28 April 2006

Bank Fraud | Chicken Little | Las Vegas. Learn the Connection...

The quest to tame bank fraud and money laundering is upon us. The OCC and other reg agencies in the US are finding the needles in the haystack. This latest Money Laundering Terrorist Connection is only the first of many such investigations:

The brother of a man suspected of ties to the al-Qaida terrorist group has been arrested in Utah and indicted on charges of loan fraud and money laundering. The question that federal authorities are trying to answer is whether Sharif Omar funneled some of that money to support terrorist activities. Omar is the brother of Shawqi Omar, who is being investigated for ties to al-Qaida in Iraq.

"We do have some indications of where the money went," said Greg Bretzing, a special agent with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in Utah. "We know some went to Jordan overseas and a lot went to personal accounts. What exactly it was spent on or what happened to it overseas is still under investigation."

And if that is not all the bankers have to worry about. International Phishing is gaining momentum:

The number of phishing attacks targeting non-English speaking financial institutions is on the rise.

Attacks targeting countries outside the English-speaking world now represents almost 40 per cent of worldwide phishing targets, according to data processed by RSA Security's Anti-Fraud Command Centre. RSA said it has shut down more than 10,000 phishing attacks hosted in 70 different countries.
Click here to find out more!

The primary phishing targets worldwide still remain English speaking countries such as the US and the UK, followed by Australia and Canada. The United States alone accounts for approximately half of fraudulent email attacks. Over the last six months or so there's been an upswing in attacks targeting European countries, including Spain, Germany and Italy, as well as the Netherlands, Scandinavia and France.

What is the answer to mitigating these Operational Risks in your institution? Look no further than the line items in the budget for safety, security and continuity of your next fiscal year. After the last three days at the GovSec|U.S. Law Enforcement| Ready Conference I'm convinced that the likes of people who are technology experts from firms like Akamai, Asst. Deputy's and former operators of 3 Letter agencies along with hundreds of other small business vendors for Homeland Security solutions have the same play book. It's titled: Chicken Little. Because the sky is falling. Every once in awhile it would be refreshing to see and hear a presentation about risk, security, safety and business continuity when the speaker is not talking about or yelling about how the "Sky is Falling" and the money isn't there to fix the problems.

Why is it that the people who are doing all of the presentations and speaking are from non-profits, government or lobby shops in DC? They are the people the private sector pays to get influence for their projects in Congress and they have to make sure they keep getting the funding to keep up their campaigns.

Bank fraud and Phishing will not ever be solved with more money from the US Treasury or any other countries reserves but it doesn't hurt to ear mark a percentage of revenues to fund the budget for safety, security and continuity of operations. If only some companies would behave like the pinnacle of publicly traded, high target and continuously operating organizations known on the planet as Las Vegas Casino Hotels.

For a real look into what the banks and other institutions, either public or private need to do to mitigate risk, protect assets and keep the enterprise safe, secure and operating 24/7 and 365 days a year, see InfraGard Nations Capital Members Alliance

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