Cybercrime now leads the way in global financial fraud, finds reportVish Gainon April 28, 2022 at 08:26 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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Nearly half the companies surveyed in a global report on financial crime were found to have been victims of some form of fraud in the last two years, with a substantial increase in cybercrime in Ireland.

The findings have been published today (28 April) in PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2022.

Of the companies that reported experiencing financial crime in the last 24 months, 70pc said they were victims of fraud because of Covid-19 disruptions.

The survey, which included 1,296 small and large businesses across 53 countries, found cybercrime to be the leading overall cause of fraud in the world, speeding ahead of customer fraud which previously held the top position.

Large companies with revenues exceeding $10bn were more vulnerable to crimes (52pc) and nearly one in five of them reported that their most disruptive incident had a financial impact of more than $50m.

For smaller companies, the percentage impacted was lower (38pc) – with one in four reporting total impact exceeding $1m.

Ireland on ‘high alert’ for cybercrime

Pat Moran, cybersecurity and digital forensics leader at PwC Ireland, thinks that ongoing environmental, geopolitical and financial instability is “creating a risk landscape that is more volatile than ever”, one that is being exploited by bad actors from external fraudster groups.

“Organisations need to be more agile than ever to respond to these converging threats and adopt new approaches and technologies to predict and prevent fraud,” he said.

Even though there wasn’t enough data on Ireland to specifically extract from the report, PwC Ireland confirmed that the country has seen increased levels of cybercrime since the onset of the pandemic, particularly phishing and ransomware attacks.

Moran said this trend could be partially attributed to an increase in remote working as well as higher levels of sophistication seen among cyber-criminal groups.

“We continue to be a target for cyber criminals due to our large concentration of foreign direct investment. Although the government has recently strengthened our national defences, we continue to be on high alert.”

While cybercrime and customer fraud were the leading types of crime, other emerging areas, such as digital platform fraud or ESG reporting fraud, were also reported to be on the rise.

Deirdre McGrath, a partner at PwC Ireland’s forensics and transaction services, said that companies need to start thinking more creatively in the face of growing external fraud to protect themselves.

“Understanding the end-to-end lifecycle of customer-facing products, striking the proper balance between user experience and fraud controls, and having a holistic view of data will help arm businesses in the never-ending fight against fraud,” she said.

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