Center for Financial Forensics
& Information Security

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Overview of Fraud

Occurrences of fraud typically include one or more of the following:

  • Management Fraud
  • Financial Reporting Fraud
  • Computer Security
  • Investment Fraud
  • Customer Fraud
  • Vendor Fraud
  • Employee Fraud
  • Internet Fraud
  • Identity theft

All organizations must protect themselves against fraud, misconduct, security breaches and other types of exploitation caused by attacks from both outside and inside the organization.  Data from the past eight years show that these threats continue unabated, and the financial toll is mounting.  As a result, financial forensics represents one of the fastest growing practice areas of accounting and criminal investigation. Further, the development of an expanded workforce in the field of information security is one of the most critical issues facing the United States today.

The challenge to prevent, detect and recover from fraud is compounded by flaws in technology, lack of awareness about fraud risks, and misperceptions about external and internal attackers.  The consequences for failing to implement adequate controls are serious, and may include loss of assets, negative publicity, and increased exposure to civil litigation.  For many organizations – particularly those that deal with telecommunications, banking and finance, oil and gas production, utilities, transportation, government services, and emergency services – the risk is serious enough to threaten national security (Critical Foundations: Protecting America’s Infrastructures, a 1997 report issued by the President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection).  More research is needed in the areas of financial forensics and information security. More professionals are needed in the areas of organizational oversight, fraud investigation and examination, business valuation, valuation of damages and lost profits, litigation support, criminal investigation, business/employee fraud investigation, professional negligence, and computer and network security.

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