What Formula 1 can teach finance teams on winning the race against cyberfraudsters

When it comes to Formula One (F1), the top echelon of motor racing, one of the eternal questions about the secret to winning a Grand Prix has always been: is it the driver or the car?

Even with the best F1 drivers ever, including Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton, and Michael Schumacher, and even with the best F1 cars ever made, whether a Mercedes, McLaren, or Ferrari, during the race every driver in every car must have the support of multiple team members to make sure that top performance is achieved.

And what this means is that we have opened the window to human error, the kind that can lose a race. For, wherever there are people, inevitably – there will be a mistake somewhere down the line, sooner or later.

To err is human

Consider this situation, for example. You’ve got the best driver of all time behind the wheel of the best machine ever made and they’re both in for a tire change. The team, though, has selected the wrong tire compound, resulting in a 1.7 second delay per lap.

This erred decision, unfortunately, was all the difference between winning and losing the race.

And no driver can afford such a mishap in human decisioning, whether during the race, before the race, or before the season even starts.

This is where technology comes in to play.

Technology to the rescue

The technology of a Formula 1-worthy machine is not only what makes the magic happen. It’s also what can hedge the risk of human error (and a lost race).

With the right technology and the right data, drivers can be supremely equipped to accurately execute expert, split-second decisions.

Indeed, only technology and data have the power to help every stakeholder make sure that any room for human error (whether on the part of the driver or the team) will be eliminated.

F1 goes tech

In fact, Formula 1 has become deeply reliant on technology and data. This is because when data is gathered from hundreds of sensors spread out over cars, insights can be extracted for understanding performance and what conditions are required for making improvements.

For example, technology and data are critical for making the best decision on tire compound selection.

Namely, to make the best decision the team needs to be able to gather data from multiple systems that indicate the status of strategic parameters, such as how hot the track is during that specific leg in the race, what is the outside temperature at any given moment, how much fuel is left in the tank, how many laps remain in the race, what is the wear status of each tire in the car, and more.

By leveraging technology to aggregate and analyze all this data, only then can decisioning be optimized.

As such, we can see how technology is a key enabler of real-time, data-driven decisions during the race, practice, and even during pre-season tests.

The payments protection ‘race team’

So, what does all this have to do with payments protection?

Well, an organization’s finance team is very similar to the Formula 1 team of driver, mechanics, technicians, and car. Just as the F1 team works in unison to make sure that the car and driver win the race, so does the finance team work in unison to make sure that payments make it to the “finish line.”

Whether accountants, admins, clerks, finance personnel, purchasing, and the master data team – each has their own strategic role in making sure that the payment race is won.

What does it mean to win the payment race? It means that vendor and payment files are impervious to the attempts of cybercriminals trying to hack into payment data files so they can divert payments to their own fraudulent accounts.

It means that payments make it only to the intended recipient at the intended and valid bank account, and that they do so on time.

Ultimately, it means that the paying organization and the payee have won (i.e. sent/received the payment), and that the cyberfraudsters have lost.

How technology wins the payments race

However, just as we saw with the case of the F1 race – where there are humans, there is (inevitably) human error. And the only way to hedge the risk of human error is to introduce and leverage advanced technology and data-driven decisioning.

Just as technology and data enable F1 teams to optimize decisioning and maximize performance – so is the case with payments protection performance.

For example, the payment race can be lost to cyberfraudsters when payee validation is performed through manual processes such as requesting phone and email confirmations as well as other documents that can be easily hacked and manipulated by threat actors, or during the manual validation of master data and payment files.

If a technology-based process that eliminates the need for such manual validations is implemented, the risk of fraud is profoundly decreased.

As we saw – no matter how talented the driver, the mechanics, and the technicians are – when critical processes are put in the hands of humans and when the right technology is not in place, the risk of losing the race is much higher.

Same goes for the finance team. No matter how talented the team members are, and no matter how many manual controls you may have in place – without technology to help avoid human error and power the payment process, we’re all just playing into the hands of cyberfraudsters.

And the payment race is one no organization can afford to lose.

How nsKnox can help

At nsKnox we live and breathe the payment race, and we have developed some very advanced technology that is helping organizations all over the world make sure that every payment makes it to the finish line, that is – to the right payee with the right account.

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