“I think [the Illinois Department of Employment Security] is fighting for the right reason, I think they want to provide great service, and they have a huge passion to help.
“I don’t think they understand that the threat vector has changed so significantly.”
“What happened because of the pandemic is that the fraudster now realizes that government is a much easier brand than the private sector, and when you are a fraudster you care about two things.”
“The first is, ‘Can I eliminate the fraud? “Can I access the funds and will I be able to get the money?” The second is, “Am I going to get caught?” “”
“And unequivocally, you won’t get caught.”
“So far Illinois has lost at least $ 1 billion to fraud. Regardless of how you feel, politically, Democrat, or Republican, the money you lose could meet whatever social program need you would want for your population.
“The technology they are using now is inherited. They are not in the cloud and they have to rebuild an eligibility determination system using modern cloud technology. No more mainframes. No more servers. Do what all the private companies across the country have done and migrate to this type of platform. It’s going to take about three years, but they have to do it.
“You know you look in the deep web and the dark web and some of these other places, and that tells you how to steal IDES. There is no shame with these criminals. These criminals, 70% of whom are transnational, will do anything to get that money and they know they won’t get caught.
“What you unfortunately need to do is verify people every time they come in. For example, when you have a bank account and want to check the balance but you’re not on your iPhone or other personal device, you get a note back. saying we don’t recognize this device. We just sent two-factor authentication, please enter the number when you get it.
“States that use these solutions see a significant reduction in fraud. Fraud never goes to zero, but it certainly shouldn’t be 25%, 35%, or 40% using these best business practices. And it’s like a million dollars. Cheap.”
“I have often been asked this question, ‘Who do you trust most to manage your money: the government or the private sector? I always say the private sector, because there is a lot more incentive to make sure that is fair. People lose their jobs, market caps are destroyed, businesses go bankrupt. The government can continue to print more money.
“And a private sector company can’t lose that kind of money without losing customers. Instead of working with Bank of America, you can just move to Wells Fargo. Well, what’s your alternative when it’s the state of Illinois? I have to move to a different state.
“I listened to the state’s CIO explain that Illinois has 200 business systems that all need to be updated. None of them are in the cloud, agencies only work at 75% of [staff] capacity and it took 67 days to get someone on board. Oh and the highest salary they could pay for competitive talent is $ 120,000.
“They’re just completely uncompetitive. It must be centralized; he must be a responsible person. You can’t let 200 different agencies do 200 different things, that would be a disaster.
“It takes leadership; it needs the leadership of a governor. He needs the leadership of the White House to solve this problem.
“I really like the government. I come from a family of public servants and I understand their pain at this time. But they try to put a screw with a Phillips, when they need a flat. It just won’t do it.
“This is not a victimless crime. People whose identities have been hijacked have probably spent 50 to 60 hours of their lives processing police reports, talking to credit bureaus to freeze their credit, and then working with various tax departments like the IRS in the state of Illinois to let them know that it was not them who claimed these benefits. A lot of people are busy, they just don’t have that time.
“And the [national] losses due to fraud range from $ 250 billion to $ 400 billion in the unemployment insurance program.
“You could have given every person, every human being in the United States of America, $ 8,000. You could have given to everyone who was on the poverty line and below $ 160,000. This is the amount of money that was spent at the same time because they were attacking the system, attacking legitimate people.
“When I was in this audience [the Illinois House Committee on Cybersecurity] wanted a five year plan to solve this problem. They need a five week plan.
CEO, LexisNexis Special Services and LexisNexis Risk Solutions Government