2017 Analytics 50 Honorees

Western Union

Erik Miller, Senior Systems Engineer, Cyber Security Analytics
Western Union
Industry: Financial Services

Business Challenge

Western Union needed to generate a risk profile for every agent location (500,000+) across 200 countries, examining security measures put in place on the agents’ POS systems to understand where to expand deployment measures to mitigate risk. Producing these profiles was taking the Cyber Security Analytics team 100 hours per month—requiring 36 input files from six sources (Netezza, Business Objects, fraud analytics system, credit and risk reporting, transaction pattern systems and global agent listings).

Analytics Solution

The team is now using advanced analytics to improve both security management and risk mitigation for the organizations network and data. By switching to Alteryx for data blending and analytics in 2015, the 100-hour process was replaced with an automated workflow, which took 2.5 hours to build and could process in 5.5 hours. This Alteryx workflow is output to Tableau for data visualization and easy consumption by executive and operational teams. The business results have been significant: enhanced visibility for the operations teams into the security options deployed to various countries and agents around the world, increased understanding of global fraud trends, and identification of the security options with the greatest impact on fraud.

Impact

The original ROI of 100 saved hours per month has now turned into 250 hours per month by expanding across other cyber security projects. Success in the pilot project led to the team’s expansion into behavior analysis using Alteryx, which has enabled, for example, the ability to compare risk behaviors in such areas as social networking use and file uploads as a source for viruses/malware. This has provided the critical insights needed to change policies and culture to curb cyber risk.