The nature of fraud is changing--so, too, are the ways to address it.

 
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As companies rely more heavily on "big data"--both internally and externally generated--to drive decision-making, new forms of fraud are targeting this information. According to the latest results from Protiviti's Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey, more organizations recognize these new fraud risks and are looking to apply leading-edge techniques (e.g., data analytics and continuous monitoring) as part of their fraud prevention, detection and mitigation activities.

The need to improve fraud risk assessment and monitoring--while continuing to improve auditing technologies and computer-assisted audit techniques (CAATs)--points to the changing nature of fraud. As organizational use and dependence on information systems and the big data within these systems increase, fraudulent activity necessarily grows more technologically sophisticated. To keep pace in both preventing and detecting this type of fraud, organizations need to apply more sophisticated techniques and tools themselves.

The sustained drive to improve the use of CAATs and to apply new data analysis tools to auditing activities comes amid an ongoing evolution from manual, time-intensive auditing toward technology-enabled auditing practices. These leading, technology-aided processes facilitate reviews of virtually every transaction and piece of data on a continuing basis.

As organizations and their internal audit functions look to manage and mitigate the risk of fraud in an efficient and cost-effective manner, there are a number of key questions they should address.

* Are there processes in place to determine whether the internal audit function's fraud risk management capability is current and sufficiently robust given the organization's ever-increasing supply of data and its growing reliance...

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