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PwC’s 2011 Global Economic Crime Survey
finds economic crime in Malaysia continues
44% of respondents in Malaysia were victims to one or more frauds in the
last 12 months
Cybercrime on the rise as technology use expandslso takes home award for
Top Graduate Employer in Consulting
KUALA LUMPUR, 30 November 2011 – 44% of businesses and other organisations surveyed
in Malaysia were victims of economic crime in the last 12 months, according to respondents of
PwC's 2011 Global Economic Crime Survey. Around the world, 34% of total respondents
surveyed reported that they were victims of economic crime.
The 44% reported in the 2011 survey represents a 57% increase over the 28% reported in the
2009 survey. In Malaysia, theft or asset misappropriation (cited by 83% of respondents) was the
most common type of economic crime reported, followed by bribery and corruption (34%) and
accounting fraud (27%).
The number of incidences of fraud experienced by the Malaysian respondents has also increased
compared to the 2009 survey – 32% (2009: 11%) of respondents said that they each experienced
between 11 to 100 incidences in the past 12 months. 10% (2009: 6%) said that they each
experienced between 101 to 1000 incidences of fraud within the same timeframe.
“Economic crime continues to be pervasive, affecting both large and small organisations in
Malaysia and worldwide. No industry or company in any country is
immune from the impact of fraud,” said Mr Lim San Peen, Senior Executive Director, PwC
Advisory Services Sdn Bhd. San Peen heads PwC's forensics practice in Malaysia.
Globally, the communications and insurance sectors reported the highest incidence of fraud.
Fraud against governments or state owned enterprises rose by 24% since 2009, moving it ahead
of the hospitality and leisure and financial services sectors as a target for crime.
Cost of economic crime
Though the direct cost of economic crime to an organisation can be difficult to gauge, Malaysian
respondents reported rising direct losses. 7% (2009: 0%) of respondents said that they lost
between USD5 million to USD100 million, while 37% (2009: 11%) said that they lost between
USD100,000 to USD5 million. Victims of economic crime also reported significant collateral
damage due to fraud. This includes damage to employee morale, brand and reputation (both at
24%) as well as to business relationships (17%).
From the survey, suspicious transaction monitoring has emerged as the single most effective
fraud detection method, noted by 20% of Malaysian respondents. This is up from 17% in 2009.
Whistleblowing and tip-offs by employees and external parties combine continues to be highly
effective fraud detection methods, said 37% of respondents.
Cybercrime now ranks as one of the top four economic crimes globally with 23% of respondents
reporting that they were victims of cybercrime. In Malaysia, 5% of respondents reported being
victims of cybercrime, while 28% reported that they are likely to experience cybercrime
perpetrated against their business and organisation in the next 12 months.
“In a world where most enterprises rely on technology, businesses are increasingly opening
themselves up to the risk of criminal activity. The crime can be perpetrated from virtually
anywhere on the planet, as long as there is a computer, a smart phone or any other device able to
access the Internet,” said San Peen.
The perception of cybercrime as a predominantly external threat is changing, and organisations
are now recognising the risk of cybercrime coming from inside as well. Malaysian respondents
said the Information Technology (IT) Department was the most likely source of cybercrime
internally. IT was cited by 61% of respondents, followed by Operations (57%), Sales and
Marketing (50%), and Finance, (34%).
While having increased awareness to the threat of cybercrime, the majority of respondents in
Malaysia said they do not have a cybercrime crisis response plan in place, or are not aware of
having one. Such a response plan includes the investigation, controlled emergency network shut
down procedures and media communications. 29% of respondents in Malaysia said their
organisation doesn’t monitor social media sites.
“Rising incidents of data loss and theft, computer viruses and hacking and other forms of
electronic crime demonstrate the need for a more cyber-savvy approach to fraud prevention,”
said San Peen. “There are many ways to protect your organisation against economic crime,
including conducting regular fraud risk assessments and instilling a cyber risk-aware culture,” he
Other Survey Findings
Economic crime is most prevalent at large organisations. 54% of respondents from
organisations with more than 1,000 employees reported incidents in the last 12 months,
compared with 29% among those with less than 1,000, and 17% among those with less
56% of economic crime of all types in Malaysia are committed by internal fraudsters.
40% of respondents reported fraud by an outsider.
Those that seek out economic crime find it. Organisations that have performed fraud risk
assessments have detected and reported more frauds.
The Malaysian respondents who said cybercrime was more likely to originate from
sources outside Malaysia listed Hong Kong and China, India, Nigeria and the U.S.A as
the countries perceived as the top cybercrime threats.