Managing computer fraud

May 23, 2008

Shalini Kesar, a computer scientist at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, has devised an antifraud strategy for business. Writing in the International Journal of Business Information Systems from Inderscience Publishers, he suggests that managers should be made aware of security issues and send out cues to junior staff that they have this knowledge.

Combating digital fraud within any organizations is a growing problem for management. Researchers in this field and security practitioners have recently begun to emphasize the need to take into account the "social" aspects of information security. They also emphasize that a lack of communication at the wider organizational level is often associated with computer fraud.

"Computer fraud can result from incompetence, ignorance, negligence in the use of Information Technology or deliberate misappropriation by individuals," says Kesar. This results in the destruction of not only the main information systems but also backup systems, causing damages up to hundreds and thousands of dollars.

Kesar points out that reported cases of computer fraud only represent a tip of a potentially large iceberg. Anecdotal evidence suggests that employees pose one of the greatest threats because they are in a better position than "outsiders" to engage in computer fraud, Kesar adds.

Opportunistic computer fraud could be minimized, however, he says simply by raising managers' awareness and knowledge of how organizational structure can affect the effectiveness of security measures. Kesar uses the case of a well-known serious fraud that took place at an international bank together with the business theory of management theorist Henry Mintzberg to demonstrate how security breaches might be avoided by educating management.

"Lack of awareness of social and technical issues among managers largely manifest themselves in a failure to implement even the most basic safeguards and controls," the researchers conclude, "Concomitantly, if management ignores wider organizational structural issues then this too increases the likelihood of a potential offender committing computer fraud."

These two main insights point to Kesar's seemingly obvious solution, which simply involves teaching management and then subtly communicating management's new-found knowledge to employees.

Source: Inderscience Publishers

Explore further: This election was not hacked – but it was attacked

Related Stories

This election was not hacked – but it was attacked

November 9, 2016

The presidential campaign of 2016 thankfully – and we can only hope officially – ended this evening. As of when this article was posted, there are no reports of widespread cyberattacks or other digital interference against ...

Beyond the Yahoo hack: Other major data breaches

September 22, 2016

The Yahoo hack exposed personal details from at least 500 million user accounts, potentially the largest breach of an email provider in history. Despite the size of the break-in, attackers don't appear to have accessed obviously ...

Combating cybercrime when there's plenty of phish in the sea

October 21, 2016

As more and more crime moves online, computer scientists, criminologists and legal academics have joined forces in Cambridge to improve our understanding and responses to cybercrime, helping governments, businesses and ordinary ...

IBM's Almaden Lab: A glimpse into the future

August 30, 2016

To step inside IBM Research-Almaden is to get a peek into how the latest advances in technology are being applied to a crazy quilt of important issues from food safety and cancer to recycling.

Recommended for you

Evaluation of scientific rigor in animal research

December 2, 2016

The "reproducibility crisis" in biomedical research has led to questions about the scientific rigor in animal research, and thus the ethical justification of animal experiments. In research publishing in the Open Access journals ...

Researchers find evidence of original 1620 Plymouth settlement

November 30, 2016

Three hundred and ninety-five years after Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts, researchers from UMass Boston's Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research can say they have definitively ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.