Cyber Fraud

Cyber Fraud

Many people tend to associate cyber fraud with small organizations that have no regulations in place, but this cannot be further from the truth. Research has shown that most cyber fraud and unethical offenses in organizations are orchestrated if not facilitated by the top management. The variation in senior management plays a significant role in influencing significant elements in the workplace, and this has been linked to the prevalence of computer fraud among employees (Turner 1994). According to Clinard and Yeager (2011), the delegation of responsibilities within large corporations provides a suitable environment for the execution of computer fraud. Consequently, this further implies that top managers use their positions to circumvent control and facilitate criminal activities (Audit Commission 1994; 1998; 2001).

Research studies have made a wide variety of findings to justify the reasons employees breach their organizational ethical standards. According to Parker (1998), employees who participate in fraudulent activities are driven by individualism, greed, selfishness and many similar values associated with a capitalist system. These factors easily turn a faithful employee into a rogue individual. Croal (1992) associates fraud with human emotions like financial pressure. Goodwin reinforces Croal’s notion by arguing that disgruntled employees pose a big threat to security in an organization. While unethical conduct can be blamed on employees, it is also partly attributed to an organization’s culture. When an organization’s management does not place sufficient measures to ensure its ethical standards are upheld, then it is to blame for any crime executed in its faculties. Furthermore, it is upon the heads of an organization to address the issues of disgruntled employees and ensure that all workers understand the consequences of failing to adhere to the set standards. Crime within organizations can also be attributed to the lack of efficient security procedures (Ernst & Young, 2004).

Responding appropriately to misconduct and non-compliance issues is important in preventing fraud and corruption in an organization. As a senior IT executive manager, the measures that I can take to prevent misconduct and non-compliance issues include:

  • Demonstrate that there will be zero tolerance for unethical behavior and the culprits will be dealt with harshly.

  • Be consistent with the punishment of offenses to avoid appearing partial.

  • Establish disciplinary measures for breaches or misconduct, including prosecution of the culprits, dismissal and seizure of assets (Lister, 2007).


Audit Commission for Local Authorities and the National Health Service in England and Wales. (1994). Opportunity Makes a Thief: An Analysis of Computer Abuse. HM Stationery Office.

Audit Commission (1998). Ghost in the machine- an analysis of IT fraud & abuse. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, HMSO.

Audit Commission (2001). Your [email protected] risk: an update of IT abuse 2001, London, Audit Commission Publications, HMSO.

Audit Commission Report, (2005). ICT Fraud and Abuse 2005. London, HMSO.

Clinard, M., & Yeager, P. (2011). Corporate Crime (Vol. 1). Transaction Publishers.

Croall, H. (1992). White-collar crime. Milton Keynes, Open University Press.

Ernst & Young (2004). Global information security survey 2004. London, Ernst & Young: 28

Goodwin, B. (2000). «Just 37 get security cert.» Computer Weekly. London: 2.

Lister, L. M. (2007). A practical approach to fraud risk: comprehensive risk assessments can enable auditors to focus antifraud efforts on areas where their organization is most vulnerable. Internal auditor, 64(6), 61-66.

Parker, D. B. (1998). Fighting computer crime: a new framework for protecting information. New York, John & Wiley Sons.

Turner, B. A. (1994). «Causes of disaster: sloppy management.» British Journal of Management 5(5): 215-219