The Annual Global Fraud Survey, commissioned by Kroll Advisory Solutions, showed that the amount of fraud had decreased globally in 2012, but it is still a major concern for companies. The yearly report surveys businesses across a variety of industries and sectors, and around the world, to create a thorough picture of the state of fraud.
The key findings showed that vigilance against fraud is still necessary. While the prevalence and cost of fraud had dropped compared to 2011’s figures, more than 60% of companies reported that they had suffered fraud at least once during 2012. Although this represents a decrease — 75% of companies reported fraud in 2011 — it is still a significant problem to be addressed.
Among the concerns raised in the report are the decline in the sense among companies that they could be the victims of fraud. While companies report less fear of fraud, they have not taken any steps to prevent fraud. The worry is that this will lead to a rebound in the amount of fraud, and that the damage could be significant.
The rise in employee fraud was also reflected in the results. Of those companies that were victims of fraud in 2012, 67% reported that it was perpetrated by somebody in house. This was an increase over the percentage who were victims of in-house fraud in 2011. More and more, those committing the fraud are doing it alone or with other insiders, rather than a team of in-house and out-of-house culprits.
Another finding of the report was that information theft continues to be a main concern for businesses. Although the percentage of companies affected by information theft declined, it declined by less than other forms of fraud. The report also highlighted that information theft comes in a variety of forms, and that protection against it must also be multi-faceted, too.
The conclusion of the report was clear: complacency in the face of fraud is the biggest danger. Companies are warned to remain vigilant against fraud in all its forms.
One way that companies can step up their work against falling victim to fraud is to properly dispose of confidential documents and data. This can include regular use of a secure shredding service, which keeps confidential data from gathering in the office. Another step that can be taken is properly destroying computers. Rather than simply deleting files, it is necessary to physically destroy the data storage devices to fully protect a company and its customers.
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