It’s boom time for tech fraud fighters

Pandemic pushes companies to police e-transactions; financial services firms and e-commerce companies are among the major drivers of demand.

More people using the internet for financial and e-commerce transactions has led to job creation in a niche segment.

Specialists who can help deal with rising technology (tech) frauds are in high demand amid the surge in electronic transactions during the pandemic.

Demand for tech fraud experts has risen upwards of 35 per cent, reveals employment and human resource services company TeamLease Services.

Financial services firms and e-commerce companies are among the major drivers of demand.

Many companies find it easier to outsource management of the issues to a consulting firm since building internal capabilities is seen to be more expensive, say trend-watchers.

Demand has picked up over the last three quarters in particular, says Naren Bhagi, associate vice-president and business head of information technology infrastructure at TeamLease Digital.

There are around 20,000-25,000 openings in the segment, which include people for fraud detection, prevention, audit, and forensic analysis.

A spokesperson for KPMG in India says hiring of tech fraud experts is up more than 100 per cent amid increased demand for these services.

Skills in demand include forensic tech skills, which are used to investigate computer crimes involving smartphones and the Internet of Things, data theft, ransomware, and other cybercrimes.

Arpinder Singh, global markets and India leader, forensic and integrity services at EY, says there is increased demand in the field of cybersecurity and data privacy.

“The demand witnessed in the market has also led to a need to have specialists and domain experts across the board – including technologists and accountants.

“We foresee this demand to pick up in the future, especially in proactive fraud assessments, compliance and risk monitoring, and cyber-response frameworks,” says Singh.

“We are seeing increased hiring of domain experts since the nature of fraud is no longer simple, but (has) evolved into complex scenarios that are not easily detectable.

“Enterprises have begun extensively using advanced data analytics, machine learning technology, and security platforms to either have a tech-fraud prevention or early-detection mechanism,” says Prashant Bhat, managing director-cybersecurity and privacy, Protiviti Member Firm for India.

He adds that regulators have also laid emphasis on payment platform security and other related guidelines.

This has lent heft to organisations to kick-start fraud management on priority.

“Many enterprises are embarking on a journey of optimising their digital platforms to be more fraud aware with enhanced security,” says Bhat.

Companies had identified tech-related fraud as among their major challenges, according to a December 2020 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP India Corporate Fraud Perception Survey.

Respondents had listed cybercrime as the fraud their organisations are most likely to experience over the next two years.

They had also additionally listed fraud due to use of bots, artificial intelligence, and related technologies in the top five.

“In the early stages of the pandemic, media reports from across the world indicated a rise in cybercrime. In May 2020, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reported an overall increase in frauds observed, and indicated that this trend was likely to continue over the next 12 months,” noted the December 2020 report.

“Sectors that have been able to balance the skill-needs fairly well are legal process outsourcing and consultancies.

“This could be because it is a business proposition for them.

“Sectors that can do better are e-commerce and banking, financial services and insurance.

“These sectors are scaling up and hence, investing in these skills would be a good move,” says Bhagi.

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