The Top 3 Fraud Trends to Prepare for in 2016

2016 Fraud Trends

As mentioned in a previous post, I’m working towards my Certified Fraud Examiner credential. In doing so, I’ve immersed myself in all things related to fraud, including podcasts from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

In the latest podcast, John Gill, ACFE VP of Education, talks about the three top fraud trends that he predicts for 2016 and his tips for dealing with them. Here’s a summary, and – spoiler alert – they’re all related to information security:

Trend 1 – Increased focus on cybersecurity and how it affects companies

Gill emphasized that this is an issue that affects all companies, no matter their size, industry, or structure. All companies collect and store confidential information, and technology facilitates fraud. Thieves no longer have to physically carry an asset from the premises. Just a few clicks, and there it goes.

As a result, companies need to rethink information security and incorporate a multi-layer approach. For example, if someone does break in, adding encryption makes it that much more difficult to access. But first companies need to take a close look at what information they’re collecting and why they’re collecting it. Do you really need it? Fraudsters can’t steal what you don’t have, Gill points out.

Trend 2 – Continued emphasis on taking responsibility for our personal information

If you haven’t been the victim of hacking or identity theft, it’s just a matter of time, so take a proactive approach. Monitor accounts and transactions, use a credit monitoring service, and think before signing up for anything. Do you really need those coupons in light of the risks?

Trend 3 – Companies will be challenged take a hard look at what information they’re storing and who has access to it.

With cheap information storage we tend to hold onto anything and everything and never purge. Gill encourages all types of companies to consider their information assets such as customer history, plans, presentations, etc. How are they stored and for how long? Are deleted files really gone, or are they still floating around on one of your servers? He also recommends training employees about fraud risks and prevention, since they can be your 1) first line of defense or 2) biggest weakness.

Check out this and other FraudTalk podcasts from the ACFE. They’re short and packed with actionable info.

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