Originally published in October, 2016.
After waking up today, you most likely used technology in almost every action you performed. From checking emails and reading the latest news, to driving in your car and ordering lunch, technology touches everything we do. Founded in 1968 and now with nearly 100,000 employees, Intel has remained a leader in the technology industry. Having access to cutting-edge technology gives Intel’s global investigations and internal audit departments a leg up in the increasingly data-driven world we live in.
“Being at Intel gives us an early view into the future of technology and its capabilities,” said John Hurlimann, CFE, the director of Internal Audit investigations. “Intel also has relationships with other technology companies who are using Intel products to develop the latest devices such as drones, autonomous vehicles and wearables. All of these devices have the ability to improve the way we live and work, but could also be used in a negative way.”
“There will always be ethical challenges and the usual employee expense issues that most companies face,” Hurlimann said. “The most common type of fraud is travel and expense related matters. We have a comprehensive analytics process which reviews and identifies duplicate expenses, unusual vendors and potential personal use of the corporate credit card.”
These similar challenges lead Intel to value the open exchange of ideas and best practices that the Corporate Alliance program provides. Its participation in a roundtable discussion at the 27th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference in Las Vegas led Intel to examine new fraud trends and attacks that might be on the horizon. “It was good to hear about the insider threats and increasing phishing techniques others are facing,” Hurlimann said. “Some of the Corporate Alliance members are from the financial industry, which is much different than the tech industry.
Hearing the latest frauds hitting the financial industry allows us to have early warning of what may be coming our way. I can take this information back to my team and ask, ‘could this happen here and if so how?’”
Since Intel operates across the globe, it finds itself navigating cultural differences in its investigations. Each case Hurlimann and his team encounters must be looked at through the lens of that country. “The biggest difference between geographies is in the front-end reporting of concerns, privacy related to reviewing evidence and disciplinary actions,” he said. “During the investigation we align with local HR legal attorneys in each jurisdiction to understand limitations with regard to privacy and data handling.”
As Intel continues its role as an internationally recognized name in technology, its fraud investigators use their connections and knowledge gleaned from the Corporate Alliance to approach new threats with open eyes. “The fraud challenges are constantly changing. We must stay current on trends, techniques and technology to fight fraud,” Hurlimann said. “Being a part of the Corporate Alliance gives us the opportunity to share our challenges and also to hear what other companies are facing across the globe.”
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