Nethone raises $6M to combat account takeover fraud in online banking and tackle doping in e-sports

Press ReleaseJan 17 2018
  • Nethone launches two extensive R&D projects subsidized by Poland’s National Centre for Research and Development (NCRD): Nethone ATO and Elympics.
  • The goal of Nethone ATO is to create an autonomous AI-based cybersecurity solution to effectively protect financial institutions against account takeover attacks (ATO).
  • Elympics is meant to develop a cutting-edge matchmaking and anti-doping platform for e-sports. The project is run by a consortium formed by Nethone and DaftMobile – a Warsaw-based company specialized in developing mobile games and utility applications.
  • Both final products will innovatively combine in-depth behaviour analysis (incl. behavioural biometrics and pattern recognition) and Artificial Intelligence (advanced Machine Learning) – technologies that Nethone aims to elevate to a whole new level.
  • The total value of the two projects is $5,98M (21,58M PLN), including $4,45M (16,04M PLN) NCRD subsidy.

Nethone – a leading provider of AI-driven Anti-fraud and Business Intelligence solutions – announced recently that it has been awarded a $4,45M (over 16M PLN) subsidy from Poland’s National Centre for Research and Development (NCRD) to conduct two advanced R&D projects in the fields of behaviour analysis for fraud prevention and anti-doping solutions for e-sports. The total value of these projects is $5,98M (21,58M PLN).

The NCRD jury has decided to support Nethone ATO and Elympics with multi-million subsidies as both initiatives are intended to solve burning real-life problems and the funding beneficiaries have the resources, skills, knowledge and operational capabilities necessary to deliver the agreed-upon results.

Preventing account takeover (ATO) attacks is one of the major challenges that financial institutions are facing these days. With an ever-increasing number of phishing attacks on bank account holders and massive data breaches taking place almost every week, the demand for reliable yet user-experience-friendly security measures is skyrocketing. Nethone ATO aims to address this issue by bringing higher-than-ever threat detection accuracy, full automation of anti-ATO processes, and outstanding self-learning capabilities of the system.

“In recent years, banks and other financial institutions have been implementing diverse technical and procedural solutions to prevent ATO attacks, such as multiple-factor authentication tools, fraud monitoring systems, daily transaction limits, and so on. Unfortunately, none of those strike the balance between customer-friendliness and security” – said Hubert Rachwalski, COO, Nethone.  “The goal of Nethone ATO is to leverage our experience, expertise and technologies to create an innovative solution enabling truly accurate and outstandingly reliable verification of the account holder’s identity without interfering with user experience. Thanks to NCRD, we can achieve this goal much faster than initially expected.”

The rapid development of e-sports business has instigated a significant increase in the number and frequency of cheating attempts. Just as athletes who inject steroids, some players modify game applications by “injecting” forbidden pieces of code in software. Those make them move faster, see more of the map, have an increased field of view, aim more accurately, and so on – depending on the game. Unfortunately, it is not easy to catch them red-handed if they know how to use this digital doping (or e-doping) effectively. Elympics is meant to change that. The very first truly smart matchmaking and anti-doping platform for mobile games will employ Artificial Intelligence to thoroughly analyse behaviour, skills and history of every single player joining the game to match them with opponents of comparable parameters and to accurately detect forbidden practices. Elympics will be distributed as a universal Software Development Kit (SDK), making it easy for any GameDev to integrate their products with the platform, or create their game from scratch. The solution is intended not only to make e-sports fair and more entertaining, but also to noticeably reduce the cost of game development, which is crucial from the business perspective.  The project is run by a consortium formed by Nethone and DaftMobile – a Warsaw-based company specialized in developing mobile games and utility applications.

“According to some forecasts, in 2020 mobile gaming will represent more than half of the total games market, generating nearly $65 billion in revenues. With ever more developers striving to create their “next big thing”, it becomes crucial to reduce development costs while maintaining high quality of products. Our smart matchmaking and anti-cheat solution will allow developers to fully focus on their passion – engaging gameplay. Thanks to our cooperation with Nethone and the generous NCRD subsidy we will be able to deliver Elympics for both indie and AAA mobile developers – said Kajetan Michał Dąbrowski, CEO, DaftMobile.

“E-sport is becoming more and more popular, not only among players but also among viewers and, in consequence, investors who want to get a piece of this profitable pie too. Big money always attracts fraudsters and cheaters. Even if the scale of the problem in the case of mobile e-sports is not large yet, we aim to nip it in the bud” – said Hubert Rachwalski, CEO, Nethone.  “We have decided to join forces with our partners from DaftMobile to combine their rich experience in the field of mobile games development with our expertise in data science and cybersecurity.”

NCRD subsidies reaffirm Nethone’s regional leadership in AI-based cybersecurity and innovation. In January 2017, the company was selected by EY for its “Accelerating Entrepreneurs” programme. In October, it was the only business entity from Central and Eastern Europe chosen by Thales – a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Transport, Defence and Security markets – for its elite cybersec programme at STATION F – the biggest startup campus in the world, located in Paris. These accomplishments along with outstanding commercial results make Nethone one of the fastest-growing FDP companies in the CEE region and herald its further expansion.

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