Business fraud statistics show that while 90% of Australian businesses were targeted by cyber fraud in 2017, as many as 72% of SMEs do not believe cyber fraud is a considerable risk to their business (MGI Fraud Review 2017). This is an alarming statistic which highlights how underprepared Australian small and medium businesses are to deal with a business fraud attack.

So why is there such a disparity?

Perhaps smaller businesses believe that they will fly under the radar of fraudsters who will be drawn to larger, more lucrative organisations.

But that’s not actually the case. Reserve Bank’s Cyber Security Chief Andrew Pade has said that fraudsters are now turning their attention to ‘easier prey’ at the smaller end of town.

Cyber fraud is of course not the only form of business fraud that you need to be on the lookout for.

Fraud currently costs Australian businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, and this is just the instances that have been accounted for.

Fraud can occur in any organisation, no matter what size, industry or sector.


So what is your best form of protection against becoming one of the business fraud statistics?

We recommend every business undertakes a few vital steps:

1) Stay abreast of actual business fraud cases

The best way to know where the threat lies is to learn from other organisation’s misfortunes. Did you know that 36% of frauds in Australia last year were carried out by an organisation’s own management? Clearly having strong internal controls is critical in your bid to reduce the risk of undetected fraud occurring in your business.

MGI produces an annual fraud report which highlights recent cases of business fraud.

2) Audit your fraud risk and implement strategies to reduce the chance of undetected fraud

The good news is that there are a number of strategies to reduce the risk of fraud occurring and going undetected in your business. Some strategies include having the proper internal controls in place, ensuring segregation of duties and spot checks and strengthening IT security.

MGI’s  annual fraud report provides a number of recommended actions to prevent fraud from occurring in your workplace.

3) Have a disaster recovery plan

Particularly when it comes to cyber security you need to have a back-up plan to minimise the impact if you do end up the victim of a business fraud attack.

Some of Australia’s largest organisations are now facing fraud attacks as frequently as every four seconds (Sydney Morning Herald). While the threat to SMEs is not at this level, the threat is still very real.

MGI South Queensland’s audit and assurance team works with clients to help them stay abreast of current fraud threats and implement controls and safeguards to reduce the risk and impact of fraud. Avoid becoming one of the business fraud statistics and contact us now on 07 3002 4800 to start protecting your business today.

It seems like almost every week that you read about a new email virus making its way around town.

While some of these emails are easy to spot others are more sophisticated and can easily be mistaken as legitimate communication if you don’t know how to spot a dangerous email.

There are four key steps that every business should know to help determine if an email is safe. Make sure everyone in your organisation is aware of these steps and follows them vigorously to help prevent your business from being infected by a virus.


How to identify a dangerous email

Step one: check the senders email address

Specifically look for an unusual address or .com values. If you see something unexpected here, treat the email as dangerous and avoid its links/attachments.

Step two: hover your mouse over the link (DON’T CLICK). This will reveal its true address.

If you see ‘garbage’ here or unrelated words consider the email high risk and avoid clicking the link.

Step three: look for something in the body that is not generic and would be hard to guess/fake

Information like your business name, a known order number, or a valid account number would be hard to fake. Dangerous emails usually only have generic information in them. If you cannot find anything specific to you or the subject of the email then treat the email with caution and avoid its links/attachments.

Step four: If it is unexpected, verify the email by other means

For example if the email claims to be dropbox, verify it by logging into your dropbox account to see if you have this invite. If it is an ASIC renewal, contact ASIC or check with us to confirm if a renewal is due. If you cannot verify the email, it would be safest to treat the email as dangerous and avoid any links/attachments.

Remember viruses can be costly for business. These tips might add a few more seconds to your analysis of a new email however we all know prevention is better than cure and these tips could see you avoiding a very costly virus infection.

As a last line of defence please also ensure you have a reputable AntiVirus solution on your computers. This can offer strong protection in the unfortunate event something does get past you.


MGI Techology Services

If you have questions about this or would like us to review your current IT Security setup to ensure you have strong levels of protection in place, please reach out to us at the following email address: Technology@mgisq.com.au or call 3002 4800.

News that a Seven Network senior manager has admitted to falsifying invoices is a timely reminder for all businesses of the prevalence of business fraud.

While the amount of the alleged fraud hasn’t been quantified the Seven Network has revealed that the uncovered payments go back over a number of years.

MGI Audit Manager Stephen Greene said fraud is a real risk for any business from large corporations like Seven Network to SME businesses.

“Every year in Australia instances of fraud cost businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars and these are only the ones we know about,” Stephen said.

“47% of Australian organisations experienced in excess of 10 fraud incidents in the last 24 months according to the latest reports,” he said.

MGI has released a report that analyses specific cases of fraud in 2015 and provides key strategies that can implemented by businesses to deter and detect similar fraud situations.

To download the full MGI report click here.

Every year in Australia, instances of fraud cost businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars, and these are only the ones we know about.

Fraud doesn’t just happen on a large scale. Fraud cases can be minor in isolation, but have a surprisingly large impact on your business’ finances if left unresolved over time.


Key fraud findings

A recent report by auditors MGI indicated 47 per cent of Australian organisations experienced in excess of 10 fraud incidents in the past 24 months.

51% of all corporate frauds that occurred in 2015 were committed by internal fraudsters.

MGI Audit Manager Stephen Greene said it was concerning that economic crimes in Australia continued to increase and is higher than the global average.

“In the last 12 months we have seen clients uncover incidences of accounting fraud, fraud by trusted people within senior management and external fraud,” Stephen said.

“In some of these instances the fraud went undetected for multiple years and accumulated to a significant cost to the business,” he said.


What can businesses do to protect against fraud?

The good news is that there are certain strategies that businesses can adopt to reduce the likelihood of fraud going unnoticed within their business.

MGI has released a report that analyses specific cases of fraud in 2015 and provides key strategies that can implemented by businesses to deter and detect similar fraud situations.

To download the full MGI report click here.

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