Corporate fraud can be difficult to prevent and to detect. What is important to remember is that corporate fraud is not a random occurrence. Fraud will occur when the conditions are right. Most employees do not set out to defraud their employer but the fact is the majority of people have the potential to become a fraudster under the right conditions. The three conditions are motive, opportunity and rationalization.
While having appropriate checks and balances in place can greatly reduce the chance of becoming a victim of fraud there’s no guarantee you won’t be. Frauds can go undetected for many months, especially when committed by a previously trusted employee.
Not only is it important to have checks and balances in place but also procedures for dealing with the investigation once the fraud has been detected. Evidence of the fraud may be located on the employee’s computer, laptop or mobile device. If these devices are not handled correctly then vital evidence may be lost, altered or disallowed at court.
This is where digital forensics can help. Using forensic techniques allows the investigator to handle electronic data in a way that will not alter the original data and as a result can be used for legal proceedings. In addition digital forensics provides access to data that may not be available by any other means. This includes information contained within operating system files and deleted data.