Ernst & Young, the global accounting firm, has published their opinion on what will be the top fraud and corruption ‘trends’ in 2016. The list is not specific to the comms industry, and I do not agree with some of the recommendations. There also seems to be some confusion about the intended audience, with the impact of US laws being discussed alongside research into the global impact of other issues. However, it is worth taking a look at the major concerns identified by EY, with cybersecurity chief amongst them.
A dramatic rise in geopolitical instability and persistent cyber-attacks are pushing organizations to be more vigilant about planning to guard against, and respond to, internal and external threat actors.
EY stated that four trends should be factored into the business plans of every organization.
- Prepare for data breaches. They believe that breaches are inevitable, so planning must take this into account. Per this recommendation, EY no longer believes it is credible that firms solely concentrate on implementing security designed to prevent breaches.
- Increased focus on whistleblowing. EY emphasized the impact of new regulations in the USA. These may also impact businesses listed on American stock exchanges.
- Review how to maintain privacy whilst sharing information with law enforcement bodies. It is noted that the breakdown of the US-EU Safe Harbor and the introduction of new US laws will change the expectations on businesses… but EY is reluctant to describe how!
- Compliance with international sanctions. These sanctions may relate to individuals, companies or governments, and so will create complications for some international businesses.
I draw one overall message from these trends: business is being made more and more complicated, because of the increasing demands of government and the increasing threat posed by criminals and other subversive forces. EY’s announcement does not convince me that they have the answers, but the first step towards finding the answer is to recognize the legitimacy of the question.
You can read EY’s press release here.