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Niger Little-Poole, Director of Engineering at Sigma Ratings, delves into the thorny problem of financial security and explains how his company is working to deliver technology-based solutions to assess risk.

Sigma Ratings is an international compliance and regulatory risk rating agency in New York City, New York whose focus is on the design and architecture of a powerful AI-based rating platform. Their mission is to properly assess risk utilizing domain expertise and computer science, to rate and generate risk evaluations and scores for thousands of companies across the globe.

As our global economy has brought many financial companies and banks together for trading and services, security and trust are more important than ever. Niger Little-Poole explains how Sigma Ratings’ software allows financial entities to get a better understanding of who they are working with and partnering within the business. With financial crimes, money laundering, and fraud, etc. on the rise, Sigma Ratings’ proprietary software provides some comfort in turbulent times. And beyond searching for links to general crimes and infractions, Sigma Ratings’ software can also detect links a bank may have to potentially nefarious groups or individuals, from oligarchs on a US government watch list to terrorists.

Little-Poole states that Sigma also seeks to provide full transparency on banks, and eventually financial companies, by exposing who they are actually owned by, in cases where shell companies or holding companies may be the true owners. As connections are important, it is critical to know who or what owns a bank or company to ensure that all entities in the chain are reputable and operating legally.

The director of engineering provides an overview of basic AML (anti-money laundering) and KYC (know your customer) initiatives in regard to compliance and regulation. Little-Poole states that regulations and protocols may be in place in 80% of a particular country’s financial institutions while another country may have only 5% of their institutions under similar scrutiny.

Little-Poole discusses the complex issue of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity, simply defined, is the protection of computer systems and related hardware, software and electronic data from potential damage, corruption, misdirection of services, or theft. Little-Poole explains how hackers can utilize their hack to infiltrate a bank’s system, offering the hackers a direct access line to pull money from accounts and then push it through other banking institutions and illegally launder it.

As financial crimes are rampant, the Sigma Ratings’ director states that the solution must be technology-based, structured with machine learning, otherwise many financial crimes will continue to thrive, unseen by the watchful eye of regulators.

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