Experian data breach highlights need for stringent KYC

20 October 2020 10:00

Experian data breach highlights need for stringent KYC

The recent massive data breach at credit bureau Experian, which left 24 million people and nearly 800,000 businesses potentially exposed to online fraudsters, has highlighted the vigilance required of all staff who have access to company finances, accounts and customer data.

According to Experian, an individual in South Africa claiming to represent a known customer of the bureau fraudulently requested services from the company.

In a statement Experian revealed, “Our investigations indicate that an individual in SA purporting to represent a legitimate client, fraudulently requested services from Experian. The services involved the release of information which is provided in the ordinary course of business or which is publicly available.”

The data included personal client information including phone numbers, identity numbers, addresses, banking and work details and e-mail addresses.

Information was also leaked for business entities including company names, contact details, VAT numbers and banking details.

Rudi Kruger, General Manager for Data Services at LexisNexis South Africa, said, “Incidents like this highlight why it is so important for institutions managing any financial transactions to ensure they are transacting with a legitimate person, or that the person they're dealing with, is in fact the right person.

“Incorporating stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) verification processes into your business practices helps to gather information about a customer prior to establishing a business relationship or concluding a transaction, in order to verify their identity,” says Kruger.

KYC compliance solutions – such as Lexis® KYC from LexisNexis – can assist with monitoring and screening customers, providing a means of recourse against those looking to use your institution as a cover-up for ill-intent.

Lexis KYC ensures simple day-to-day customer identification checks in real time, all in one place, securely stored and ready for auditing. It currently covers South African nationals and Juristic entities, but will be extended to include foreign nationals during the course of 2020.

It also offers enhanced due diligence with Sanctions screening, Political Exposure, Official positions and Adverse Media data, as well as the verification of client data against the Department of Home Affairs, the four main credit bureaus and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC.

To find out how Lexis KYC can support your institution, click here.