Every year, businesses lose around 5% of annual revenues to fraud. This is an issue that continues to grow in importance as the risks multiply. For many organisations, it’s insiders who can pose some of the biggest issues when it comes to fraud – in fact almost three quarters of companies have found themselves a victim of fraud that was insider-led. So, what are the most significant threats when it comes to insider fraud and how can you protect your organisation?
Fraud – the key threats
Issues at work
Job dissatisfaction has been identified as one of the major reasons that may motivate organisation insiders to commit fraud. If employees don’t feel like they are being treated well or adequately rewarded, for example, some may feel that committing fraud against the business is entirely justified.
Individuals who are going through their own personal financial problems are the most likely to commit insider fraud, according to industry research. Those who are living beyond their means are a big risk group, as are employees with financial difficulties stemming from something like addiction or relationship problems.
Unfortunately, many organisations are still not fully aware of the threats that fraud presents and this means there are lots of opportunities for those looking to commit it. From unlocked recycling bins from which documents and data can simply be removed, to unmonitored corporate credit cards and theft of business devices, there are many ways in which insiders can take advantage of organisations that are unprepared.
How your organisation can prevent fraud
There are a number of ways that organisations can prevent fraud, with minimal effort, but maximum effectiveness. Just a few of these are:
Monitor and audit
Make sure there are systems in place to regularly check, monitor and audit processes to look out for anomalies that could indicate fraudulent behaviour.
Create a positive business culture
Look for ways to ensure employees are engaged with the business and invested in its success. If they feel happy and valued, staff are far less likely to commit fraud, no matter what their individual circumstances.
Be clear that fraud isn’t tolerated
Create unambiguous fraud policies, write guidelines into staff handbooks and contracts and ensure that you are clear and consistent about where the boundaries lie for staff – and what the consequences are for anyone who crosses them.
Turn your workforce into an alert force
Train staff and management to look out for the signs of fraud and provide an easy way for anyone to notify of potentially fraudulent behaviour.
Be vigilant with technology
Make sure that company computers and devices are being properly used and returned when no longer required.
Create data monitoring systems
Make sure you have a comprehensive document management system in place and an infrastructure to handle the disposal of files and papers. For example, use a trusted shredding service to ensure destruction of documents containing business or personal data and ensure that papers are kept in lockable bins before being collected.
On-site shredding has a crucial role to play in helping to avoid opportunistic insider fraud, no matter what your business or industry.