Ep. 148 – Jaime Ramirez – Protecting Against Cyber Attacks

The threat is increasingly becoming bigger where cyber security is concerned. How do you protect your money, your business, and or your customers from cyber frauds and identity thefts?

When improving cybersecurity tools in your business, you have to do it efficiently to avoid friction and abandon rates with your customers.

In this episode of the Secure Your Retirement podcast, we have Jaime Ramirez, CEO & Founder of Preventor, a risk and identity management platform. Listen in to learn the importance of staying prepared and protected from any possible cybercrimes.

In this episode, find out:

Jamie’s background in cybersecurity and how he’s helping businesses protect themselves.
Understanding how to protect your business from fraud and who you’re working with to help you do so.
Some of the best practices to protect a client from cyber frauds and identity thefts.
How to efficiently avoid friction and abandonment rate with your customers when improving your business’s cybersecurity.
The creative ways that cyber offenders are using to steal money and other things from businesses.
Tweetable Quotes:

“What you’re looking for is how to use those tools in your business and how to automate what you’re doing in an efficient way to protect your business without having friction or high abandon rate with your customers.”- Jaime Ramirez
“We want to stay as vigilant as possible in these tough times of all these different things that are going on with hacking, technology, and security breaches.”- Murs Tariq
Get in Touch with Jaime:

Website: https://www.preventor.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaimeramirez-/

If you are in or nearing retirement and you want to gain clarity on what questions you should be asking, learn what the biggest retirement myths are, and identify what you can do to achieve peace of mind for your retirement, get started today by requesting our complimentary video course, Four Steps to Secure Your Retirement!

To access the course, simply visit POMWealth.net/podcast.

Here’s the Full Transcript:

Radon: Welcome to our podcast today. We’re certainly happy to have you here to talk about different topics around securing your retirement and actually the word secure today is going to take on a different meaning. We usually are talking about how to secure your money to last your lifetime but today we actually have a special guest with us that we’re talking about the idea of securing your transactions so that you don’t have someone take it that’s not supposed to take it. We are seeing more and more of a threat around cyber security and those kind of things so when we got information about Jaime Ramirez, we just said “Hey, let’s get him on and talk to him.”

So, first of all, thank you so much for coming on the show. It’s certainly a privilege to have you with us.

Jaime Ramirez: Oh, thank you. Good morning. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Radon: Great. Can we just start off a little bit, if you could tell us a little bit about maybe your background, how you got into this idea of protecting people against these cyber threats and how that evolved and maybe a little bit about what it is that you do so that everybody kind of gets that context?

Jaime Ramirez: Yeah, sure. Well, I’m in the business technology, IT, banking, money service business for around more than 30 years. The last 20 years working directly with anti-money laundering prevention, solutions, designing and developing, and the last five years working in digital identity directly. Preventor is our company, was founded in 2017. So it’s a pretty young company, but we are working with business to protect them in terms of the digital identity for prevention.

Murs: Very good. So clearly you have a nice little resume there, and you’ve got some experience in the world of identity theft and fraud prevention, and it is something that we’re seeing all the time now. You hear about all these breaches that are happening with major institutions. And you’re always worried about, “Hey, am I at risk?” And so tell what you’re seeing, especially since the pandemic. Everyone is on their computers way more than they’ve ever been, shopping way more than they’ve ever been online and stuff like that, so tell us what are you seeing these days as far as threats to individuals from a security or a fraudulent or transactional standpoint?

Jaime Ramirez: Yeah, definitely. I think that the pandemic accelerated the digitalization of everything, right? Before pandemic, there were a lot of companies working, especially us as one of them, working on automated the processes for businesses in terms of cloud, internet, and minimize the face-to-face interactions with the customers but during pandemic and after pandemic now it’s all over. It’s not only in financial institutions, it’s in any of those three. I think that whenever there is a demand of services, there is also a good opportunity for people that wants to commit fraud and crimes. The internet opens a lot of opportunity for them to bridge the identity theft cybersecurity for those companies that are not prepared.

How you are not prepared because if you are working through the internet, first of all, you need to start by identifying who is the person in the other side of the computer, on the other side of the internet? If you’re not sure who you are dealing with or who you are going to do business with, then everything else is regardless. You need to first understand that part.

In terms of security, of cyber security, I think that the major cloud companies are pretty good on the AWS, Google cloud, Azure and others, but it still, company needs to be protected in terms of what tools that they use in order to protect their core business.

Radon: Yeah. I know with us, we are a financial advisors, we have a lot of clients that obviously will from time to time, email us, they need to take care of some kind of transaction, and so we have set up protocols and this is not necessarily a software, but at this point we have software that helps us with protection, but we’ve set up protocols like for example, we never any instructions via email.

Jaime Ramirez: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Radon: If a person emails us, we have to engage them in a phone call, do a security check with them, identifying them who they are, and then once we have that verbal from them and identified who they are, then’s when we can do the transaction. Because we’ve had a few scenarios where somebody hacked the customer’s email, they listened or watched for a while, and then they pretended to be them and asking for this transaction and I would call the client and they’d go, “I never asked for that money. I never asked for it to go there,” so we know that one’s a common one. What would you say are some best practices or things that a company can do to protect themselves and to protect their clients?

Jaime Ramirez: Yeah, of course. You can be able to make a phone call when you have low volumes right or transactions and you can call the customer and you recognize the voice of the customer because you know that you can make a few security questions, like a day of birth, the last four numbers of your social security or credit card number or anything that identify the person, but still, you are not sure if that person is the person. That person can have all the information of your client and he could be someone very close to the person. My partners, my co-founders, they pretty much know everything about my company and they can call anyone and they can say, “Yes, this is that.”

I think that in terms of recognize the person, right now a lot of biometrics methods. You can do face recognition, voice recognition, you can identify the document authentication. There are multiple ways to authenticate. The tricky part is how to use those tools in your process, how to automate your process because you can go into internet and you say, “Face recognition, voice recognition, document authentication, proof of address recognition.” How do I use it? Then the technologies out there, what we’re looking for is how to use those tools in my own business and how to automate what I’m doing in an efficient way to protect my business, but at the same time, not to have friction with my customers and not to have high abandon rate with my customers, no? Because that’s the other problem. You improve your security, you improve your process, but customers don’t like that.

Radon: Yeah, yeah.

Murs: Right. Yeah. I’ve got a quick story. A friend of mine, she has an Etsy account. Etsy for anyone who doesn’t know is basically like an online, you could create your own business and you can sell products or services basically. She has an Etsy account and she was telling me the story of how she got hacked. I don’t know how they got to the point where they had hacked her Etsy account, it could have been through emails, it could have been through finding out the password one way or the other, but somehow the Etsy account got hacked. What they did, and I think this is one of the most creative stories I’ve heard and it’s trying to bring some light to what hackers and what these people are doing these days is they’re getting very creative.

They hacked the Etsy account and then they created a fake product on her Etsy account for sale.

Jaime Ramirez: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Murs: Then what they did is they went and hacked other Etsy accounts. Oh, and also they created a link to a different bank so that if someone buys the product, that they can send the proceeds of that product to the bank that they want and so they can get money that way. But then they’re like, “Okay, we created this product. Now we need people to buy this product so that we can make some money.” They then hacked other Etsy accounts that have credit cards linked to them and went to her store and bought the fake products. Now they’re getting money coming in and then transactioning it out to the bank that they linked it. I know that she caught it very early, but throughout all the process, that was a story.

It’s crazy. It’s not just, “Let me get into your bank account and let me try to take some money.” They’re getting very creative as to how they’re funneling money in different directions so that you don’t really notice it.

That’s one story, but are there any examples that you have seen recently that are different than the normal that we have been seeing of just stealing a password? Also for people that shop online and they have their information out there, what are some red flags that they should be looking for when they’re doing these types of transactions?

Jaime Ramirez: Well, for a consumer first of all, they need to check from time to time their statements, their balances, their apps either in the bank or either Amazon or any other method of payment that they have because like you said, there is a lot of people creative that are to find the way to convince the other side that they’re real. You can see this not only in retail as identity theft, but they are also created in how to obstruct a structure of transactions to steal a lot of money and they can go very well because by the time that some consumers notice that there is something happening in their account, sometimes too late, some banks recognize this, and then they send the money back to the consumers but sometimes it takes time to recover that, if they can recover.

Radon: Very good. So could you tell us, the name of your company is Preventor and I’m assuming you’re trying to prevent cyber threats and crimes. Could you tell us what your company does, who you help, and how you do that?

Jaime Ramirez: Yes. Preventor is a risk management and identity management platform. Basically, initially we start working with just financial institutions in terms of from the identity verification, know your customer, know your business, [inaudible]. The end to end anti-money laundering or fraud prevention. Because of the pandemic, now we are working with different kind of industries for identity verification. We have different kinds of customers, not only the financial industry, transportation, insurances, casinos, fintechs, a lot of small, medium companies. Our headquarters are here in Miami, but we are working with any financial institution globally.

Murs: Very good. I think to summarize, everyone needs to stay vigilant about what information that they’re putting out there and also to find as many layers of security that you possibly can. I know that we advocate a lot for the two-factor authentication, which is you put your login to whatever your bank or your investment account or whatever it is, you put your login and then it automates a text to your phone or to your email so that there’s just another layer of security that you have to add in before you can actually access the account.

I know other institutions can implement, like you said earlier, voice recognition and stuff like that. I think for anyone out there that’s listening, and also varying your passwords is another big one. Don’t use the same thing for every single thing, which I think a lot of us are guilty for. But I guess the story here is we want to stay as vigilant as possible in these very tough times of all these different things that are going on with hacking, with technology, with security breaches and everything like that.

Jaime, we thank you so much for coming on today and giving us some insight as to what is going on on the broad scale and so that we can be thinking about it and how to prevent it.

Jaime Ramirez: Yeah. Well, thank you very much for this opportunity.

Radon: Hey, what’s a way that people could, if they are a small business and they’re listening to this and they’re thinking they need to make sure they got this protection or they’re any kind of business, what’s the best way for them to get information about you and what your company does and how that might help them?

Jaime Ramirez: Yeah, sure. At our website preventor.com we have a lot of information that is a resources page there where you can find white paper use cases, the videos, et cetera, and there a contact page there, preventor.com. Yeah.

Radon: Very nice. We’ll make sure that’s on the website and in the show notes. Again, I’ll say what Murs said. Thank you so much for coming on and talking with us today.

Jaime Ramirez: Thank you. Buh-bye.