Kyriba and the Association of Corporate Treasurers just released our third annual treasury survey. One of the more alarming findings to come from the survey is the high rate of financial fraud perpetrated on businesses, coupled with fraud still not registering high on many treasurers’ lists of risks.
Don’t think you should be concerned? Consider this: according to the survey, 53% of treasurers report that their company has been the victim of a fraud attempt, and 27% have suffered losses as a result of an attempt. What this means is that if someone has targeted you, there’s a 50/50 chance that they will be successful. Any security professional will tell you that that kind of ratio is far beyond what’s viewed as acceptable.
The common perception of the perpetrator of financial – often computer-based – fraud is that of a shadowy hacker located in some distant country, executing a complex spear-phishing scam. However, the biggest threat to most businesses is a lot closer to home. The research showed that the internal fraud is a significantly bigger threat, both in terms of the number of attempts – internal fraud is almost 50% more common than external fraud – and also in the impact of these schemes. The median loss for reported internal fraud is almost four times that of external fraud, suggesting that those who perpetrate it are either more brazen, or able to conceal their efforts for longer (or, more likely, both of these).
This data doesn’t necessarily mean that treasurers are up all night worrying about fraud. Just one in nine perceive fraud to be one of their three most pressing risk factors. On top of this, only 6% have a negative view of their team’s ability to combat financial fraud, with merely 1% saying that their team is very poor in its approach to fraud prevention (remember that 27% of companies have been defrauded!).
Kyriba / Association of Corporate Treasurers 2015 Treasury Survey