PwC’s Global Economic Crime Survey 2016 states that one in every four organisations in India are impacted by economic crime. While economic crime is on a decline across the world, the same cannot be said about India because the country is slightly behind the curve in adopting global best practices in terms of rules and regulations and also modern surveillance technology. “There is a lag effect in terms of adopting international standards but we are getting there”, said Gagan Puri, partner, Forensic Services, PwC India.Graph: PwC’s Global Economic Crime Survey 2016
The survey pointed out that while cyber crime rate in India is at 16 percent, which is lower than the world average of 32 percent, there is a rise in cyber crime that will go up as the country becomes one of the biggest users of internet in the coming future.
India is expected to have 500 million internet users by 2017, making it the second largest country with the highest number of internet users surpassing the USA. China will continue to dominate the top position. Since 2014, there have been many reports about India becoming a dominant player in the global internet market. Technology analyst, Mary Meeker said that the Indian market is growing at 37 percent annually and adding new users at a very fast pace since then.
The PwC survey said that there have been some positive regulatory changes that were introduced to improve transparency and promote ethical business practices in the recent past.
Around 44 percent of respondents in India felt that local law enforcement agencies do not have the required skills and resources to investigate cybercrime, hacking incidents and malware related fraud.
According to the survey, India has a high number of asset appropriation, bribery corruption and procurement fraud. While a lot of multinational companies have put in processes to control these crimes, the same cannot be said about Indian companies where many times these crimes are taken casually.
The report does not mention any numbers related to economic crimes. In 43% of the cases, a middle level employee is the main perpetrator of the crime as against 35% globally. As per PwC’s Global Economic Crime Survey 2016 – An India Perspective report, 61% of them are in the 31-40 age group, significantly higher than the global average of 42%.
The survey has put into focus the impact of evolving regulatory requirements and technology on economic crime. It has also re-emphasised the increasing difficulties of predicting and detecting such instances.