The Global Economic Crime Survey has been conducted every two years since 1999. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys of its kind. It provides valuable insight and practical ideas on how organisations can continue their efforts to combat fraud and other economic crimes.
Economic crime remains a persistent threat to organisations in Australia, with an increasing focus on the digital and cyber landscapes. The digital environment has resulted in the evolution of economic crime, but the types of economic crime most commonly experienced by Australian organisations remains consistent with previous years: asset misappropriation, bribery and corruption, procurement fraud, cybercrime and accounting fraud. The landscape has changed but the threat remains. Organisations in Australia need to adjust by moving away from traditionally reactive detection methods to more sophisticated, proactive and embedded preventative and detective tools and techniques, such as we are seeing globally.
Resilience, while a fashionable buzzword, needs to become a part of the operational model for Australian organisations. Our consistently higher than the global average rate of incidence and cost of losses from economic crime reflects our reliance on doing what we have always done and a lack of increased investment in people, systems and tools.
Although a slight reduction since the last survey (57%), more than half (52%) of Australian respondents have experienced economic crime in the last 24 months. This is significantly higher than the global rate (36%).
Australian respondents have experienced cybercrime in the last 24 months at a much higher rate than the rest of the globe, overtaking asset misappropriation as the top economic crime experienced by organisations for the first time.
Economic crime is ever-evolving, and becoming a more complex issue for organisations and economies. The regulatory landscape, is also changing, bringing with it numerous challenges to doing business. With local law enforcement not necessarily perceived as able to make a material difference, the onus is squarely on the shoulders of the business community to protect itself, and its stakeholders, from economic crime. As we discuss in the three upcoming sections – dedicated to the strategically crucial areas of cybercrime, ethics and compliance programmes and anti-money laundering – our survey numbers can help uncover not only potentially troublesome red flags and trends. They can also serve as vitally important indicators of areas of opportunity for forward-thinking organisations to meet the challenges of a whole new world. To be forewarned is to be forearmed for success.