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Have you got your Counter Fraud Fundamentals right?

Despite my many years in counter fraud and cybercrime I like to keep learning and keep testing myself. Knowledge and experience are great but it also important to apply that knowledge when performing my role as a consultant, investigator and trainer.

A short few years ago, I took my ACFS qualifications, which were great to do and now I coach counter fraud apprentices for CIPFA.

This year I decided to put my business through the IASME Counter Fraud Fundamentals not to collect badges but because staying relevant and fighting fraud are my priorities.

I am pleased to say I have passed the assessment, and yes I picked up some useful tips in the process.

Like Cyber Essentials also from IASME it enabled me to compare what I do with legal requirements best practice and compliance in the wider marketplace.

I am sure any organisation which wants to improve or check what is does to counter fraud will benefit from the structured approach covered in the assessment.

Netflix are now running a show featuring my good friend with a bad past - Brett Johnson and some other interesting characters.

Web of Make Believe - Death, Lies, and the Internet

Brett is in the Stingray Episodes but why limit your knowledge.

After years of dealing with organised crime and fraud in UK, I decided to go global and go cyber a few years back. Brett Johnson was a huge help for my research and a great guy to know. More than that in this age of fake it 'til you make it, and the land of make believe where someone hacks their school computer and then claims they were a master hacker Brett and a few others are the real deal. They did what they say they did.

Tune in albeit if you are planning pizza, Netflix and chill if you are you partner are in counter fraud you won't be missing a second of this and the pizza may end up cold.
For the first time at the end of last year Peter Taylor began mentoring as a service for those who wanted to get into, or get more desirable roles in cyber security and fraud.

All of our mentees now have secured the positions they wanted and none of them are entry positions. Instead their experience, abilities and attitude have seen them succeed in being offered positions they wanted.

They did it. Not us. We helped by sharing our experience and learning of when we got into counter fraud and latterly into cyber security. That also included the knowledge needed to add value to hiring companies.

These determined people also had help from others including Colin Tansley and Dr Richard Diston

We are really proud of them. Okay even a bit emotional. Knowing they will be shaping the future in our industry.

One piece of advice I want to give though is please focus your ambitions and investment in time on those who have done what you want to do.

Let's be careful out there and share knowledge and ambition not vague hopes and pipe dreams. Even though I had people offering me money to help after assessment I was honest and told them they weren't ready or needed someone with different experience.

It is a journey of learning, integrity, ethics and adapting.

Happy to help and I am so glad I did.
Start typing your update here...Prevention is best, and to be honest I am fed up of some vendors I keep seeing claim they can make you ransomware proof. If they say that then they are deluded or overselling.

A suite of steps and measures are necessary.

Some key points:

Encryption is good but encryption alone will not stop your system being attacked or get your data back. It does make things harder for the criminals.

Backups are good but will not get your data back unless they are offline and tested.

Some common encryption keys are available free of charge via NCSC

Having your system up to date and properly maintained makes life harder for cyber criminals, better for you, and should be the norm for a business holding data.

A specific Business Continuity Plan for ransomware as well as testing is essential.

Open a small crypto account now just in case. It will be useful for understanding crypto and may save time if you end up in negotiation.

Have an external negotiator at the ready if you can. They help with objectivity.

Don't announce you have £1.5m of ransomware insurance because you have now sent an open invite and set the ransom at a minimum of £1.5m

Enough of me, listen to the NCSC.

Delighted to be joining the CIPFA family on a part time freelance basis providing coaching to those taking the counter fraud apprenticeship.

A fantastic qualification and standards that will impact fraud.

Spending some of my time supporting the next generation (another next generation as I've been around since the world was monochrome) thrills the heck out of me. A shoutout to Les Dobie and Heidi Loren de Sousa for making this so frictionless and worthwhile.

Sharing experience and sharing knowledge.
htRather than women I've never met I thought I'd concentrate on those I've met or worked with who have impressed the heck out of me, whom I've learnt from, and may not be aware that they spurred me on and educated my thinking.

Some of these folks are not on LinkedIn but so what.

Lady Elspeth Howe Deputy Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission who despite my youth (18) got me involved in board meetings with huge UK companies making decisions about sex discrimination and Equal Pay.

Claire Callery who was my first Sergeant in the Police who taught me never to take crap from anyone and do the right thing

Cath Williams who joined my business in an available position below her pay grade and quickly rose to the top in the company and in the insurance industry

Nathalie Crystal who went from PA to essential member of the management team because she always turned negatives into positives and always did the right thing

donna emmett an established field adjuster who took a role in a conversation management team and questioned whether desktop could compete with field and went on to be one of the best conversation managers in the industry

Kathryn Lourenço taught me so so much about professional and ethical marketing and transfers enthusiasm to all who meet her

Katie Beardmore for sharing sweets and chats and never mentioning fraud when we happened to have adjacent seats at a football stadium. Absolute professional.

Jenny Radcliffe - The People Hacker 🎤🎧🧠 What can I say other than genius on how people work and think. There is no-one better in this field.

Tash Whitaker Total professional when it comes to data protection and a great human in every way. Has helped me a number of times with work and always appreciated

Ragini Gurumurthy a mentee who has gone on to do work that puts others in the shade and really helps those who are being exploited. A rising star

There are others of course, but thank you each and everyone for making my life better.