Preventing white-collar crime in the 21st century with big data: Are You Prepared?
Aman is a Senior Director of Clutch Group, a leading consultant in the legal, risk and compliance industries.
Change is the only constant in a fast-paced, digital era. If you think back to your own childhood, the differences between then and now are overwhelming. Today, children are digitally savvy, using the latest technologies in the blink of an eye. These same children aren’t interested in ethics, but are more focused on convenience and immediate results. Many will think nothing of illegally downloading a movie, not because they are trying to steal, but simply because they want it now. This mindset sets the stage for an increase in future cybercrime.
As technology continues to transform our world, one of the most disconcerting changes we’ve witnessed is the way crime has been impacted. Today, you’re less likely to read headlines about a physical bank robbery than you are to read news about cybercrime, cross-border money laundering, fake banking websites, phishing email fraud, or social engineering threats. The use of technology not only increases business opportunity and efficiency, but it also provides cyber criminals with new ways of deceiving, bribing, and laundering money without having to show face. According to statistics from the Hong Kong Police, the number of technology crime cases increased from 1,506 in 2009 to 6,862 in 2015, with a respective increase in financial losses from HKD45 million to HKD1828—not to mention the unreported incidents.
In the digital age, big data is growing rapidly, and with it, so will cybercrime. People and enterprises are increasingly conducting business online with e-payment transactions, email communications, and instant messages. The risks will only continue to grow. So how, in this ever-changing world, can companies manage big data to investigate and prevent new types of crime?
Dealing with the data itself is only one piece of the puzzle – there are three factors your company needs to consider in order to lay the foundation of big data management.
Breaking down silos
Today’s cyber criminals are highly skilled, and pose a serious threat to the security of corporations. In order to build a solid defense, your entire organization needs to be on the same page, with complete fluidity between departments and groups.
It’s not uncommon to see large enterprises setting up in-house investigation teams. Sometimes big corporations would expand their financial crime compliance team in order to address various risks, including whistleblower allegations. Other corporations without in-house investigative teams may need to rely on internal departments such as legal, compliance, internal audit, finance, or human resources to conduct investigations.
It’s crucial to break down silos and form partnerships across an organization. Partnerships need to include both internal and external; internally everyone works together as one team—knowing when and where to share confidential information on a need-to-know basis; and externally, the organization needs to cooperate fully with regulators and/or law enforcement agencies in their inquiries and investigations. This is not only important from a reputational standpoint, but also in setting a tone of zero-tolerance from the top, to build a culture of integrity and to prevent criminal liability.
Additionally, internal departments need to consider when and who to share information with, and must be transparent when it comes to big data. If every department is only focused on their piece of the puzzle, then they might miss red flags, and are at risk of missing the bigger picture. This enables criminals to exploit weaknesses or even use the same tricks on different departments of the same organization.
Though the importance of breaking down silos may be obvious, it is not always easy to achieve—especially when it comes to changing company culture, values, and practices. However, building a united workforce is the only way to prepare your company for upcoming challenges.
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Mr. Chee leads the Clutch Group’s Hong Kong office – opened in June of 2015 – with the mandate to lead the organization’s expansion strategy in the APAC region. He possesses 20 years of experience in financial crime investigation, including fraud, corruption, money-laundering and credit card counterfeiting, and has assisted in related court prosecutions.
Mr. Chee spent 14 years with the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) of Hong Kong, an organization dedicated to fighting corruption through investigation, prevention, and education, where he moved up to the rank of Chief Investigator. He was a core team member in a special task force jointly set up with the Hong Kong Police concerning a major cross-border bank-related corruption and AML investigation. Afterwards, Mr Chee joined Ernst & Young as a Senior Manager in Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services. He later joined Deutsche Bank as the Head of Anti-Fraud and Forensics.