Technology not to blame for any financial fraud

Smart men and women with their sensibilities about them are making conscious decisions to break the law. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Every man, woman has a number. A number that when reached, tabled or sighted, throws reason out of the window and converts even the most placid and gentle souls into ravenous criminals with eyes set on an illicit prize, more often than not of the financial kind.

Many times technology gets a bad rap as its deployment within business processes is seen to aid and abet all manner of raids on corporate and private coffers.

The dailies have recently run with stories, complete with mug shots of a number of individuals that are wanted for perpetrating all manner of crimes in the financial services sector in the country. You may be taken by surprise at the appearance of your gently-mannered neighbour, now wanted for a bloodless heist that saw a few hundred million shillings move offshore into a maze of bank accounts run by a network of shadowy characters or quick cryptocurrency purchase.

Smart men and women with their sensibilities about them are making conscious decisions to break the law. It is not just the financial services sector that is taking a hit, even those in agriculture, manufacturing and services are bearing the brunt of human resource gone rogue to exploit legitimate access to systems, social engineering or brute force, with the first two as the main avenues for the conduct of these activities.

From high government offices, to the open plan expanses of ‘startupville’ no entity is spared from this risk. The tools that give us visibility into our businesses allowing for better, faster and more efficient services and outcomes are being leveraged for more negative agendas. I stand in defense of technology in its different manifestations and deployment; buggy, in beta or stable release crafted for a specific purpose. Tech simply does what it has been instructed to do with the genesis of it all, traceable to a human action.


The conundrum here is that people both make and break the business with the damage by a few, irreparably affecting the collective. Is it possible for us to replace people with technology as primary interfaces within businesses or do we have to continually hedge against reputational and financial losses in a bid to keep people in the loop? With advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics, only time will tell.