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How Can Financial Institutions Safeguard Themselves Against Deepfakes?

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Within seconds, you can glimpse your future self or merge your image with a celebrity using deepfake technology. However, this innovation has raised concerns about potential misuse, from draining savings to committing fraud. As deepfake creation becomes more accessible, the threat of cybercrimes looms larger.

A deepfake, formed through deep learning techniques, distorts or synthesizes videos, visuals, or audio recordings to make individuals appear to say or do things they haven’t. These manipulated media often facilitate digital injection attacks, and sophisticated cyberattacks bypassing device cameras or injected into data streams.


Murray Collyer, COO of iiDENTIFii, emphasizes that digital injection attacks pose a significant risk to financial services. Attackers leverage affordable AI technology, launching numerous scalable attacks. The surge in digital banking adoption by South Africans amplifies the deepfake threat.

Recent research by Discovery Bank and Boston Consulting Group reveals that 86% of South Africans are ready for all-digital banking, propelled by the unbanked population and expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As digital accounts surge, financial and cyber crime intertwine. Interpol notes their status as a leading crime threat, projected to increase.

Collyer emphasizes the need for robust technology to thwart cybercriminals. Liveness checks, integrating blink and wink actions, verify customers in many face biometric systems. This approach detects real humans versus presented artifacts, aiding in deepfake detection.

While liveness checks expose physical fraud, not all detect digital injection attacks. Collyer underlines the necessity for specialized technology.

In iiDENTIFii, 4D liveness technology with a timestamp and multi-step verification offers success. Combining user selfies and ID data with government databases ensures accurate authentication.

Collyer joins the speaker panel at the 8th AML, Financial Crime Southern Africa Conference, addressing deepfake financial crime concerns alongside industry representatives.

Collyer concludes that the right technology can protect against deepfake financial crimes while ensuring a user-friendly and secure experience.

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