January 6, 2011, 1:10 PM

GoPro.com cuts fraud out of the equation

The retailer of wearable high-definition cameras says it stays one step ahead of criminals.

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GoPro may be accustomed to high-risk behaviors but it doesn’t want to risk being a fraud victim. The retailer of mountable and wearable high-definition cameras designed for use during extreme sports—think helmet-mounted cameras for skydiving and dirt biking—says it stays one step ahead of online fraud by employing a software-as-a-service program.

Even though the e-retailer did not face a major problem with fraud, it implemented ThreatMetrix’s Fraud Network program last spring to keep in front of what might come, says Stephen Baumer, vice president of technology. He describes GoPro's previous fraud detection process as rudimentary and would no longer work with a new e-commerce platform the company began using last year. What appealed to GoPro about ThreatMetrix’s service was that it integrated into the e-retailer’s new e-commerce management system and comes as a software-as-a-service program. That meant the small company wouldn’t have to invest much in IT resources to make it work. Software as a service means the vendor hosts the software and retailer clients access it via the Internet.

“The bottom line is that I don’t want to wrap our business processes around a piece of technology,” he says. “I want whatever technologies we source to fit within our existing processes.”

ThreatMetrix uses data mined from web site visitors’ computers and matches that data against a collection of data from other sources. It then assigns a score that tells GoPro where the computer or IP address falls on a predetermined threat scale. For example, if a visitor is a returning customer and the system detects no previous fraudulent or suspect behavior, the visitor is assigned a good score. If a new site visitor comes to the site from an IP address identified as a source of fraudulent behavior, the visitor gets a bad score.

Baumer checks the fraud threat scores ThreatMetrix assigns to transactions daily and he can tweak them based on the threats that are particular to the area of the electronics industry that GoPro operates within. He says ThreatMetrix has helped him set up the fraud triggers and scoring that is specific to GoPro. "Our own fraud scoring policies mean we can automate the vast majority of our sales order approval workflow," Baumer says. 

“I know that there is fraud out there that we haven’t experienced yet and with this service we are able to stay ahead of it,” he says.

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