Organisations feel risk of financial crime and cyberattacks increased due to remote working

Organisations feel risk of financial crime and cyberattacks increased due to remote working

A survey by the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (ACOI) has looked at the risks posed by remote working to organisational data breaches, financial cybercrime, and compliance issues.

A new survey has revealed that 66% of organisations feel the risk of financial crime and cyberattack has increased as a result of remote working.

A survey by the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (ACOI) of more than 280 organisations has looked at the risks posed by remote working to organisational data breaches, financial cybercrime, and compliance issues.

According to the results, most organisations feel remote working has increased their exposure to financial crime and cyberattack.

Overall, the results reveal firms need to remain vigilant when it comes to IT infrastructure, cybersecurity and their digital management strategy.

Just 26% of those surveyed said financial crime and the risk of an attack did not become a greater consideration to their organisation since some of the workforce were redeployed to work from home.

This was an increase on last year when just 12% said it had “not at all” become a greater consideration since working from home.

A total of 66% of those surveyed feel the risk of financial crime and cyber-attack has increased as a result.

The survey also revealed that 28% of organisations experienced no new compliance issues as a result of remote working and just 5% said compliance had become "very challenging" as a result of having remotely based staff.

The number of respondents who said it has become challenging nearly halved from 2020 – from 9% to 5%.

When, asked whether they felt working remotely carried greater risk of data breach or GDPR risk, 54% of respondents said working from home posed no greater data breach risk than working in the office.

However, 46% said the risks were at least slightly higher, with 39% claiming  the risks were at least a little higher than if everyone worked in the office.

Speaking of the findings Michael Kavanagh, chief executive of the ACOI, said cybercriminals had adapted their methods to take advantage of the huge increase in remote working systems during the pandemic.

“The trends towards increasingly networked technologies and cloud computing have accelerated typical financial cybercrime activities such as fraudulent emails, phishing attempts, ransomware attacks, and attempts to steal financial account and payment card details and information.” 

He said the survey showed firms need to “remain vigilant” and ensure they maintain "good housekeeping" when it comes to their IT infrastructure, digital record keeping, cybersecurity, and their overall digital management strategy.

“While the onus is on firms to maintain excellent cybersecurity and risk management systems, frequent communication and advice on guidance and best practice from regulators is also key to minimising the risks.”

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