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Algorithmic Warfare: Analysts Laud New Federal Cyber Strategies

11/1/2018 
By Yasmin Tadjdeh

With high-tech adversaries increasingly targeting U.S. government networks, two recently released cybersecurity strategies are a step in the right direction, experts have said.

The National Cyber Strategy and a summary of the Defense Department’s Cyber Strategy were both released in September. The documents provided high-level objectives for the Pentagon and other federal agencies to better wrap their arms around cybersecurity issues.

In the National Cyber Strategy — the first of its kind in 15 years — President Donald Trump said the document explains how his administration plans to defend the homeland; protect American prosperity; deter and punish malicious actors; and expand American influence abroad to push for an “open, interoperable, reliable and secure internet.”
Protecting space assets is also a focus of the document.

The Pentagon’s strategy clearly laid out that its main focus is on cyber threats from peer adversaries, though North Korea and Iran also pose risks.

“We are engaged in a long-term strategic competition with China and Russia,” the document said. “These states have expanded that competition to include persistent campaigns in and through cyberspace that pose long-term strategic risk to the nation as well as to our allies and partners.”

China, for example, is “eroding U.S. military overmatch and is persistently exfiltrating sensitive information from the U.S. public and private sector.”

Russia, on the other hand, is using cyber-enabled information operations to influence the U.S. population and challenge its democratic processes, the strategy said.

“Globally, the scope and pace of malicious cyber activity continue to rise,” the document said. “The United States’ growing dependence on the cyberspace domain for nearly every essential civilian and military function makes this an urgent and unacceptable risk to the nation.”

The main objectives of the Pentagon’s strategy are to ensure the joint force can achieve its mission in a contested cyberspace environment, strengthen the joint force by conducting cyberspace operations that enhance U.S. military advantages, defend U.S. critical infrastructure from malicious cyber activity, secure Pentagon information systems, and expand the Defense Department’s cyber cooperation with interagency, industry and international partners.

The strategy came out just a few weeks before the Government Accountability Office released a new report, “Weapon Systems Cybersecurity: DoD Just Beginning to Grapple with Scale of Vulnerabilities,” that said the Defense Department still faced issues tackling these problems.

“Although GAO and others have warned of cyber risks for decades, until recently, DoD did not prioritize weapon systems cybersecurity,” the report said.
Experts said both new government strategies are a positive step toward addressing these challenges.

Gary Shiffman, CEO of Giant Oak, an Arlington, Virginia-based software company and a professor at Georgetown University, said the release of this guidance is overdue.

“If anything, we’re late in getting there in the sense that technology always moves faster than policy,” he said. “Technology evolves at a very quick pace, and policy … never anticipates [it] and is always trying to catch up.”

In order to make real change, however, programmatic activities and budget adjustments need to follow, he noted.

“At the national level, these kinds of high-level documents provide the top cover for the rest of government to follow in terms of … their future year planning and budgeting,” he said.

Daniel Charles, CEO and co-founder of Charles Bernard Ventures and a cybersecurity fellow at New America, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, said the strategies laid out key initiatives.

“In both the National Cyber Strategy [and] in the DoD Cyber Strategy, they’re taking important steps,” he said. “They’re introducing some new things.”

The Pentagon is prioritizing international collaboration which will be critical to tackling future issues, he noted. That “is something new that has been talked about quietly but hasn’t really ever come out in the light,” he added.

In the strategy, the Defense Department said many of the United States’ allies and partners already have advanced cyber capabilities that complement its own. The Pentagon plans “to strengthen the capacity of these allies and partners and increase DoD’s ability to leverage its partners’ unique skills, resources, capabilities and perspectives,” the document said.

It also plans to reinforce norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace during peace time, the strategy said. The United States has already endorsed the work done by the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security, or UNGGE, to develop a framework of responsible behavior.

Another important area of emphasis is increased accountability among contractors, Charles said. The Pentagon noted that it will hold both Defense Department personnel and private sector partners accountable for their cybersecurity practices and choices.

“That’s clearly a response to things like [the Office of Personnel Management breach] … and a number of the other vulnerabilities that have been introduced, because contractors have not had their systems maintained in a way that is best for the protection of federal networks,” Charles added.

Calvin Nobles, a cybersecurity fellow at New America, said the government will need to be mindful about making iterative changes to the strategies as time goes on.

“The cyberspace domain is changing as we talk right now,” he said during an interview. It is “hard to capture everything because we’re shooting at a moving target.” 

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Dr. Gary Shiffman named one of WashingtonExec's Top AI Execs to Watch

October 16, 2018 —(WashingtonExec) -- The founder and CEO of Giant Oak Gary Shiffman is a behavioral economist and retired Navy veteran who has served in policy roles at the Defense Department. He is a former chief of staff for Customs and Border Protection, where he helped revamp the border enforcement process. Today, his company offers technology designed to help combat illicit behaviors such as drug and human trafficking, terrorism and other types of corruption. He is an adjunct professor in Georgetown University’s Security Studies program.

Why Watch: Search technologies abound, but Shiffman’s company offers a very targeted system that remains important in today’s security environment. It can, for example, help financial institutions avoid loaning money for illicit purposes, offer behavior-based analysis on terrorist activity, and uncover any number of insider threats.

“We are uniquely bringing together behavioral science with technology, with artificial intelligence and machine learning into the domain of illicitness,” Shiffman said. “I don’t know anybody else doing that.”

This summer, the company received a $10 million investment through a partnership with Edison Partners to further develop and market its core platform, Giant Oak Search Technology. GOST scans the open, deep and dark web to create dossiers on individuals and groups and help leaders make mission critical decisions within the public and private sectors.

“GOST understands the specific information that the human is looking for, goes out into this massive and ever-changing universe of publicly available data, and retrieves what the human wants,” Shiffman said.

Through a feedback loop, the human can then direct GOST toward more specific results, thus driving machine learning. So, how do you account for human error in the process? Shiffman said the answer lies in training the technology to meet the user where he or she is.

“The way to prepare the human to work with an AI is not to expect the human to change, but to train the AI to understand the context in which the human interacts,” he said. “If you’re doing it well, AI systems are easy to use; they don’t require extensive training; and they’re not inherently error-prone.”

AI, he said, can theoretically be applied in almost any context as long as it is used properly.

“The example of AI gone wrong is in every science fiction movie you’ve ever seen, starting with ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ ‘The Matrix,’ ‘The Terminator’ and the list goes on and on,” Shiffman said. “There’s this very powerful meme of humans being afraid of machines, and the machines taking over. So, I think we have to be very careful as we move into this new era of artificial intelligence — which is really cool and exciting — that we make sure we design the systems where the humans are in control and keep the humans in the loop.”


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Giant Oak Continues Growth Trajectory; Opens New Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia

New HQ follows $10 million in growth equity, expanded customer base, and a growing team

October 16, 2018 08:53 AM Eastern Daylight Time

ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Giant Oak, a leader in applying augmented intelligence, machine learning and big data analytics for the security needs of government and industry, announced it is opening new offices, which will be its new headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The new offices will support a growing team, additional government and financial industry contracts, and continued research and development efforts for the cutting edge search technology company behind GOST®.

Giant Oak is known for its behavioral science-based technology that screens and continuously monitors in the open, deep and dark web. This expansion marks another milestone in Giant Oak’s recent successes, which include the development of a prominent board of directors and a $10 million growth equity investment by Edison Partners of Princeton, NJ.

“Giant Oak is thriving, and we're growing at an exciting rate,” said Dr.Gary Shiffman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Giant Oak. “We needed a dynamic space to accommodate our highly competent team and support our expanding customer base. Our new HQ will serve as a hub to continue providing cutting-edge technology to our federal and financial sector customers, and as an incubator for new and responsible ways to combine data and behavioral science to help identify bad actors. The new space marks an exciting and motivating moment for the entire company, and we all look forward to sharing new business developments soon.”

Giant Oak Search Technology, (GOST®), is a patent-pending SaaS platform, combining technology and behavioral science to help business and government identify and act upon potential threats. This expert software ranks actions, actors and communities during the online search and screening process by applying machine analysis to data driven by human behavior. The platform allows users to build custom information domains for high-speed, large-scale, and customer-specific screening. These results foster a safer and freer society by helping organizations see a clearer picture of the people with whom they transact, and they enable easier and smarter decision-making while reducing cost, time and error.

For more information about Giant Oak, visit us on Twitter @Giant_Oak or check out our upcoming conferences or events here: http://www.giantoak.com/events/.

About Giant Oak

Giant Oak combines data and behavioral science to help business and government identify potential threats during the online search and screening process. Led by a team of social scientists, machine learning experts and security professionals, the company provides a system known as GOST® which expertly searches the deep web to reveal and rank otherwise-hidden actions, actors and communities. GOST’s human-centered design principles apply machine learning to publicly available information, enabling organizations to see a clearer picture of the people with whom they transact. The government, national security agencies and financial and regulatory organizations use GOST to comply with Customer Due Diligence (CDD) processes, reduce false negatives, increase data confidence and enable smarter and easier decision-making. For more information, visit www.giantoak.com.

Contacts

Sage Communications (For Giant Oak)
Lauren Horn, 703-207-0941
Lhorn@aboutsage.com

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Giant Oak Expands Leadership and Welcomes a New Board after $10 Million in Growth Capital

New leadership supports rapid growth and expansion of technology to search the Deep Web

Arlington, VA, October 2, 2018 – Giant Oak, a leader in applying artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analytics for the security needs of government and industry, announced today the appointment of Daniel Moser as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Jim Fowler, Joe Wald, Steve Swoboda and Tom Vander Schaaff as new board members. After a recent $10 million investment from leading growth equity investor Edison Partners, the expanded leadership team brings financial, technological and operational expertise to accommodate rapid growth, especially within the financial, regulatory and public sectors.

Giant Oak is known for its behavioral science-based analytics search platform, Giant Oak Search Technology (GOST®), to screen the open, deep and dark web. GOST allows financial and regulatory institutions to meet compliance requirements spanning KYC, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, and to manage and avoid reputational, regulatory, financial and crime risk. National security and law enforcement officials use GOST to identify human trafficking, terrorist activities and other national security threats.

The company has seen significant growth across its government and financial services contracts and, more importantly, experienced zero customer churn. The new CFO and board members will create long-term value for the company and help to scale its rapid growth. New members of Giant Oak’s leadership team include:

·       Daniel Moser will serve as CFO and will help Giant Oak scale, grow topline revenue and foster business in the Software as a Service (SaaS) and technology space. He brings 20 years of experience in finance, accounting, strategic planning, corporate development, business intelligence and mergers and acquisitions.

·       Jim Fowler is a veteran technology Chief Executive who will support Giant Oak in its strategic innovation and market leadership. Fowler is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Owler and is a pioneer in the Business-to-Business information industry. He was the founder and CEO of Jigsaw, a company sold to Salesforce in 2010.  

·       Joe Wald brings strategic direction and vision in corporate financing initiatives and will support Giant Oak with targeted growth opportunities. Wald is founder and CEO at Clearpool Group and will share his years of industry expertise in business, finance and management.

·       Steve Swoboda is a digital entrepreneur with extensive experience in domestic and international mergers and acquisitions. Swoboda is a founder and the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of SpotXchange. He will bring his financial acumen to Giant Oak to support the company’s growth trajectory.

·       Tom Vander Schaaff is an experienced analyst, risk management expert and strategic leader, and will help Giant Oak further expand into commercial verticals. Vander Schaaff is the General Partner at Edison Partners and has nineteen years of private equity expertise and three years of investment banking experience.

“Our new CFO and new board members will foster long-term support, strategy and growth for Giant Oak’s expanding portfolio of customers and continued technological innovation,” said Dr. Gary Shiffman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Giant Oak. “This announcement also marks four years since we secured our first sale with GOST. Since then we have had tremendous growth, and our customers within the national defense and security, financial services and private corporate risk industries continue to look to Giant Oak to help them solve some of their most complex challenges in mission-critical operations. Our new leadership will help scale our team and continue to advance our technology that uses social science to identify bad actors and make the world a safer place. I welcome everyone to the Giant Oak team and I am looking forward to a successful and productive future.” 

GOST, a patent pending SaaS platform, combines technology and behavioral science to help business and government identify and act upon potential threats. This expert software ranks actions, actors and communities during the online search and screening process by applying machine analysis to data driven by human behavior. The platform allows users to build custom information domains for high-speed, large-scale, and customer-specific screening. These results foster a safer and freer society by helping organizations see a clearer picture of the people with whom they transact, and they enable easier and smarter decision-making while reducing cost, time and error.

About Giant Oak
Arlington, VA-based Giant Oak is a data analytics software company led by behavioral scientists, security professionals and software engineers who expertly apply technologies to support law enforcement, national security, compliance, trafficking, fraud and other illicit actives. Founded in 2012, Giant Oak software employs artificial intelligence and machine learning to support behavioral science-based analytical tool development. The company's software-based solution, GOST, simplifies negative media searches and searching in publicly available information, tasks which historically produce overwhelming amounts of false information. For more information, visit www.giantoak.com.

Contact:

Lauren Horn

Sage Communications (For Giant Oak)

Lhorn@aboutsage.com

703-207-0941

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Arlington-based Giant Oak raises $10M to expand work with financial institutions

The company's platform factors behavioral science into data analysis to screen for illicit activity, said CEO Gary Shiffman.

By Stephen Babcock

August 7, 2018--(Techinicall.ly DC)--For Gary Shiffman, a key part of analyzing data is studying human behavior.

Back in 2009, Shiffman began contributing a behavioral science approach to government projects using data to identify illicit activities such as drug trafficking and terrorism. He said publicly available data that people leave behind can be a tool for law enforcement, even if it’s in less visible channels of the web than are commonly used.

“Behavioral science works as well in countering ilicit markets as it does in ad sales in licit markets,” said Shiffman, a Navy veteran who served in policy roles at the U.S. Department of Defense and former chief of staff at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

In 2012, Shiffman founded Giant Oak to grow that combination of data analysis, computer science and social science. The company makes a platform to screen for what it terms “bad actors” called Giant Oak Search Technology.

Security remained a major focus as Giant Oak continued working with the government. In recent years, Shiffman said it also began exploring work with private companies. First among these are financial institutions, where anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and other regulations require vetting of customers to maintain compliance.

After a year-and-a-half of initial work with financial institutions, Shiffman said the company is ready to expand in this area. The company recently raised $10 million from Edison Partners, which will help grow sales and marketing, as well as development of the technology.

Based in Clarendon, the company currently has 15 employees. Shiffman expects hiring as it looks to double in size over the next year.

“We’re going to continue to focus on growing in the government space because we were built for the government space and love serving the public safety and public security communities,” Shiffman said. “With the investment from Edison, we will be able to focus on two verticals.”

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Giant Oak Closes $10 Million in Growth Capital from Edison Partners

Innovative machine learning and AI-based search platform identifies national security and financial sector threats

Arlington, VA, July 19, 2018--(CIO Dive)--Giant Oak, a leader in applying artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics for the security needs of government and industry, announced today a $10 million investment from leading growth equity investor Edison Partners. Proceeds will be used to fuel Giant Oak’s continued growth through expanding sales and marketing, software engineering, and behavioral science-based analytics for its proprietary search platform, Giant Oak Search Technology (GOST®). 

GOST was initially developed to screen the open, deep and dark web, and other data to help national security and law enforcement officials identify human trafficking, terrorist activities, and other security threats. GOST’s capabilities have since expanded into the commercial sector as a leading regulatory technology (RegTech) to help industries, including financial institutions, meet compliance requirements spanning KYC, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, as well as to manage and avoid reputational, regulatory, financial, and crime risk. Where banks previously manually reviewed hundreds of customers to identify suspicious activity, banks can now find the same negative conduct by examining as few as three cases and realize up to 97 percent in total cost savings. The company has seen significant growth across its government and financial services contracts and, importantly, experienced zero customer churn. 

“GOST delivers to national defense and security, law enforcement, financial services and private corporate risk managers the best solution to identify evidence of and manage human threats in a fraction of the time,” said Dr. Gary Shiffman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Giant Oak. “We combine quantitative methods, social science and computer science to screen for ‘bad actors’ and provide a unique, disruptive, and scalable solution with a cost-effective answer. We exist to identify illicit activity and negative media search information of interest to our clients. From screening for benefits like security clearances, customer acquisition, and recruiting, to helping identify terrorists and insider threats, and cybersecurity monitoring, GOST gives decision makers the information they need when it counts.”

Tom Vander Schaaff, General Partner of Edison Partners will join Giant Oak’s board of directors. "Giant Oak has built a security solution that is not only changing but disrupting the way government and industry mitigate risk when performing background investigations on the Internet," said Vander Schaaff. "What this team has developed over the last five years is a major advance in the search and retrieval industry and is demonstrating hard ROI for customers. We're excited to help Giant Oak further accelerate and scale growth.” 

GOST, a patent pending SaaS platform, combines behavioral science, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that constantly improve themselves across each domain and each search, leading to better results and user experiences. The platform allows users to build custom information domains for high-speed, large-scale, and customer-specific screening, minimizing false positives in investigations to optimize human time and conduct continuous evaluation on large entity data sets.  The company is well-positioned for continued government and financial services traction and naturally fits with a much broader set of industry customer bases and use-cases. 

“Edison is an ideal partner for Giant Oak, and for more than our capital needs,” said Dr. Shiffman. “Their team possesses expertise in our business model and target markets, and access to their Edison Edge platform gives us an extra boost of capability to realize our vision and growth plans.”

Dr. Shiffman, a Georgetown University professor and former Chief of Staff at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has worked on anti-terrorism and homeland defense issues, advised U.S. Senators as a National Security and Senior Policy Adviser, and served policy, planning and operational positions in the U.S. Department of Defense. He is also a decorated U.S. Navy Gulf War veteran.

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Giant Oak Closes $10 Million in Growth Capital from Edison Partners

ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Giant Oak, a leader in applying artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics for the security needs of government and industry, announced today a $10 million investment from leading growth equity investor Edison Partners. Proceeds will be used to fuel Giant Oak’s continued growth through expanding sales and marketing, software engineering, and behavioral science-based analytics for its proprietary search platform, Giant Oak Search Technology (GOST®).

GOST was initially developed to screen the open, deep and dark web, and other data to help national security and law enforcement officials identify human trafficking, terrorist activities, and other security threats. GOST’s capabilities have since expanded into the commercial sector as a leading regulatory technology (RegTech) to help industries, including financial institutions, meet compliance requirements spanning KYC, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, as well as to manage and avoid reputational, regulatory, financial, and crime risk. Where banks previously manually reviewed hundreds of customers to identify suspicious activity, banks can now find the same negative conduct by examining as few as three cases and realize up to 97 percent in total cost savings. The company has seen significant growth across its government and financial services contracts and, importantly, experienced zero customer churn.

“GOST delivers to national defense and security, law enforcement, financial services and private corporate risk managers the best solution to identify evidence of and manage human threats in a fraction of the time,” said Dr. Gary Shiffman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Giant Oak. “We combine quantitative methods, social science and computer science to screen for ‘bad actors’ and provide a unique, disruptive, and scalable solution with a cost-effective answer. We exist to identify illicit activity and negative media search information of interest to our clients. From screening for benefits like security clearances, customer acquisition, and recruiting, to helping identify terrorists and insider threats, and cybersecurity monitoring, GOST gives decision makers the information they need when it counts.”

Tom Vander Schaaff, General Partner of Edison Partners will join Giant Oak’s board of directors. "Giant Oak has built a security solution that is not only changing but disrupting the way government and industry mitigate risk when performing background investigations on the Internet," said Vander Schaaff. "What this team has developed over the last five years is a major advance in the search and retrieval industry and is demonstrating hard ROI for customers. We're excited to help Giant Oak further accelerate and scale growth.”

GOST, a patent pending SaaS platform, combines behavioral science, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that constantly improve themselves across each domain and each search, leading to better results and user experiences. The platform allows users to build custom information domains for high-speed, large-scale, and customer-specific screening, minimizing false positives in investigations to optimize human time and conduct continuous evaluation on large entity data sets. The company is well-positioned for continued government and financial services traction and naturally fits with a much broader set of industry customer bases and use-cases.

“Edison is an ideal partner for Giant Oak, and for more than our capital needs,” said Dr. Shiffman. “Their team possesses expertise in our business model and target markets, and access to their Edison Edge platform gives us an extra boost of capability to realize our vision and growth plans.”

Dr. Shiffman, a Georgetown University professor and former Chief of Staff at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has worked on anti-terrorism and homeland defense issues, advised U.S. Senators as a National Security and Senior Policy Adviser, and served policy, planning and operational positions in the U.S. Department of Defense. He is also a decorated U.S. Navy Gulf Warveteran.

About Giant Oak

Arlington, VA-based Giant Oak is a data analytics software company led by behavioral scientists, security professionals, and software engineers who expertly apply technologies to support law enforcement, national security, compliance, trafficking, fraud, and other illicit actives. Founded in 2012, Giant Oak software employs artificial intelligence and machine learning to support behavioral-science based analytical tool development. The company's software-based solution, GOST, simplifies negative media searches and searching in publicly-available information, tasks which historically produce overwhelming amounts of false information. For more information, visit www.giantoak.com.

About Edison Partners

For more than 30 years, Edison Partners has been helping CEOs and their executive teams navigate the entrepreneurial journey and build successful companies. Through the unique combination of growth capital and the Edison Edge platform, consisting of operating leverage, the Edison Director Network, and executive education, Edison employs a holistic approach to accelerating growth and creating value for businesses ($5 to $20 million in revenue) in financial, healthcare and enterprise technology sectors. Edison investment objectives also include: buyouts, recapitalizations, spinouts and secondary stock purchases. Edison’s active portfolio has created aggregate market value exceeding $10 billion. Its long-tenured team based in Princeton, NJ manages more than $1 billion in assets throughout the eastern United States.

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NPR Interviewed Giant Oak CEO Gary Shiffman

NPR interviewed Giant Oak CEO Gary Shiffman on the use of big data for national security. In the interview, Gary Shiffman addressed the concerns about the use of algorithms and machine learning for identifying threats to the United States, explaining that the technology is focused on enhancing human decision-making and not turning critical choices over to some AI. Current U.S. policy does not permit robots or artificial intelligence to make final decisions about important national security issues, and nor is technology at the point where it can make autonomous decisions of this scale. Nonetheless, U.S. security agencies are tasked with protecting the country from an ever-increasing number of threats on a daily basis without a commensurate growth in personnel to analyze and vet the data generated. Due to labor limitations, mistakes are likely, and the public's tolerance for errors is low. Instead, Gary Shiffman argues that people should focus on how "technology improves everyday," and how the U.S. government can take advantage of these improvements to empower individuals to make better decisions. 

You can hear the full interview here.

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Gary Shiffman, CEO of Giant Oak Contributes to New Anti-Money Laundering Report

The Clearing House Publishes New Anti-Money Laundering Report

https://www.theclearinghouse.org/~/media/TCH/Documents/TCH%20WEEKLY/2017/20170216_TCH_Report_AML_CFT_Framework_Redesign.pdf


Leading experts and practitioners recommend reforms to improve AML/CFT effectiveness

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Clearing House released a report entitled A New Paradigm: Redesigning the U.S. AML/CFT Framework to Protect National Security and Aid Law Enforcement.  The paper analyzes the current effectiveness of the AML/CFT regime, identifies fundamental problems with that regime, and proposes a series of reforms to remedy them.

The report reflects conclusions reached in two closed-door symposia, in April and October 2016, that convened approximately 60 leading experts in this field.  The group included senior former and current officials from law enforcement, national security, bank regulation and domestic policy; leaders of prominent think tanks in the areas of economic policy, development, and national security; consultants and lawyers practicing in the field; FinTech CEOs; and the heads of AML/CFT at multiple major financial institutions.  The first meeting focused on problems with the current regime; the second focused on a review of potential solutions.  The conclusions on both are set forth in the report.

Said Greg Baer, President of the Clearing House Association, “Today’s report reflects a remarkable consensus on how to substantially increase the effectiveness of the AML/CFT regime.  Those participating in the effort come from a wide range of disciplines and reflect a variety of interests, but have reached a common diagnosis of the problems with the current regime and in their prescription for reform.”

Among those participating in the symposia and supporting the report are the following individuals, acting in their personal, non-institutional, capacity:

  • Gary Shiffman, CEO, Giant Oak
  • H. Rodgin Cohen, senior chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell;
  • David D. DiBari, managing partner of Clifford Chance, Washington office; 
  • James H. Freis, Jr, former Director of FinCEN; chief compliance officer, Deutsche Börse Group;
  • Aaron Klein, policy director, Center on Regulation and Markets, Brookings Institution;
  • Sharon Cohen Levin, former Chief, Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York; partner, WilmerHale;
  • Joseph Myers, former Director, International Financial Affairs in the Office of Combating Terrorism, National Security Council; vice president, Western Union;
  • Chip Poncy, former senior Treasury official; President, Financial Integrity Network; Senior Adviser, Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance;
  • Vijaya Ramachandran, senior fellow, Center for Global Development;
  • Elizabeth Rosenberg, senior fellow, Center for a New American Security; and
  • Juan C. Zarate, former senior Treasury official; former Deputy National Security Adviser; Chairman, Financial Integrity Network; Chairman, Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance.

 
In addition, the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF) at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies has also endorsed the report.

The report identifies eight reforms for immediate action:

·         The Department of Treasury, through its Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI), should take a more prominent role in coordinating AML/CFT policy across the government;

·         FinCEN should reclaim sole supervisory responsibility for large, multinational financial institutions that present complex supervisory issues;

·         Treasury/TFI/FinCEN should establish a robust and inclusive annual process to establish AML/CFT priorities;

·         Congress should enact legislation, already pending in various forms, that requires the reporting of beneficial owner information at the time of incorporation, preventing the establishment of anonymous companies;

·         Treasury TFI should strongly encourage innovation, and FinCEN should propose a safe harbor rule allowing financial institutions to innovate in an FIU “sandbox” without fear of examiner sanction;

·         Policymakers should incentivize banks to work on investigations and reporting of activity of high law enforcement or national security consequence; 

·         Policymakers should further facilitate the flow of raw data from financial institutions to law enforcement to assist with the modernization of the current AML/CFT technological paradigm;

·         Regulatory or statutory changes should be made to the safe harbor provision in the USA PATRIOT Act (Section 314(b)) to further encourage information sharing among financial institutions, and the potential use of utilities to allow for more robust analysis of data; and

·         Policymakers should enhance the legal certainty regarding the use and disclosure of SARs.

Giant Oak adds new video on how to use GOST™

If you've been wondering how GOST™ can help you triage your identities fast and efficiently, watch the new video below, or on our product page, and sign up for a free live demo with the live demo button under this post, or in the footer.

http://www.giantoak.com/products/#gost

Want to get a Live Demo of the Giant Oak Search Technology (GOST)? Click the link below!

Giant Oak CEO Gary Shiffman quoted in article on BSA/AML from TCH Conference in NY

At the Clearing House Annual Conference in New York, experts and
observers discussed how BSA/ASL compliance can benefit from some
changes. Panelists posited that the currently regulatory framework
should focus more on tracking malicious actors, preparing for
potential breaches, and improving incentives for banks to share
information that supports AML efforts. Giant Oak CEO Gary Shiffman
also argued that requirements are constantly added in the AML regime,
but priorities are never updated. According to Dr. Shiffman, instead
of simply introducing new requirements, regulators, law enforcement
agencies, and banks themselves will achieve better results if they
regularly coordinate to establish clear priorities.

To learn more read an article from SNL here:

https://www.snl.com/interactivex/article.aspx?cdid=A-38595159-11557&KPLT=8&Multiview=0

How Can Banks Use Advanced AML Tools to Stop Funding for Terrorists?

This Sunday, November 13th, the CEO of Giant Oak, Gary Shiffman, will be featured as a panelist at the ABA Money Laundering Enforcement Conference. Mr. Shiffman will be discussing how advanced search capabilities used by the government to track human and drug traffickers can be adopted by financial institutions to stop the flow of money to criminal and terrorist organizations. 

The panel is named "Interaction Monitoring--The Next Frontier?" and will be held from 10 am to 12 pm, and then again from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM. The ABA Money Laundering Enforcement Conference will be held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. and is for AML and fraud professionals in the legal and banking industries.  

Mr. Shiffman will be joined on the panel by senior AML executives from Santander Bank, PwC, and Wells Fargo. 

http://www.giantoak.com/events/2016/10/31/aba-money-laundering-enforcement-conference

Giant Oak CEO, Gary Shiffman in an Interview with NextGov

Giant Oak CEO, Gary Shiffman, recently sat down with NextGov reporter Mohana Ravindranath to discuss Giant Oak's unique approach to finding bad guys with big data and behavioral science. Dr. Shiffman explained that many other companies approaches are rudimentary: they check and see if a name is on a list. Giant Oak, on the other hand, understands that while they may not appear on a list, "the clever people are going to behave in ways that are understandable and predictable." That means that we can find them with the right tool, which is where our search tool 'GOST' comes in. 

Read more about Giant Oak & GOST here: http://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2016/10/agencies-try-tool-digs-what-google-doesnt/132730/

Giant Oak's founder & CEO, Gary Shiffman, recently published an article with The Clearing House's Banking Perspectives on technology, banking regulations, and law enforcement.

Dr. Shiffman discusses the breakdown in communication between banks, regulators, and law enforcement, and points out a missing piece of the equation: technologists. Emerging technology, he argues, provides opportunities for banks to keep up with regulation requirements while helping law enforcement meet their mission.

Read the full article here:  https://www.theclearinghouse.org/research/2016/2016-q3-banking-perspectives/aml-tech-factor

 

Giant Oak's founder Gary Shiffman was quoted in the new Center for a New American Security

CNAS report on OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE & THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, by Ben FitzGerald, Peter L. Levin, and Jacqueline Parziale.

The report details several use cases of Open Source Software in the DoD, and reflects on the advantages and critiques of using Open Source Software in such an environment. With more commercial and government software stacks incorporating open source components, and DARPA's continuing Open Catalog project, these topics are important to consider for any software development.

Read the report here: https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/open-source-software-and-the-department-of-defense

Giant Oak's founder Gary Shiffman was quoted in this morning's New York Times discussing credit card fraud and the Brooklyn rap scene

The recent arrest of several members of the rap group 'Pop Out Boyz' has shed light on the prevalence of credit card theft taking place over the internet. In the group's song 'For a Scammer,' the rappers boast “I’m cracking cards ’cause I’m a scammer." In response, Dr. Shiffman states, "You don’t need to be a criminal mastermind to pull this off; it’s not that hard to get the numbers."

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/…/rappers-based-lyrics-on-their-cred…

   
  
 
  
    
  
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   Members of the Brooklyn Rap group Pop Out Boyz and their associates were arrested on charges of grand larceny on April, 26th. -Alec Tabak

Members of the Brooklyn Rap group Pop Out Boyz and their associates were arrested on charges of grand larceny on April, 26th. -Alec Tabak

GIANT OAK PRESENTS AT HUMAN LANGUAGE TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE MARCH 31, 2016

This past Thursday, March 31st 2016, Giant Oak’s President and CEO, Dr. Gary Shiffman, and Dr. Sherry Forbes, a social scientist at Giant Oak, presented at this year’s Human Language Technology Conference (#HLTCon) at the Ritz Carlton in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. As a whole, this year’s HLTC used the context of the current refugee crisis as a platform for discussing big data analytic solutions to important world problems. For more information on HLTC, visit: http://www.hltcon.org/

 Dr. Shiffman and Dr. Forbes contributed to the conversation with their presentation, discussing how Giant Oak has used Natural Language Processing (NLP) to help our work combating human trafficking, and in countering the trade in endangered species domestically and abroad. For more information, see the HLTC website, search the hashtag on Twitter or contact us directly. 

Photo credit: Carl Hoffman (@cwh02139) pic.twitter.com/rLN0BQWGLV

GIANT OAK'S JACOB SHAPIRO WITH ELI BERMAN IN POLITICO MAGAZINE, ON WHY ISIS WILL FAIL ON ITS OWN

December 29, 2015

In the accelerating public discussion of ISIL, it’s easy to become focused on what we don’t know: its elusive leader, its shadowy connections abroad, the gruesome propaganda emanating from somewhere on the Internet. Much about the group suggests a mysterious terrorist entity with an apocalyptic ideology that aspires to strike everywhere, including here in America. Reporting on ISIL is extremely inconsistent, its leaders rarely appear in public and its extensive social media machine makes it hard to tell its propaganda from fact.

MORE - http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/11/why-isil-will-fail-on-its-own-213401#ixzz3tB9XUr00

GIANT OAK'S JACOB SHAPIRO WITH STEPHEN BIDDLE ON THE WASHINGTON POST'S MONKEY CAGE, DISCUSS HOW TO CONTAIN ISIS

Critics have long called the U.S.’s Syria policy feckless. But the Paris attacks brought this to a head, with renewed calls for escalation to end the Islamic State’s threat and prevent another Paris.


But the critics’ policies won’t end the threat either. More than a decade of continuous warfare against militants in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere have taught us a great deal about what works, what doesn’t, and why. And that experience suggests that to defeat the Islamic State — defined as eliminating its ability to carry out Paris-style terrorism — would require a vastly greater effort than almost anyone now proposes, and a vastly greater effort than the American public is likely to support.
U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles taxi the runway after landing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Nov. 12, 2015. Six F-15Es are deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and counter-Islamic State missions in Iraq and Syria. (USAF/Tech. Sgt. Taylor Worley/Handout via Reuters)
MORE - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/12/01/heres-why-we-can-only-contain-the-islamic-state-not-bomb-it-back-to-the-stone-age/ 

GIANT OAK'S JACOB SHAPIRO ON NPR'S ONPOINT WITH TOM ASHBROOK, ON THE STRUCTURE OF ISIS’S ECONOMY

ISIS, Inc. The terrorist organization is raking in billions –from oil, grain, antiquities, and taxes. We look at how to break the ISIS bank. Plus, Turkey downs a Russian plane. We’ll have the latest.

This photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 shows fuel tanks hit during the attack of Russian warplanes in Syria. Russian warplanes on Monday attacked oil extraction, transport and refinement facilities in areas controlled by Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

MORE: http://onpoint.wbur.org/2015/11/24/isis-economy-finances-oil