Virtual Assistants are Helping The Cyber Helpline Solve 83% of Cases without Human Intervention

  • Cybersecurity
  • 26.07.2022 10:55 am

To cope with unprecedented - and increasing - levels of demand, The Cyber Helpline has turned to OpenDialog, whose intelligent virtual assistants now successfully handle 83% of its cases.

The charity, which connects cybersecurity expertise with victims, experienced a 300% increase in contract volume in June compared to the same time 12 months ago. In fact, The Cyber Helpline has grown almost 500% a year (485%) since it was formed five years ago. To satisfy this demand, it is using technology from UK-based conversational AI company, OpenDialog - along with a number of other solutions - to manage the volume of cases it is receiving.

OpenDialog, which was created to unlock the potential of conversational AI, has worked with The Cyber Helpline to develop a virtual assistant that can correctly diagnose and self-help the vast majority of cases without any human intervention. Where human intervention is required or requested, volunteers remain on hand to support and guide people as required. The virtual assistant works using a diagnosis engine that can identify the cybercrime issue a person is dealing with, walk the user through a process to see what has happened and connect them to the right type of resource for resolution whether that is; step-by-step guidance, online information, recommendations or a connection to a human volunteer. 

“The gap in support for victims of cybercrime and online harm in the UK is huge and growing rapidly”, said Rory Innes, founder & CEO, The Cyber Helpline. “There are millions of victims and a scarcity of resources when it comes to helping them while at the same time, criminals operate with almost no chance of being caught. We need to provide a service 24/7 and the only way to do this is with virtual assistants and using people where we genuinely need them.”

Terry Walby, co-founder, OpenDialog, said, “This is a best-in-class example of how OpenDialog can power virtual assistants to amazing effect to be able to deliver results where humans cannot. Historically, chatbot technology has been poor, underwhelming and incapable of delivering what it is intended to do. Thankfully, the advances in conversational AI technology embedded within our platform are changing that and transforming the way humans and businesses interact digitally.”

Based on case numbers, resolution time and staffing cost, Innes believes the OpenDialog virtual assistants are taking on the workload of approximately 192 volunteers - a number that is simply unattainable for a charity of its size and scope. He also expects the charity to be handling upwards of two million cases in the future as cases continue to rise and is confident that the OpenDialog platform can continue to absorb the majority of the increased workload

According to the ONS, those over 18 years old are now more likely to suffer from fraud and computer crimes than any other crime type, and there was an 18% increase in overall crime driven by a huge jump of 54% in fraud and computer misuse offences in England & Wales during 2021. The charity pointed to a number of high-growth areas for scams. According to its own data, it has seen the following increases in crimes over the past 12 months:

  1. Loan scams - 2,800% 

  2. Job fraud - 1,670% 

  3. Shopping fraud - 559% 

  4. Virtual currency scams - 340%

  5. Vishing (scam phone calls) - 255%

  6. Investment scams - 226%

  7. Hacked online banking - 190%

  8. Inappropriate content - 178%

  9. Bugs, cameras & trackers - 176% 

  10. Identity fraud - 174%

Innes concluded, “More needs to be done to help victims. People need quick help, and there aren't enough skilled resources to help them. Utilising intelligent technology solutions like OpenDialog, and integrating them with human expertise, is the only way that we can scale to meet demand and reduce the impact on victims.”

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