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Urgent calls for fraud prevention training as insider threat increases

26 March 2024

Large UK businesses must carry out specialist fraud prevention training throughout the entire employee lifecycle, if they are to protect themselves against the increasing risk of insider threat, says leading fraud prevention service, Cifas.

The advice follows results from Cifas-commissioned research which revealed that 6% of organisations with over 1,000 employees only held insider threat prevention training while onboarding recruits. Worryingly, 2% admitted to having never conducted any training of this type.

Despite wage growth slowing once more in the UK and the cost-of-living crisis continuing to put financial strain on many workers, less than half (42%) of respondents – key decision-makers from large corporates – were ‘most concerned’ about insider threat taking place within their organisations.

Following the research, Cifas is advising employers to be alert to the dangers of employees becoming an insider threat. The counter-fraud member organisation recommends that businesses:

  • Carry out thorough checks on recruits, such as Right to Work, before employment
  • Implement a robust pre-employment screening policy and review it regularly
  • Conduct regular counter-fraud checks throughout the employee lifecycle
  • Review internal controls to spot any gaps
  • Be proactive to identify dishonest conduct and stop incidents at the source
  • Provide expert training to bolster organisation-wide, counter-fraud knowledge

Tracey Carpenter, Insider Threat Manager at Cifas, said: ‘We’re seeing more cases than ever filed to our Insider Threat Database in relation to dishonest conduct by employees. While there are myriad reasons behind staff becoming an insider threat, the cost-of-living crisis has further exacerbated the need for people to supplement their wages or repay debts, which can create temptation. For others, being disgruntled at work has been enough to ‘justify’ or rationalise dishonest conduct in their minds.

‘Employees are the first line of defence against fraud, and our research further underlines how important it is for organisations to hold specialist, preventative training consistently. When they do, they’re equipping their workforces to effectively identify and report incidents of dishonest conduct by staff.’

Rachael Tiffen, Cifas’ Director of Learning, added: ‘An untrained workforce can often become a business’s weakest link. Building a colleague’s knowledge throughout their entire employee lifecycle – regardless of their job title, tenure or industry experience – can prove to be vital when keeping organisations, and their people, safe from nefarious threats.’

As well as accredited Fraud & Cyber Academy courses for individuals wanting to enhance their fraud prevention knowledge, Cifas has launched a Digital Learning programme – an interactive video series equipping people with the tools needed to prevent and identify fraud. Find out more.


Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact Hayley Paterson, Cifas Press and PR Manager, on 020 4551 7072 or


Survey methodology

The survey was carried out by Opinion Matters between 11-18 October 2023 on behalf of Cifas with a nationally representative sample of 500 UK-based decision makers (18+). Respondents were responsible for staff training programmes/budgets and worked in companies that employed 1,000-plus people and offered hybrid options.


About Cifas

Cifas is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation that protects businesses and individuals through effective and secure data and intelligence sharing between the private, public and third sectors. In 2023, Cifas member organisations prevented around £1.3 billion of fraud losses. 

Cifas data is included in the Office of National Statistics England and Wales Crime Statistics of police recorded crime and works alongside law enforcement agencies in tackling fraud.

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About Opinion Matters

Opinion Matters is an independent market research agency that create bespoke market research solutions for businesses, organisations, and agencies worldwide. Opinion Matters abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

Posted by: Cifas Press Team

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Posted by: Cifas Press Team

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