Experian Buys 41st Parameter For Web Fraud Detection


Experian is acquiring web fraud detection and authentication vendor 41st Parameter in a deal that the company said would bolster its security business.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

41st Parameter sells its FraudNet products to financial services companies, retailers and other firms with a web presence to provide protection and validation of new customer accounts, and detect and prevent account takeover and transaction fraud. The San Jose, Calif.-based company's device identification technology can review a customer's operating system, browser version and language. It also takes into account a user's time zone, screen resolution settings and other factors, fingerprinting the device to validate the person.

[Related: Apple iPhone Fingerprint Scanner Could Lift Authentication Market]

"In today's digital world, organizations need to recognize the devices used by their customers in order to provide a safe and effective experience," said Alan Naumann, president and CEO of 41st Parameter, in a statement. "I am excited that by combining our team with Experian we can together deliver very unique and effective solutions to our mutual clients around the world."

Experian said the company would be added to its risk-based authentication strategy, using analytics to determine the likelihood that access to a given system could result in it being compromised. It can measure the risk associated with each transaction.

The market for web fraud technologies is hot, analysts say, fueled in part by antifraud technologies coupled with endpoint protection platforms that can detect custom malware and other advanced threats.

Experian's move comes just weeks after IBM announced the acquisition of Trusteer, a firm that analysts say has been one of the leaders in web fraud detection. RSA, the Security Division of EMC, acquired another market leader, Silver Tail Systems, last year. The company is in the middle of integrating the acquisition and recently acquired Aveksa as part of its adaptive authentication strategy to bolster its access governance portfolio.

CA Technologies also competes in the space following its 2010 acquisition of authentication and fraud prevention vendor Arcot Systems.

Authentication is turning away from current systems, including hardware tokens and other technologies, to systems that can leverage a user's mobile device, said Avivah Litan, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. In a recent interview with CRN, Litan said antifraud technologies that are coveted by companies can validate a client's high value transactions without disrupting them. Customers shouldn't have to download and install additional software, Litan said.

PUBLISHED OCT. 1, 2013