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25 October 2010  |  3717 views  |  0

According to Kroll – the US-based risk consultancy company, information theft has overtaken physical larceny of cash and stock as the biggest source of global losses for firms. Significantly, this is the first time this has happened – should we be concerned?

Figures from the company’s 2010 Global Fraud report indicate that firms reporting incidents of data theft has leapt from 18% in 2009, up to 27.3% in the past 12 months – overhauling theft of cash and stock which declined narrowly to 27.2%.

So why has this happened? Are these online thieves becoming more industrious and sophisticated? Truth be told it’s probably a combination of many factors – but it’s true that thieves are always on the lookout for clever new ways to gain access to your cash!

The fact is, as our society continues to become increasingly interconnected, and information exchanges occur in greater quantities, this will enhance the opportunity for growth in information theft. Looking at it from a purely numbers game – the more information we create and exchange, the bigger the opportunity for data loss!

This combined with increasingly intelligent online thieves looking to access your data, and we have a serious problem! Gone are the days of swag bags and that dodgy bloke in a stripy jumper looking to nick a few quid from the bank. No – there are far easier, more profitable and frankly less risky ways to make money illegally these days, evidently!

It’s easy to assume that as this trend continues to grow and become an all too frequent occurrence – that we aren’t doing enough to prevent it! Not wishing to sound like a merchant of doom, but such growth over a 12 month period suggests it is all too easy to gain access to your data – we aren’t helping ourselves!

Here’s the really frightening statistic. According to Garlik – the online identity experts, research has shown that over 40,000 pieces of sensitive and financial information are being traded online through the black market every day – my dodgy maths tells me that's well over 13 million a year!

It’s not just your own actions you have to be mindful of. The financial services you trust – banks, accountants and insurance firms to name a few; will all be holding your personal and certainly financial information. Out of these 13 million pieces of information – someone somewhere has to be the victim, do you want to be next?

We understand the issues – and have identified the threat. So let’s tackle the issue head on – and be pro-active, rather than reactive with our response!

I’ll leave you with a thought:

Just because we can’t see the threat, doesn’t mean it isn’t there!

·       Full details and a copy of Kroll’s Global Fraud report can be found at: http://www.kroll.com/about/library/fraud/Oct2010/

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