Fraud Overtaking Physical Theft as Number One Threat to Global Businesses

The Kroll Annual Global Fraud Report revealed some troubling new statistics. New statistics like 88% of all companies reported being victims of at least one type of fraud in 2009.

Robert Brenner, vice president of Kroll's America's regions said, "Theft of confidential information is on the rise because data is increasingly portable and perpetrators - often departing or disgruntled employees - can remove it with ease absent sufficient controls. At the same time, there is a growing awareness among theives of the increasing intrinsic value of an organization's intellectual property. The results of the survey do not suggest other types of fraud are decreasing but merely that the rise in theft of intellectual capital has outstripped other fraudulant activity that has remained constant. Companies need to regularly evaluate how they are controlling access to information within their organization to ensure they are keeping pace with technological advancement and the imperative for collaboration in the workplace."

Theft of information and electronic data in companies across the country has now overtaken physical theft for the first time. Money lost to fraud was reported from 1.4m to 1.7m per billion dollars of sales in the last 12 months - increasing by more than 20%. Theft of information and assets was reported by 27% of companies up 18%.

Information-based industries reported the highest incidence of theft of information and electronic data. These industries include financial services (up 18%), professional services (up 13%), and technology, media, and telecoms (up 8%).

Fraud is usually an inside job - those companies affect by fraud over the past year, junior employees and senior management were most likely to commit fraud.