Ending Human Trafficking Through Education, Awareness and AI

Ending Human Trafficking Through Education, Awareness and AI

Earlier this month, Florida became the first state to require schools to teach K-12 students about child trafficking prevention. The state ranks third in the nation for reported human trafficking cases, with 767 cases reported in 2018, nearly 20 percent of which involved minors.

A $150 billion industry

While Florida’s program will be the first targeted on youth education, awareness campaigns have become a critical component of the fight against this $150 billion industry, which impacts as many as 40.3 million people annually.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign is one example.  This national public awareness campaign is focused on increasing detection of human trafficking and identifying victims. 

Increasing detection of victims

The campaign works to educate the public, law enforcement and industry partners to recognize the indicators of human trafficking, and how to appropriately respond to possible cases.

According to DHS, among the potential indicators that a person might be a victim of human trafficking are:

  • Disconnection from family and friends
  • Dramatic and sudden changes in behavior
  • Disorientation and signs of abuse
  • Timid, fearful or submissive behavior
  • Signs of being denied food, water, sleep or medical care
  • Deference to someone in authority or the appearance of being coached on what to say

Finding the perpetrators

While potential indicators for victims are well documented, identifying the perpetrators is more difficult.

Law enforcement points to the fact that traffickers represent every social, ethnic, and racial group and are not only men—women run many established rings.

Cases have even revealed that traffickers are not necessarily always strangers to or casual acquaintances of the victims. Traffickers can be family members, intimate partners, and long-time friends of the victims.

With all these variables in finding the perpetrators, law enforcement is increasingly looking for tools to help this lucrative and subversive crime. 

“A rare window into criminal behavior”

One tool is the Internet, which provides traffickers with the unprecedented ability to exploit a greater number of victims and advertise services across geographic areas.  It is also a way to recruit victims, especially unsuspecting and vulnerable youth. 

As research conducted in 2011 at the University of Southern California found, online trafficking transactions “leave behind traces of user activity, providing a rare window into criminal behavior, techniques, and patterns.

“Every online communication between traffickers, ‘johns,’ and their victims reveals potentially actionable information for anti-trafficking investigators.”

The study noted the potential for integrating human experts and computer-assisted technologies like AI to detect trafficking online.

AI and human trafficking

Similar research conducted at Carnegie Mellon University looked at how low-level traffickers and organized transnational criminal networks used web sites like Craigslist and Backpage to advertise their victims. The researchers developed AI-based tools to find patterns in the hundreds of millions of online ads and help recover victims and find the bad actors.

Fast forward to today.

In February, the United Nations held a two-day conference focused on using AI to end modern slavery.

The conference brought together researchers, policy makers, social scientists, members of the tech community, and survivors.

One of those researchers – from Lehigh University – is working on a human trafficking project to help law enforcement overcome the challenges of turning vast amounts of data, primarily from police incident reports, into actionable intelligence to assist with their investigations.

Providing better alerts and real risks

Former Federal government officials share the optimism about the power of AI to aid law enforcement in weeding out the criminals and finding the victims.

Alma Angotti, a former U.S. regulation official for the Securities and Exchange Commission, points to the power of AI to highlight key indicators of trafficking from hundreds of thousands of sources, providing better alerts and more likely real risks.

“For example, law enforcement can look at young women of a certain age entering the country from certain high-risk jurisdictions. Marry that up with social media and young people missing from home, or people associated with a false employment agency or who think they are getting a nanny job, and you start to develop a complete picture. And the information can be brought up all at once, rather than an analyst having to go through the Dark Web.”

To report suspected human trafficking to Federal law enforcement, call 1-866-347-2423.

To get help from the National Trafficking Hotline call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).

Learn more about AI-powered Radiance and its risk sensing capabilities for issues like human trafficking.

Adopting AI in the Insurance Industry

Adopting AI in the Insurance Industry

While commonly maligned as one of the laggard industries when it comes to technology, insurance companies are increasingly investing in AI and machine learning across all aspects of their business.  

Carriers Investing $5+ million on AI Annually

A study by Genpact found that 87 percent of carriers are investing more than $5 million in AI every year. This is more than both banking (86%) and consumer goods and retail companies (63%).

Two practical applications for this technology – claims and underwriting fraud – provide opportunity to help solve some of the industry’s biggest challenges.

Solving the Fraud Issue with Tech and AI

Fraud is estimated to be more than $30 billion every year in the U.S. alone.

And, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, 2018 was the third consecutive time in six years that insurers reported increasing amounts of fraud. Nearly three-quarters of insurers reported that fraud had increased either significantly or slightly, an 11-point increase since 2014.

To address this issue the Coalition’s survey reinforced Genpact’s findings: nearly two-thirds of insurers planned to acquire new technology in the next year for enhanced detection of claims fraud, and another one-third would add technology to address underwriting fraud.

Deloitte further notes that among the areas that will see the greatest impact are fraud detection and risk analysis. Beyond these important use cases, AI and machine learning assist with customer due diligence, augmenting existing processes with analysis of external data sources.

Transformation to ‘Predict and Prevent’

The power of AI, according to experts, is its ability to analyze mass amounts of data from a wide range of sources including previous claims, customer information, and social media, to help combat fraud.

A senior data scientist at AXIS Capital recently noted that 80 percent of internal data is unstructured in the form of PDF and emails, and that AI’s text mining and natural language processing could help reveal core hidden information.  

Additionally, she pointed to AI’s ability to scrape information from the Internet, gathering information in real time to understand evolving risks.

With these capabilities, AI can transform the industry, and underwriting in particular, into the ‘predict and prevent’ mode.

‘Seismic Impact’ on the Industry

That opinion is shared by others, including E&Y and McKinsey, with the latter reporting that AI “will have a seismic impact on all aspects of the insurance industry.”

McKinsey recommends that as insurers onboard these technologies, they take a multi-pronged strategy that begins with getting smart on AI-related technologies and trends and includes the development and implementation of long-term technology plan. 

Comprehensive Data Strategy

The firm also underscores that AI technology performs best with a high volume of data from multiple sources, and that carriers must develop a comprehensive data strategy.  Internal data will need to be organized in ways that enable and support the agile development of new analytics insights and capabilities. With external data, carriers must focus on securing access to data that enriches and complements their internal data sets. 

The Radiance Solution

Radiance is a powerful tool to help identify potential fraud and other concerns.  It ingests and processes large amounts of unstructured data, providing actionable, prioritized results that can be further refined by entering publicly-available identifiable information.  

Radiance’s deep web listening goes beyond traditional social media monitoring tools, using internally-developed and proprietary algorithms to capture online content relevant to insurance fraud. 

Radiance can apply the same machine learning capabilities against existing legacy databases, integrating those disparate sources and analyzing that data against risk and other industry specific needs.

Try Radiance for free today.

Mitigating Insider Threats:  Latest Trends, Best Practices and AI Automation

Mitigating Insider Threats: Latest Trends, Best Practices and AI Automation

Insider threat incidents range from data security breaches which have cost firms like Capital One as much as $100 – $150 million to violent threats from disgruntled employees, like the case of Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Hassan who was arrested after a joint Coast Guard and FBI investigation found he was stockpiling weapons and seeking to launch a major attack.

Every Organization is Vulnerable

While these high-profile incidents grab international headlines, the reality is that every organization is vulnerable to insider threats. On average, insider threats cost almost $9 million, take more than two months to contain and include issues related to careless workers, disgruntled employees, workplace violence and malicious insiders.

Consider that between January and June 2019,  the healthcare industry had already disclosed 285 incidents of patient privacy breaches, with hospital insiders responsible for 20 percent of the incidents.  Similarly, the Verizon 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, found that 34 percent of all breaches were caused by insiders.

Companies are Building Insider Threat Programs, But Want to Invest More

Some 90 percent of organizations feel vulnerable to insider attacks and 86 percent have or are building an insider threat program.  Still, nearly 75 percent of C-level executives do not feel they are invested enough to mitigate the risks associated with an insider threat.

As part of National Insider Threat Awareness Month this September, the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) is reminding companies of the need for strong insider threat protection programs and the signs to look for with existing employees. 

Look for These Concerning Behaviors

William Evanina, who heads up NCSC, shares that those individuals engaged or contemplating insider threats display “concerning behaviors” before engaging in these events. 

The CERT National Insider Threat Center in the latest edition of its Common Sense Guide to Mitigating Insider Threats, identifies these behaviors as including:

  • repeated policy violations;
  • disruptive behavior;
  • financial difficulty or unexplained extreme change in finances; and
  • job performance problems.

Early Detection Technologies

AI security

The Center suggests deploying solutions for monitoring employee actions, correlating information from multiple data sources, having tools for employees to report concerning or disruptive behavior, and monitoring social media.

Surveys like the one conducted by Crowd Research Partners show more and more organizations are increasingly using behavior monitoring and similar methods to help with early detection of insider threats

And, a report from Accenture found that while advanced identification, security intelligence and threat sharing technologies are widely adopted, automation, AI and machine learning are now being used by about 40 percent of companies.   

Costs Savings from AI Automation

According to the same report, once investment costs are considered, AI automation could offer the highest net savings of about $2 million and begin to address the shortage in skilled security staff.

AI can help detect the risk indicators displayed by those who want to defraud organizations but without the inherent human bias.  Additionally, AI can help manage the incredible volume of data that must be collected, aggregated, correlated, analyzed and fused across disparate sources

Following the Common Sense Guide to Mitigating Insider Threats

Companies looking to follow the CERT National Insider Threat Center’s guidelines, should consider how the Radiance platform can help with monitoring social media, correlating disparate information, and providing a tool for employees to report concerning behaviors.  

Radiance OS-INT monitors all publicly available information across the entire deep web, not only social media.  And, it can ingest massive amounts of unstructured content from disparate internal data sources for further correlation and verification.

Radiance’s HUM-INT platform, known as S4, is a mobile application that allows users to confidentially report concerns in real time.  It can be configured as a workplace tool, with a centralized management portal to allow clients to access real–time threats to geo-fenced facility locations.

Try Radiance for Free Today.

Download our S4 app.