Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Employee access to social media poses biggest internal security threat to organisations, new research reveals

Employee access to social media (43%) and bring your device to work (35%) are considered to be the biggest obstacles to preventing security breaches and fraud according to fraud prevention managers and directors.

The biggest fraud prevention priority for the majority of organisations is creating a fraud aware culture (86%). Yet, this is also considered the hardest priority to address (18%).

The survey of more than 200 fraud prevention managers and directors was commissioned by Callcredit Information Group and found that a staggering 56% of UK organisations have already been affected by fraud.

Other findings from the research, and trends identified, included:

  • Current vs future trends - Organisations see the greatest current security threat as “organised cybercrime” (75%), yet only 26% think this will continue being a threat in two-three years’ time. Instead, over this period, “denial of access” is expected to become the greatest security threat (55%).
  • The Brexit impact - More than a quarter (28%) believe that Brexit will lead to an increase in the risk of fraud. Reasons for this perceived increased threat were reported to be “reduced information sharing” (50%) and “increased trade with non EU countries” (46%). The research, one of the first surveys of fraud and risk professionals since the EU referendum, also revealed that almost half (41%) expect to increase their anti-fraud expenditure following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
  • Rise of biometrics – Biometrics is identified as the biggest priority for organisations as they look to prevent fraud, with 53% expecting to significantly increase their investment in biometric technologies. Consumers should expect to see an increase in other identity verification techniques such as artificial intelligence systems (24%) and voice recognition systems (23%) within the next three years.

John Cannon, director, fraud & ID, Callcredit Information Group commented: “As fraud in our society grows, and as geographically mobile individuals increasingly need to establish their digital identity, so the pressure on fraud and risk professionals to protect their organisations and consumers mounts. Our research reveals that more than half of organisations have been affected by fraud, demonstrating that fraud prevention is one of the biggest risk concerns facing global boardrooms.”

Cannon concluded: “Whilst fraud professionals might be confident in their abilities to prevent and deal with a potential breach, our research suggests that employees need much more education on the risks. Explaining the threats, giving them suggestions on how to protect themselves and informing them about ways to spot a breach could be instrumental in protecting a company from cybercrime. Organisations are only as strong as their weakest link, and the entire workforce needs to understand what the cyber vulnerabilities are in order to prevent them.”

The research report will be launched today at Callcredit’s 10th annual Fraud Summit. The event will bring together industry leaders including Sir John Scarlett KCMG OBE, Former Chief of the British Secret Intelligence and Sandra Peaston, Assistant Director at Insight Cifas UK, to debate the industry’s hot topics such as the future of digital identity, cyber security, biometrics and the personal information economy.