Fraud prevention is an important component on any modern-day business operations. Organisations and companies around the world are digitalising at a rapid rate and shifting to online platforms for their communications, accounting, payments and more. The reality is that moving operations onto the cloud will help productivity, but it also puts you at more risk for financial and cyber fraud.
The best way to minimise your organisation’s exposure to and risk of fraud is to promote a strong antifraud culture in all business operations, management and communications. Antifraud culture is a combination of antivirus and antimalware protections, safe online practices and human input. It takes time and resources to create a robust fraud prevention culture in the workplace, but it is worth the effort.
Building a Strong Antifraud Culture in Your Organisation
The first step in developing a strong counter-fraud culture in your organisation is understanding that fraud impacts all entities, not all fraud can be prevented and fraud can happen anytime and anywhere. Cyber fraud is most dangerous when it occurs without detection, every fraud prevention specialist knows that the perceived absence of fraud, does not mean fraud is not happening.
The sooner fraud in your company is detected, the less damage that criminal can cause and the better your fraud prevention techniques will be for the next cyberattack. Fostering an antifraud culture will require some technological and digital tools, but even more important will be the organisational culture you develop and cybersecurity practices you teach.
A code of conduct, safe business practices and secure online activity should all be established and clear. Your employees should be conscientious members of your company and informed Internet users, that will keep your financial, personal and business information safe from fraudsters. Not to mention, their ethics and integrity will be important for creating a strong antifraud workplace culture.
In addition to the human capacity for fraud prevention through the way we interact online and conduct our business, we can do more by including other cybersecurity measures and fraud prevention techniques. Antimalware and antivirus software will help your organisation utilise the incredible digital and online advancements of recent years, without compromising your financial and personal security.
Implementing These Antifraud Culture Changes
The first step in implementing these culture changes across your organisation is determining what your current fraud risk is and what fraud prevention measures should be put in place. There is no one-size-fits-all cybersecurity solution that will protect every company from online fraud. You need to understand what makes your company more susceptible to fraud risks and what changes will strengthen your cybersecurity.
Even with custom approaches designed by online security professionals for your company, research has shown that they will not work if there is poor communication or no organisational culture changes. Your entire staff needs to be aware of their role in fraud prevention. If you have a group of tech-savvy and informed employees, with training in online security measures, you will already be a step ahead of online fraudsters.
Your entity may not require the same level of fraud prevention techniques as another company. Each organisation will be at different stages of their digitalisation, online business and counter-fraud awareness. Human resources and digital resources need to be invested into your antifraud culture. Hiring a professional security firm to assess your company’s exposure to fraud risks and what steps can be taken to make your business operations safer is critical.
5 Stages of Fraud Prevention
Stage 1 – Interested
Your organisation will focus on raising awareness of cybersecurity measures and online fraud risks. You are beginning to shift the corporate culture towards safe online practices and employees are beginning to understand why countering fraud is important for organisational success.
Stage 2 – Invested
You have moved on from sharing basic information and promoting the idea of cybersecurity. Your company is now looking to invest some resources into antivirus and antimalware technology, new and secure online platforms and more projects focused on companywide antifraud awareness.
Stage 3 – Committed
Your organisation is committed to developing a strong culture of fraud prevention and cybersecurity awareness. You have invested the needed resources into digital tools and software that help keep all of your business operations safe, while inspiring a companywide antifraud culture change.
Stage 4 – Engaged
At this point, your organisation is fully committed to the company’s online security. There are training programmes for employees, secure online platforms and dedicated teams of inhouse (or contracted) cybersecurity experts focusing on fraud prevention. Every employee is on board and always prioritises fraud prevention in their work.
Stage 5 – Embedded
These are larger organisations, such as multinational corporations and government entities, that require dedicated cybersecurity teams and a robust network of antifraud processes, tools, software and techniques. Their size, importance and level of exposure means that they are at greater risk for more consequential financial, organisational or personal online fraud.
Committing To a Culture of Counter Fraud
Any organisation, public or private, large or small, needs to consider their level of exposure to various cybersecurity risks and determine if their current antifraud measures are sufficient. In the modern day – especially with the massive growth in online activity during the pandemic – it is more important than ever to commit to an organisational culture of fraud prevention and secure digital business operations.
At MarisIT, we are committed to protecting South Africans businesses and organisations from the growing threat of cyber fraud. We offer a range of products and services designed to mitigate cybersecurity risks and keep your online presence safe and secure. If you want to build a strong antifraud culture in your company, contact MarisIT today.