SEON - SMEs let down up to 6500 times a day by current fraud prevention measures

  • Fraud Detection
  • 30.06.2020 02:16 pm

SEON, the fraud fighters, today announce new insight into the scale of the cybercrime problem UK SMEs face, estimating that there may be as many as 6,500 preventable cybercrimes committed against UK SMEs every day.

Businesses have performed a mass migration to working online and this is directly responsible for the 50% spike in internet usage across Europe seen by Vodafone[1]. This increased usage, combined with consumer uplift for all things digital and a desperation for businesses to not miss out on the lifeline of working online has created the perfect storm which cybercriminals are primed to navigate but has left many businesses lost at sea.

For many, working online is their lifeline as we go through the restrictions COVID-19 has placed on economies across the world. Many are complacent or possibly even unaware of the increasing threat level posed by cybercriminals. In late 2018, research from Hiscox[2] identified that an SME was successfully hacked every 19 seconds in the UK but SEON believes this has risen by at least 50% in the past three months according to trends seen on its own platform. Taking this new insight into account SEON predicts that there may be as many as 6,500 successful cybercrimes committed against SMEs every day in the UK.

A big part of the problem is that current fraud prevention methods are not fit for purpose in combatting the modern cyber treat. SEON already identified 2020 as a year that was going to see a rise in cybercrime, and this was before COVID-19 made the problem more acute.

Not all threats are the same though, and it is not necessarily simply more of the same type of crimes we saw last year. Cybercriminals are organised and sophisticated. Business owners must understand the threats they are facing to be able to tackle this rising problem or run the serious risk of being hacked – the numbers suggest that without action it is now a matter of if, not when.



#1 Account Takeover Techniques Have Moved to the Next Level

This is a problem across all industries and while organisations spend millions on preventing chargebacks and transaction fraud, ATOs are not taken as seriously as they should be – both by merchants and fraud prevention teams.

#2 Phishing is Evolving Dangerously

Phishing is still the number one cause for data breaches. Bot attacks and DDoS attacks are sometimes responsible, but more than 35% of the major data breaches started with phishing techniques. That’s before you even add other social engineering techniques, which also count as a form of phishing.

#3 ID Theft and Synthetic ID Fraud are Targeting New Services in the UK and US

New security measures are often likely to increase customer confusion, which opens the door to fraud trends pertaining to data theft. A good example is the new rules from the UK Gambling Commission, which forces users to provide ID scans upfront. The problem is that these measures, while born from good intentions, create a massive demand for stolen and synthetic IDs. We’ve already seen how these bad IDs are used to target the payday and fast loan industries, and the size of that market is bound to increase in 2020.



There are also two areas that businesses should be aware of as the landscape we work in changes:

#1 PSD2 and Open Banking Will Continue to Transform the Online Landscape

FinTechs and established financial institutions were the first verticals to feel the changes brought on by the EU’s Second Payment Services Directive. We are also going to see a complete transformation of the ecommerce world as SCA (strong customer authentication) is gradually rolled out across Europe.

#2 The Asia-Pacific Region Needs to Curb Fraudulent App Installs

More than half of non-organic installs of finance apps were fraudulent in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) in 2019. That’s a huge number of malicious installs and mobile fraud, but shopping and travel apps were also high at 35%, and gaming apps hovered around the 5-6% mark.


SEON’s CEO and Founder, Tamas Kadar, commented: “As the world has turned to online working, especially in the last three months, cybercriminals have also mobilized to take advantage of the situation. They are organized, intelligent and for them they are working in a trillion-dollar industry. To be secure it is important to fully understand the ever-changing threat and then protect ourselves against it. This requires a dynamic approach to fraud prevention and without radical change we may find ourselves losing the battle against fraud.”

Kadar continued “I launched SEON with my business partner because the existing fraud prevention tools are not fit for purpose for the levels of intelligent fraud that we are all facing. We learned the hard way when we were running our small crypto business. It was difficult enough to run the operation let alone tackle the sophisticated cybercriminals working against us every day. This increase in sophistication combined with more business being conducted online means businesses have never had more to lose and for SMEs it may even mean the difference between surviving or not. “

Set up by digital natives straight out of one of Europe’s leading universities – Corvinus University in Budapest – SEON has experienced rapid growth in the first two-and-a-half years of its life and its fraud prevention platform and tools are being used by over 5,000 merchants including household names such as, KLM, Air France and AVIS. 

To learn more about SEON’s services, visit:




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