UK blue chips taking 'ostrich' approach to net fraud

UK blue chip companies are still not taking internet fraud seriously, and are adopting a head-in-the-sand attitude in the race to establish an online presence.

UK blue chip companies are still not taking internet fraud seriously, and are adopting a head-in-the-sand attitude in the race to establish an online presence.

A survey published today by the SAS Institute found that a staggering 62 per cent of top tier companies across all sectors in the UK have no measures in place to combat internet fraud. The majority of respondents realise the risks involved when processing transactions over the internet, but didn't yet consider fraud to be a serious problem. Peter Dorrington, programme manager at the SAS Institute, said: "The majority of UK companies were in a rush to have an online presence so forgot all about security and fraud prevention. They also seem to be thinking someone else will be a victim, not them." Justin Bickley, alliance manager at payment transaction specialist ClearCommerce, claimed ignorance is largely the problem. He said: "Companies are still unaware of the true cost of fraud to their business and don't seem to know what sort of crime is out there." Dorrington warned that organised crime will be the biggest headache for companies. "It is not the 16-year-old hackers these organisations should be worried about," he said, "but the networks of criminals running organised operations targeted at large corporations." He added that end user awareness of fraud, coupled with a decent security strategy, should keep the criminals at bay. But Steven Philippsohn, a lawyer speacialising in internet fraud at legal firm PCB, warned that fraudsters are largely being allowed get away with their crimes. "A recent report revealed that out of ten credit card frauds reported, only one prosecution was brought by police. As a direct consequence, 40 per cent of companies said they had been hit by the same fraudster more than once before the crime was detected and the account closed," he said. A separate study, published today by ecommerce transaction services company CyberSource, found that US businesses are predicting a 47 per cent increase in fraud and a total associated revenue loss of four per cent. Over 60 per cent of the companies surveyed by CyberSource, which included Nike, Starbucks, 4sure.com and Beyond.com, claimed to be strengthening defences against internet fraud this year.