SMEs Want New Cyber-Safe Technologies According to Survey

Fraud continues to become increasingly threatening to virtually all businesses across Canada. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are eyeing new ways to keep their business protected internally and externally from fraud and cyber threats. Almost 86% percent of Canadian companies experience at least one form of cyber-attack annually. Online scammers are becoming more advanced than ever before and so are their methods of attack. It’s critical for small and medium businesses to protect themselves, their privacy, employers, shareholders, and consumers as much as possible.

A recent survey from KPMG taken from over 500 SMEs across the country found that 85% of organizations are looking at incorporating safe technologies to reduce the threat of a breach. Three-quarters of the survey respondents have experienced internal cyber fraud (by an employee) or external fraud (by hackers via false invoices, identity theft, or credit card fraud) in 2022 alone. Yet, 87% of Canadian SMEs claimed to have a protective program in place to detect and prevent fraud. However, only 38 % ‘strongly agreed’ with having a reliable program while 49% ‘somewhat agreed’ to it.

Even though most companies have existing fraud programs in place, many of them are falling short, and clearly, there’s a need for improvement,” says Marilyn Abate, a partner in KPMG in Canada’s Forensic and Financial Crimes practice. “The threat landscape is constantly changing as fraudsters are continually devising ways to bypass and circumvent the prevention controls organizations implement. So even if companies think they have an effective anti-fraud program in place, it won’t be long before it’s cracked by a criminal. Businesses need to stay ahead of the threat.

KPMG’s survey did prove that most Canadian businesses do recognize the need to have more sophisticated and reliable fraud-protective technologies in place. In fact, 85% of survey respondents reflect that they’re actively considering investing in more advanced cyber-safe solutions. “Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and biometrics are effective tools to prevent and detect fraud, even more so when they complement strong fraud risk management frameworks, explains Abate. “Companies need these technologies to provide nimble and strong protection to combat an ever-evolving fraud landscape. If they don’t invest in the tools and processes to combat fraud, they could be at risk of significant losses.

Detecting Fraud for SMEs

KPMG forensics partner, Myriam Duguay, explains that having an optimal anti-fraud program installed for your business to monitor threats in all sectors is vital. Dugout advises Canadian businesses looking to protect their company to ensure the following:

  • Establish, and constantly update a company-wide anti-fraud program with active risk assessment
  • Consistently monitor and assess third-party risk
  • Set up a whistleblower line/program
  • Install anti-fraud training for staff
  • Employ active surveillance and data monitoring – forensic data analytics
  • Develop fraud, financial crimes, and cybersecurity operations
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