The Equifax Workforce Solutions RAE runs nonstop, monitoring and tracking transactions which are evaluated in milliseconds. It blends statistics, user behavior and end point markers to help detect potential anomalies. The RAE is able to verify and flag multiple data points, compare against known indicators of fraud and adaptively challenge users to help protect the integrity of our systems and the security of our data.

“The RAE is a custom-built and always evolving system,” continued Douglas. “Processes and controls are developed with the best of Equifax data and capabilities as well as a number of other industry data sources and capabilities.”

Leveraging the Equifax core strengths in data and analytics, the RAE considers numerous data points in each requested transaction to create a confidence score. When necessary, additional challenges are set and must be achieved before a user or caller can proceed, making the ability to commit fraud that much more difficult.

While the data and technology capabilities in the RAE do the heavy lifting at top speed to help prevent fraud, Equifax Workforce Solutions also has a team of fraud, authentication, and cybersecurity experts on staff and is tightly connected to the teams at the Equifax Global Security Fusion Center.  Fraud prevention, detection and response at Equifax includes an always-evolving system of processes and technologies. Teams continually monitor web traffic and the RAE, fine-tuning, adding and adapting new capabilities as the risk landscape evolves and our intelligence sources provide new information. It is a more holistic approach designed to help deliver world-class protection to the platforms and services that Workforce Solutions provides to help keep customer businesses growing while vigilantly helping protect consumer data.