The study also found that fraud is typically an inside job. Quickly changing technology is the biggest challenge in combating electronic theft: 28 percent of the companies polled said this is the number one factor that raises their vulnerability to fraud. Unfortunately, only 48 percent said they plan to spend more money on IT security over the next year, down from 51 percent last year. The amount of money lost by businesses to all kinds of fraud rose over the past 12 months by more than 20 percent: from $1.4 million per billion dollars of sales to $1.7 million.
"Theft of confidential information is on the rise because data is increasingly portable, and perpetrators--often departing or disgruntled employees--can remove it with ease absent sufficient controls," Robert Brenner, vice president of Kroll's Americas region, said in a statement. "At the same time, there is a growing awareness among thieves of the increasing intrinsic value of an organization's intellectual property. The results of the survey do not suggest other types of fraud are decreasing but merely that the rise in theft of intellectual capital has outstripped other fraudulent activity that has remained constant."