Bloomberg News

Cybercrime a Threat From Within for Companies, PwC Survey Shows

November 29, 2011

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Cybercrime is one of the top four economic crimes facing companies and more than half of it comes from their own information technology departments, according to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Economic crime hit 34 percent of companies around the world in the last 12 months with 10 percent reporting losses over $5 million, PwC said in the survey published today. While theft remained the most common crime, with 72 percent reporting incidents in the past year almost a quarter were victims to cybercrime, on the rise by 13 percent since 2009, PwC said.

Companies are at risk “from virtually anywhere on the planet where there is a computer, a smart phone or any other device able to access the Internet,” Tony Parton, a London- based partner in PwC’s forensics practice, said in a statement on the report. “No industry or company in any country is immune.”

Fifty-six percent of people polled said fraud came from within the organization, and detection methods are becoming less effective, PwC said. Watching out for suspicious transactions is the only tool to have shown greater effectiveness.

While half the respondents to PwC’s annual economic crime survey said they saw greater awareness of the threat of cybercrime, most don’t have, or know of, a company plan to deal with the issue, necessitating a “more cyber-savvy approach,” Parton said.

PwC queried 3,877 respondents in 78 countries between June and November for its poll.

Accounting fraud has dropped off, with 27 percent fewer people reporting it compared with in 2009, bringing the rate to 2005 levels.

--Editors: Peter Chapman, Anthony Aarons

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Smith in Paris at hsmith26@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.


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