Retailers should watch out as ex-fraudster dubs new MI5 Web Portal System 'too easy'

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The BBC has announced the imminent launch of a new 'secure facebook' initiative that could help retailers save millions of pounds each year by sharing information on cyber threats. But, fraud specialist Tony Sales has serious doubts about the new system – because it only operates during office hours working hours.

Tony Sales is the man who was once dubbed Britain's Greatest Fraudster after defrauding retailers of £30 million over a six year period. But, he has turned over a new leaf and is now applying this knowledge to the retail sector, advising them how to beat fraud alongside Retail Knowledge – a company with impeccable credentials that has served retailers and vendors well for more than 10 years.

The new initiative for cyber threats, which is run by experts from GCHQ, MI5 and police to share information via a secure web portal system, will monitor attacks and provide details in real-time of who is being targeted. The BBC reported: "A group of 12-15 analysts with security clearance will work mainly during office hours".

It is this element which has particularly caught Sales' attention. He said: "The key thing for me here is that they say they will operate during 'office hours'.  Fraudsters work 24 hours, unlike those charged with loss prevention.
Just like the experts working on this initiative, fraudsters share information too – it's what keeps you in 'business'. This means that fraudsters will share the information about when the portal is open, making it too easy for them to beat it".

Additional notes

The new Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) has emerged out of a 2012 pilot scheme in which eighty companies from finance, defence, energy, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals were encouraged to share information. The pilot has been expanded to 160 firms and a more permanent structure is announced this week.

Tony Sales is currently working in association with Retail Knowledge to help retailers combat fraud, reduce shrinkage and improve loss prevention levels. They have a rapidly growing client list including some of the biggest retailers in Europe.

Retail Knowledge produce the annual Retail Fraud Survey – a measure of the UK's top 100 retailers that provides a detailed understanding of the retail fraud and loss prevention systems, processes and strategies.


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