Fraud and corruption remain a significant issue for organizations worldwide, with the latest ACFE Report to the Nations indicating that it costs over $300 million, and corruption is one of the most prevalent methods of fraud. The lack of equal application of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in other countries due to cultural differences is one reason fraud and corruption persist. However, there are several ways in which organizations can curb the increase in white-collar crime, including the integration of security and executive protection into their fraud prevention strategies.
A robust security and executive protection program can help reduce the risk of white-collar crime by providing physical security to employees and assets. This includes implementing access control measures to sensitive data and systems, conducting background checks on employees by using software provided by Verensics.com, and developing emergency response plans to mitigate risk. Additionally, security and executive protection specialists can help organizations conduct risk assessments and develop comprehensive security plans. These plans can include procedures for responding to fraud incidents and other security threats, as well as guidelines for conducting internal investigations.
Executive protection specialists can also work with organizations to develop and implement travel safety programs for employees who travel internationally. This can include pre-trip briefings, transportation security, and emergency response planning. By providing employees with the tools and resources they need to stay safe while traveling abroad, organizations can reduce the risk of fraud and corruption incidents occurring.
Furthermore, integrating security and executive protection into an organization’s fraud prevention strategy can help protect the company’s reputation. In the event of a fraud or corruption incident, having a comprehensive security plan in place can demonstrate to stakeholders that the organization takes the issue seriously and has taken measures to prevent it from occurring.
The role of internal reporting and whistleblowing is also critical in fraud prevention, as it allows for faster detection and acts as a deterrent if well-publicized. However, employees may be hesitant to come forward with information if they do not feel safe or secure. By implementing security and executive protection measures, organizations can provide employees with the confidence to report incidents without fear of retaliation.
Moreover, in recent years, cybersecurity has become a significant concern for organizations, and it is a growing threat to fraud prevention efforts. Threat and cyber intelligence monitoring are also essential in protecting organizations from other threats, including cybercrime. A strong cyber policy must exist in every organization, and vendors like Life-raft Navigator and Topo.ai can scour the dark web, social media, etc., to gather actionable information that can prevent, mitigate, or respond to a threat.
Additionally, the role of the fraud prevention specialist is evolving with a focus on policy and data to prevent and mitigate fraud and corruption risk. Fraud prevention is a key component of fraud risk management, and prevention is crucial. While fraud risk management encompasses various components such as assessment, governance, fraud detection, and monitoring-reporting, prevention is where everyone would ideally like to be.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on US corporations, with many experiencing a surge in white-collar crime cases. The fraud triangle has seen a significant increase in opportunity due to the lack of controls, monitoring, and supervision with employees working from home. Furthermore, the pressure on employees has increased due to balancing work, home, family, marriages, and the loss of jobs by partners, among other factors.
To curb the recent increase in white-collar crime, organizations can take several steps, including checking in regularly with employees working from home, offering employees more health services and counseling, adding monitoring software on employees’ computers with total transparency, and bringing employees back to the office on a rotating basis while still having work from home options and flexibility.
Incorporating security and executive protection measures into fraud prevention strategies can help organizations take a proactive approach to reducing the risk of white-collar crime. By providing physical security to employees and assets, conducting background checks on employees, implementing access control measures, and developing travel safety programs, organizations can take a more comprehensive approach to protecting their people and resources.
A strong security and executive protection program can also help organizations respond to fraud incidents and other security threats by providing guidelines for internal investigations and emergency response planning.
The fight against fraud and corruption in organizations requires a multifaceted approach that involves a range of preventive measures. Incorporating security and executive protection into fraud prevention strategies is a crucial step that organizations can take to protect their people, assets, and reputation. By doing so, organizations can reduce the risk of white-collar crime and minimize the financial losses associated with fraud and corruption. Finally, the tone at the C-suite must align with the operations. Without it all other efforts to prevent, mitigate and respond to white collar crime will be ignored.