In the aftermath of September 11, Hong Kong companies have been urged to step up corporate security measures because of increasing business risks, ranging from terrorism to fraud. Hill & Associates risk management director Jan Maynard said the attacks on the United States should be a 'wake-up call for everybody'. Improved corporate security meant reducing, or eliminating, exposure to non-entrepreneurial risks such as terrorism, fraud, extortion, espionage and natural or technological disasters, he said. Research by American Fidelity Underwriters showed that about 25 per cent of all employees were actively dishonest. Further, it said 50 per cent of all managers would defraud their companies if the opportunity presented itself. Mr Maynard said the figures should force an increase in corporate awareness and the importance of security checks, such as background screening of all employees. Hill & Associates has more than 300 consultants stationed in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. The company also provides image and brand protection consultancy services. Mr Maynard said it was difficult to quantify the cost of corporate crime, although fraud was believed to cost the average commercial organisation between 2 per cent and 5 per cent of its gross turnover. Sometimes the cost was considerably higher. Mr Maynard mentioned one case he had dealt with involving a mobile-phone company in the Philippines that had lost about 35 per cent of its profit through internal fraud. Corporate security checks could control the erosion of profits and protect companies and employees from catastrophic incidents, such as terrorism, he said. 'Many of these risks can be addressed and assessed before they happen,' he said.