Our quarterly bulletin TenInsight reports on a variety of diverse topics drawn from our profession. We examine the major trends that organisations confront and provide analysis and advice to our readers.
February 2020: Issue Eight
Last year, political uncertainty dominated the UK headlines. Confidence in British business was low, financial markets were turbulent and there was indecisiveness within the political party ranks. British business took a blow, all whilst the outside world was watching us.
Political uncertainty will continue as our geo-political Analyst, Mariya Babikyan, highlights in her “Ask an expert” briefing. But as our regular readers and followers will know, TenIntelligence continues to build a solid platform, providing our clients with continued confidence and assurance. These are just some of our highlights over the last year that we take forward into 2020:
• Invested in the recruitment of new talent, including marketing, analysts, brand protection, compliance and business support positions
• Introduced new advisory board members, Mendy Ghaleb (UAE), Patty Melamed (USA), Zach Bracchitta (USA) and Colin Culleton (UK)
• Created CyberSimplified – a new Cyber Division for TenIntelligence
• Invested in new office space in Kings Hill (Kent), Moorgate (London) and Business Bay (Dubai)
• Invested and officially launched the Digital Forensics Division
• Initiated the development of our Strategic Intelligence and Geo-Political Risk service offerings
• Continued to build relationships with Kent, Warwick and Hereford (NMiTE) Universities
• Partnered with Santander and the University of Kent’s Intern programme
• Introduced mentoring relationships with board advisors
• Invested in team building exercises, bringing the team together
• Investment into training, memberships and certifications
• As a team, we continue to work together to help monitor and improve our working processes
Continuous recognition and high security standards
• Continued accreditation with ISO27001 Information Security Management certification
• Formed a partnership with Dell to provide increased security and operational performance
• Protect our own and clients’ data by improving our compliance and security standards
• Gained Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation, the Government’s “Gold Standard” in Cyber Security
We have a team of colleagues who are dedicated in delivering excellence to help safeguard your reputation and protect you from fraud, brand infringement, regulatory risk and data breaches.
I wish all of our readers a prosperous and healthy new year.
Before the discovery of Australia, people were convinced all swans were white, entirely confirmed by empirical evidence. No one had ever seen a black swan, writes Nassim Taleb, a risk analyst who works on randomness, probability and uncertainty. To refute this theory, it only took for one person to see a single black swan as proof. Much like the times we live in today, the “black swan theory” illustrates events of high improbability which leaves a lasting impact on our lives.
As part of our educational promise to our clients and local organisations, TenIntelligence recently presented its first awareness event of 2020. Our Chief Operating Officer, Richard Bell and Cyber and Forensics Associate, Sean Nichol, provided local Kent businesses with an insight into the digital forensics examination process, the different types of forensic investigations and how they can support different organisations.
Identifying and gathering digital evidence is key to successful litigation and dispute resolution. During the presentation, our Certified Forensic Practitioners discussed how to recover and investigate material found in digital devices, including hard drives, servers, laptops, smartphones, networks and storage media devices, for further analysis and evidence review. The team also shared different scenarios that highlighted how digital forensics techniques can be utilised to aid fraud and Intellectual Property investigations or provide assurance for data compliance and protection.
The team at TenIntelligence is delighted to announce that we successfully gained the Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation for 2020 and beyond.
Cate Wells and her Team in Dubai, have again been assisting clients with brand protection strategies, market surveys and ant-counterfeiting initiatives.
Download your free copy of TenInsight Issue 8 here
November 2019: Issue Seven
The political landscape has been a real distraction recently and it is no surprise that uncertainty often leads to financial strains and subsequently, workforce lay-offs. If your organisation has the unfortunate ordeal of laying off employees, be prepared. Recent research highlighted that 58% of former employees still retained access to IT networks including financial and customer information; whilst 24% of UK businesses alone have experienced data breaches instigated by former employees. To avoid further burden and costs because of disgruntled former employees, now is the time to implement the necessary steps to help prevent fraud and data breaches.
Many fraud investigations that I have presided over the years have been solved via digital forensics. Evidence found in computers, digital devices and networks have often been the key to uncover the perpetrators and true mechanics of fraud and computer misuse. So, it is with great pleasure, that we can announce that our internal Digital Forensics Laboratory is open. There are many different scenarios whereby digital forensics can help an investigation, data breach or safely recycling laptops back into an organisation’s operations – please call us for an introductory no-obligation conversation.
Besides potential data breaches, uncertainty is often preceded with an increase in corporate fraud. A massive US $7 billion was lost to corporate fraud alone last year, these were just the reported frauds and this figure is likely to be the tip of the triangle. In our “Ask an Expert” feature, Valeryia outlines some practical advice on building an anti-fraud environment; as well as giving tips on how to spot a fraudster.
Education, awareness, collaboration are all values which we at TenIntelligence like to share with our networks. As you will read below, it is our responsibility to guide younger generations with the awareness they need to secure their physical and cyber lives. We work closely with the University of Kent on a variety of cyber awareness campaigns, helping their students move into adult working life with the necessary knowledge to protect themselves for their future.
Besides ongoing political uncertainty and cyber threats posed to society, we cannot forget about other dangers across the globe. Profits from counterfeiting are often used to fund serious organised crime, such as human trafficking, money laundering and child pornography. I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate our Dubai team, led by
Cate Wells, who are continuing to win the counterfeiting fight and enjoy some substantial raids depleting the purse of the counterfeiters.
Download your free copy of TenInsight Issue 7 here
June 2019: Issue Six
A recent financial research paper suggested 58% of UK small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) have invested in some form of resilience during the past 12 months. It is clear from these figures that business owners and managers are taking the necessary steps to protect themselves against new challenges – including Brexit, cashflow problems and financial uncertainty. In times of financial difficulty, recession or uncertainty, business owners should look to cut costs to help their company become resilient. One key area to look at is within the organisation itself.
Expense fraud is the most common type of fraud and is a significant threat to a business. Fabricated expenses can often be an easy way for an employee to get reimbursed for personal purchases, by inflating their mileage, client entertainment costs, or submitting multiple reimbursements for the same thing. The amounts are usually little and often, enabling the employee to subtly fly under the radar. The preventative answer is to design and implement an expenses policy with clearly defined guidelines – one that requires a dual signature process, questions expenditure and requests original receipts. Using your time wisely during uncertainty is a good opportunity to stabilise your financial position and review your audits, processes and expenditure. Keep a keen eye out for details or anomalies – in our experience, suspicions of fraud are normally well founded.
It has been a year since GDPR officially went into effect – how was your GDPR journey?
Our journey continues daily, and we consistently test our data security compliance. A year has passed since the legislation for GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 was officially implemented in the UK. After an extensive annual audit by the British Assessment Bureau, I am pleased to confirm our ISO 27001 Information Security accreditation has been renewed. If your organisation needs increased resilience, whether it be fraud, cyber or data related, then please let us help you.
Neil Miller, Chief Executive Officer, commended the team’s effort in maintaining our high standards of excellence and said: ‘‘Confidentiality, integrity and the protection of data continues to be of paramount importance to our clients, and our successful re-certification demonstrates TenIntelligence’s commitment to data security.
It is not unusual these days to hear about a corporate or public entity being subject to a cyberattack or losing large quantities of data. The attacks garnering most attention are, characteristically, not perpetrated by a bored teenager (a so-called ‘’script kiddie’’) but are instead state-sponsored and geopolitical in nature.
When 75% of our background checks identify flags, a simple Google search isn’t enough. Having the right background information allows organisations to work with confidence, compliance and assurance. Our Due Diligence Team completed over 600 background checks during 2018. As part of our analysis into these checks, we implemented a simple traffic light system, giving each background check a status of Red, Amber or Green. Red showed a significant red flag had been found; Amber confirmed that discrepancies were identified; whilst Green meant there were no issues identified on their CV or application form. From our research, a total of 75% cases were identified as an Amber (69%) or Red flag (6%).
Attending the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) anti-fraud masterclass organised by the Open Thinking Academy in Dubai was beneficial for Dubai Analyst, Reem Ramadan, to learn more about becoming a fraud examiner, and an opportunity for her to be introduced to other professionals in the field, as well as presenting TenIntelligence to a wider audience.
TenIntelligence, in partnership with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Sharjah Criminal Investigation Department (CID), has successfully carried out raids on counterfeit electronic products. Our Dubai team worked with UL, a global independent safety science company, to assist officers from Sharjah CID in identifying almost AED 4 million worth of counterfeit products and items that featured unauthorised trademarks.
Download your free copy of TenInsight Issue 6 here
February 2019: Issue Five
In this edition, we highlight our due diligence, investigation and protection service provisions; we examine the latest ‘sextortion’ cyber scam hitting our email inboxes and provide tactical advice around protecting your organisation from internal security breaches.
In recent years, we have been contacted by numerous clients regarding ‘sextortion’ scams. Sextortion scams are a type of phishing attack whereby people are coerced to pay a Bitcoin ransom because they have been threatened with sharing the video of themselves visiting adult websites. These scams are made to appear even more credible because they provide seemingly plausible technical details about how this was achieved. The phish can sometimes also include the individual’s password.
We have recently assisted several clients to ensure their technical security measures deployed are commensurate with identified risks such as GDPR, data and cyber security – listening to our clients revealed a forgotten yet crucial tool – staff. Giving your staff the right information and setting parameters of operating through a clear set of processes and procedures is extremely important – it allows everyone to have the confidence to act when necessary.
Working closely with our clients, we will continue to:
• provide our clients with the core tools to prevent, detect and investigate fraud & infringement
• protect our clients’ reputations from risk through effective due diligence and investigation
• keep our clients’ digital and physical resilience through appropriate ‘security by design’
• protect our clients, people and their livelihoods from harm
• and deliver the highest levels of professional support, often in difficult circumstances, by building and maintaining trusted relationships
October 2018: Issue Four
Integrity should be at the core of every organisation’s risk, compliance and anti-fraud programme.
In this edition, we focus on the Financial Reporting Council’s recent Good Corporate Governance Code highlighting how governance should be implemented, reported and measured by listed companies both in the UK and abroad. The key message from the Code is to be transparent. Demonstrating good governance not only reinforces an organisation’s reputation but provides it with opportunities over others. Even if you are not part of a listed company, the Code highlights useful areas for SMEs to consider on improving their journey to integrity.
With the Code in mind, we also share some key red flags, highlighted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), of officers, directors and employees who commit fraud against an organisation from within – the very people who were entrusted to protect its assets and resources. Can you spot any red flags in your organisation?
GDPR continues to be a hot topic, even though the legislation was introduced back in May. Richard Bell, our Privacy & Security Director, reviews several common themes clients have highlighted since the introduction of the new rules.
Cate Wells, our Managing Director in Dubai, shares some recent anti-counterfeiting investigations, successes and brand protection news from our Dubai Office.
What’s your Vision?
On the subject of transparency, we recently asked ourselves what integrity means to TenIntelligence and what our vision is. We defined our vision “to be the playmaker in our field; an investigation and protection consultancy, recognised for our diligence, excellence and integrity. Our intelligence – your assurance”. What’s your vision?
May 2018: Issue Three
In this edition, we share our GDPR Journey to date and our experiences with our preparations; our Intelligence Analyst Sanya Panova provides her experience in dealing with and preventing Ransomware; and Cate Wells, our Managing Director in Dubai, shares some recent anti-counterfeiting investigations, successes and brand protection news from our Dubai Office.
Not everyone will be ready or compliant by 25th May, but the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will require you to demonstrate you have made a concerted effort to start. We learnt a lot during our own internal GDPR preparations and I would like to share some of our experiences with you.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that locks users out of their IT system until they pay ransom to the attackers, Sanya Panova (Intelligence Analyst at TenIntelligence) writes.
Cate Wells, our Managing Director in Dubai, shares some recent anti-counterfeiting investigations, successes and brand protection news from our Dubai Office.
Download your free copy of TenInsight Issue 3 here.
January 2018: Issue Two
In this edition, we explore the benefits of Industry Insight in due diligence investigations; getting ready for the new GDPR legislation; insights from the London Fraud Forum; and Cate Wells, our Managing Director in Dubai, shares some recent anti-counterfeiting investigations, successes and brand protection news from our Dubai Office.
TenIntelligence has seen a substantial increase in requests for Industry Insight research to complement our background checks and due diligence investigations. Industry Insight provides clients with real knowledge into an individual’s professional character and background.
With the introduction of the most comprehensive Europe-wide data privacy legislation to date in the form of the General Data Protection Regulations that come into effect on 25th May 2018. Are you ready?
The Conference in 2017 provided valuable insights into the current fraud trends and prevention initiatives and activities by government, law enforcement and the private sector.
October 2017: Issue One
In this edition, we explore the new Money Laundering Regulations (MLR2017); the Criminal Finances Act 2017; the role of Social Media in due diligence investigations; and the future of Bitcoin regulation.
Businesses need to be aware of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (“MLR 2017”), which came into force on 26 June 2017.
The Criminal Finances Act 2017 (CFA) came into force on 30 September 2017. It introduces further changes to the UK financial crime regime that may necessitate a review of businesses’ existing compliance programmes and financial crime controls. Proper and comprehensive risk assessments will be key.
Social media searches often highlight potential issues and suitability risks not evident from a candidate’s CV.
Despite strong debate over the regulation of digital currency, Bitcoin users and governments agree consumer protection is important. In the UK, the FCA is yet to produce a full regulatory framework for Bitcoin, but profits and losses are taxable.
Download your free copy of TenInsight Issue 1 here.