How does information security prevent fraud in the enterprise?

When an enterprise is worried about fraud, where does the information security team step in? Security management expert Mike Rothman explains the role information security plays in enterprise fraud-prevention activities.

How would you describe the role that information security plays in the enterprise fraud-prevention activities? How should organizations perform a fraud risk assessment?
In most organizations, security doesn't play much of a role in fraud-prevention activities. Typically, fraud resides within corporate risk organizations, most of which are only beginning to incorporate information security. A collaboration is not the norm by any stretch.

Security personnel are usually brought in when a potential fraud incident has happened -- identified either via...

transaction analytics or some other means -- to figure out if it's a technology problem. Yes, this is a rather reactive process, and ideally there would be lockstep coordination between the risk group and the security group, but major change doesn't happen overnight.

In terms of how organizations should assess fraud risk, the assessment should include technology, business process and customer handling, and there really isn't a difference between the three types. Conducting an independent risk analysis for all of them doesn't make sense because, in many cases, a fault in one domain will lead to a breach in another.

Managing fraud and risk needs to be a holistic, enterprise-wide initiative and right now (in most organizations) it's not. So there's still a lot of work to do.

More information:

  • Learn more about how passport fraud can be prevented.
  • Prevent fraud with these countermeasures against targeted attacks in the enterprise.

This was first published in September 2008

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