Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

05:30 PM

Focus Needed To Stem Increase In Insider Fraud

Latest global fraud report shows an overall decrease in fraud, but an increase in insider fraud; companies that take security measures fare best

Tough economic times can make employees commit fraud not only against their employers, but on behalf of their employers. A disgruntled worker, for example, might steal intellectual property for his own gain, but an employee could also bribe an official to win a contract for the company.

Yet increasingly the key component of fraud incidents is the insider, whether inadvertently or by choice. Overall fraud -- which includes not only stealing intellectual property theft and corporate data, but also corruption and bribery -- declined in the past year, but insider fraud increased as a proportion of all fraud, according to the Global Fraud Report, published by risk services firm Kroll. In 2011, 60 percent of all fraud incidents involved an insider, an increase from 55 percent the previous year.

"The fact that fraud attributed to insiders is on the rise is a reflection of an increasingly information-based economy," says Richard Plansky, a senior managing director in Kroll’s business intelligence and investigations practice.

Those numbers might be on the low side because the data is only for fraud where the perpetrator is known, according to Plansky, who believes that insiders are more able to elude an investigation.

Overall, the fraud picture is a complicated mosaic. The incidence of fraud decreased, with 75 percent of all surveyed companies admitting an incident in 2011, down from 88 percent in 2010. Yet more companies acknowledged concerns about fraud than the previous year, and those that did not invest in anti-fraud measures more often felt the pain of an expensive incident: Among companies that lost more than 10 percent of revenues to information-based fraud, only 42 percent had anti-fraud measures in place, while two-thirds of the surveyed companies had implemented countermeasures for information fraud.

"If you are the CIO of a company, the main takeaway is that anti-fraud measures pay," Plansky says.

Establishing good policies and reducing the complexity of a company's information infrastructure are two key measures that companies can take, according to the report. About 43 percent of all companies surveyed pinpointed IT complexity as the main reason their systems were still vulnerable.

Clients have argued just that point, says Guy Churchward, CEO of log management firm LogLogic. Most breaches and failures in security can be traced back to policies that were not followed, he says.

"These massive organizations create policies, lock down their systems, and then one person, by accident, leaves the latch open," Churchward says.

In addition to reducing complexity, monitoring and logging are key technologies for reducing fraud. Kroll also recommends that companies collect intelligence -- including background checks -- that could indicate when an insider might be likely to commit fraud. Finally, when an investigation is warranted, companies should be discrete and lock down evidence.

A key to investigating is to collect the data and organize it beforehand, says LogLogic's Churchward. By centralizing the massive amounts of data on employee behavior, companies can be ready to dig into the information for answers when an insider incident occurs, he says.

"You can take forensics analysis from a matter of days to a matter of minutes just by taking everything and putting it in a centralized store," he says.

By organizing the information needed to analyze an incident, IT teams can respond much more quickly when an incident happens.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.


Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/6/2020
Ripple20 Threatens Increasingly Connected Medical Devices
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/30/2020
DDoS Attacks Jump 542% from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020
Dark Reading Staff 6/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-06
The parse_report() function in whoopsie.c in Whoopsie through 0.2.69 mishandles memory allocation failures, which allows an attacker to cause a denial of service via a malformed crash file.
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-06
PlayerGeneric.cpp in MilkyTracker through 1.02.00 has a use-after-free in the PlayerGeneric destructor.
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-06
It's possible to inject JavaScript code via the html method.
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-06
It's possible to use <<script>script> in order to go over the filtering regex.
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-06
An issue was discovered in Roundcube Webmail before 1.2.11, 1.3.x before 1.3.14, and 1.4.x before 1.4.7. It allows XSS via a crafted HTML e-mail message, as demonstrated by a JavaScript payload in the xmlns (aka XML namespace) attribute of a HEAD element when an SVG element exists.