We have all seen the figures placed on the cost of fraud and cyberattacks to businesses and the economy with the projected costs to reach $2 trillion by 2019.1 Less sensational than its financial implications, though, but far more disruptive, are the reputational damage and the business impact that arise in the aftermath of successful attacks.
Protecting against the threats and attacks that fraud and cybersecurity pose is an ever-increasing concern for businesses today. For many, it has become imperative to safeguard their organisations from such dangers, especially considering that threats and attacks are continuing unabated as the methods of fraudsters and attackers evolve and change to reach their ends.
Available data indicates that instances of fraud and cybersecurity attacks are increasing not just in frequency but in severity and impact. Companies that fail to ensure that their employees are fully trained to recognise and tack action against this using adequate security processes, procedures and protocols, therefore, not only face a greater risk of financial loss, which includes loss of assets, but a greater risk of reputational damage and business disruption, which includes negative publicity.
How has the fraud landscape changed?
Fraud and cybersecurity threats continue to evolve as better organised and more sophisticated attackers have emerged. As illustrated in diagram 1, fraudsters and cyber attackers have become much more sophisticated in recent years. There has been a noticeable shift in the profile of those behind attacks.
In the past, attackers were primarily individuals operating on an opportunistic, casual or ad hoc basis, largely driven by the desire to prove that they could successfully carry out a fraud attack.
Acting alone or in collusion to commit internal or external fraud, fraudsters increasingly perpetrate acts that are focused on disruption and destruction.