According to PwC’s 2016 Global Economic Crime Survey of over 6,000 participants in 115 countries, the cost of economic crime is accelerating due to a growth in cybercrime.
The survey reported that more than one in three Irish organisations experienced economic crime in the last two years, up from a quarter two years ago.
The most prevalent economic crimes reported were asset misappropriation (53%), followed by cybercrime (44%), accounting fraud (18%) and money laundering (15%).
Globally, 36% of organisations were victims of economic crime with cybercrime representing nearly a third (32%) of all crimes.
There is a marked difference between global and Irish results when it comes to forecasting the future drivers of economic crime.
Nearly half (47%) of Irish organisations believe that they will increase their spending to respond to the threat of economic crime in terms of the compliance programmes and resource spend.
Commenting on the launch of the survey, Nóirín O’Sullivan, commissioner of An Garda Síochána, said: “The research highlights the need for vigilance on the part of companies and individuals in their commercial dealings. With cybercrime becoming so common, it is even more essential that they continue to access crime prevention advice to avoid becoming the victims of fraud. The involvement of law enforcement agencies at an early stage acts as a major deterrent. This study also provides insight into how organisations can protect themselves, their businesses and their property from fraud and cybercrime.”
Ciarán Kelly, PwC advisory leader, added: “The survey findings confirm an increasingly complex economic crime environment driven by asset theft, cyber threats, accounting fraud and money laundering, while the cost of the crimes on Irish organisations is rising. Too few companies are adapting their risk assessments and control frameworks fast enough. Action on economic crime is not the responsibility of one person or a team, it must be embedded within an organisation’s culture.”
Pat Moran, PwC leader for cybercrime, commented: “A cyber crisis can be one of the most challenging and complicated that any organisation will face. They require strategies around investigation and communication, as well as significant forensic and analytical capabilities. In today’s risk landscape, a company’s degree of readiness to handle a cyber crisis can be a marker of competitive advantage and ultimately ensure its survival.”