Five New Year’s resolutions for employers to tackle the insider threat in 2024
11 January 2024
As people return to work following the festive break, many individuals will be armed with New Year’s resolutions to help them kickstart 2024 – a tradition which, according to The History Channel, is thought to date back around 4,000 years!
While resolutions will likely differ throughout the workforce, our Insider Threat Manager, Tracey Carpenter, provides five key areas for employers to focus to not only help them fight the insider threat, but better protect employees overall...
1. Ensure that you have a robust pre-employment screening policy in place
A lack of effective pre-employment screening is like leaving your front door wide open every time you leave the house. In short, effective vetting is critical to understanding the risk profile associated with the applicant and helping to protect your organisation from fraudulent conduct.
In addition to the legally required checks, such as Right to Work, organisations should check against the Cifas Internal Fraud Database – the only cross-sector database in the UK which records instances of dishonest conduct by job applicants and employees in the workforce.
2. Review any gaps in controls
Where any gaps in controls are identified, they should be closed at the earliest opportunity before they become critical. If an employee has the motivation to commit fraudulent conduct or can rationalise their dishonest behaviour, they may target and exploit those gaps in controls.
A good tip here is to consider opportunities for abuse within your organisation and any weaknesses in processes that could be exploited. These vulnerabilities can then be addressed through targeted and more effective controls.
Another tip is to learn from the experiences of other organisations that have suffered internal fraud and the measures they have taken to increase their resilience to those threats.
3. Be proactive, not reactive
Do not rely on staff or customers to flag instances of potential dishonest conduct by employees.
Your company should have controls in place to help identify suspected fraudulent conduct at the earliest opportunity, to best protect and minimise harm to the business, staff and customers.
These controls should form part of an effective anti-fraud culture which helps to prevent fraudulent conduct in the first instance; from comprehensive staff vetting and checks, to robust information and data security controls.
4. Conduct checks throughout the employee lifecycle
Checks should not begin and end at pre-employment screening, and instead should be conducted throughout the employee lifecycle – during which time, the risk profile of the employee may change significantly. For example, an employee may be experiencing financial or other difficulties that make them more susceptible to committing fraud.
These checks can help to both protect the business and provide the employee with the support and resources they may require – see our recent blog for more detail.
5. Work collaboratively
One of the most rewarding parts of my role as Insider Threat Manager is facilitating a platform for Cifas members who work together in collaboration to fight fraud.
We run working groups to highlight the insider threats that organisations face – including recent trends such as polygamous working and reference houses – to help organisations ensure that best practice is shared, and relevant controls are in place.
The insider threat cannot be fought in isolation, and so it is vital that we continue to work together to combat this threat in 2024 and beyond.
To future-proof your organisation from the threat of internal fraud, register for the Cifas Internal Fraud Strategy Essentials course, or sign-up to our interactive Digital Learning programme and immerse yourself in a video series full of engaging, informative content.
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