Pay freezes may put security at riskIncreasing numbers of businesses carrying out pay freezes or reducing career mobility could see security put at risk, it has been claimed.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, back office cuts are to leave firms and public sector organisations at additional exposure to fraudsters as the UK emerges from recession.

Workers anxious about maintaining their living standards and their career prospects following a pay freeze may be less likely to sign off work with the correct amount of scrutiny, while internal audits may also have been reduced, the group warns.

In addition, as people consider ways to improve their living standards, they may be persuaded to commit fraud, it notes.

Tony Parton, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, said: “Reduced investment in compliance and checking processes makes it easier for fraudsters, both inside and outside organisations, to exploit weaknesses and opportunities.”

The result of this could be reputation damage and “stiff” fines imposed on businesses, he warned.

Green fraud, cyber crime and malware and the public sector were all identified by the group as potential “fraud hotspots” over the next year.

The Daily Mail recently reported the British Chambers of Commerce has contacted the government to warn that planned changes to employment law could put additional stress on companies emerging from the recession.