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A dialogue with Dwayne Melancon
ITSPmagazine recently caught up with VP of Product at iovation, Dwayne Melancon. Upon accepting the new position at the company, Melancon takes a moment to share his insights into the world of fraud and its impact on the community and society at large.
ITSPmagazine: What about the fraud space prompted or inspired you to make a move?
Melancon: Fraud detection is growing in importance as a key weapon against cyber criminals, and is now intersecting with authentication in a huge way. From my security background this makes a lot of sense — the credential theft we see in the news means there are big concerns about whether the user logging in is who they say they are. This is, of course, true for financial transactions but it is equally true in any environment with restricted or protected information. iovation’s expertise in determining whether fraud is occurring is a key capability that sets them apart from the enterprise-focused approaches out there, and their ability to scale to “consumer scale” is unique.
ITSPmagazine: What is the first thing you will focus on in your new role?
Melancon: One of the biggest reasons I was drawn to iovation is that the company is perfectly positioned to take on the convergence of fraud and authentication. Because of this, I’m passionate about increasing the awareness of the power of iovation’s fraud platform when coupled with authentication. I also plan to implement processes that help us move toward a product portfolio model, which will ultimately best benefit our customers — they can gain additional leverage and security through the deployment of multiple solutions.
ITSPmagazine: What is the biggest challenge businesses face when it comes to fraud?
Melancon: The critical challenge is to stop an increasing tidal wave of fraud without impacting the user's online experience. Fraud keeps getting more creative and nuanced, while the consumer’s appetite for friction — like additional authentication steps or verifications — has shrunk to almost zero. This is one of the reasons I’m so intrigued by iovation’s opportunity to bridge the competing worlds of fraud prevention, authentication, and user experience with innovative SaaS-based solutions.
ITSPmagazine: What is the biggest challenge consumers face when it comes to fraud?
Melancon: Consumers have a surprisingly broad range of perspectives when it comes to fraud and protecting their online identities. Some will do nothing, and will expect the companies they use to solve their fraud problems without involving them in the murky details of identity verification, fraud rings, and velocity rules. (Perhaps until they lose their identity completely.) Others — maybe a minority — will try to take the matter into their own hands, maintain insanely robust password hygiene for all their accounts, do their own identity monitoring, or invest in their own products and services to help them steer clear of harm. But the majority are seeking some sort of compromise. They want to trust their vendors to provide strong yet usable authentication solutions in the first place, which doesn't always happen (e.g. Yahoo!). They want these vendors to alert them if fraud appears, but they also expect themselves to be individually responsive and as vigilant as they can be: they don’t use passwords like “password” and they’re willing to try new authentication methods like device-based fingerprinting and biometrics. Our challenge as an industry is to provide the tools and experiences that will turn more of the first two types into the latter.
ITSPmagazine: Is there a place for community/society education and awareness to help combat fraud? If so, what is it? Are you planning to do anything in this regard?
Melancon: I was thrilled to see iovation’s commitment to educating businesses and consumers on the dangers of fraud and smart ways to mitigate it. The company routinely commissions expert parties to publish compelling research and guidance and itself routinely blogs on fraud prevention topics. I’m excited to jump in and do my part to continue this effort.
About Dwayne Melancon
Dwayne is a recognized leader in the cybersecurity industry where he has brought dozens of innovative security products and solutions to market. Prior to iovation, he spent 17 years at Tripwire serving in a variety of product and technology leadership roles, including CTO, VP of product management and VP of research development, and held numerous management roles at Symantec.