How to Prevent Financial Fraud…
Cyber attacks against small businesses are sophisticated schemes perpetrated by tech savvy criminals. Criminals use legitimate looking emails, malicious software and social media to obtain login credentials to businesses’ accounts. From there they are able to transfer funds from the accounts and steal private information. It’s more than identity theft it’s a fraud referred to as corporate account takeover and it happens hundreds of thousands of times every day
According to the American Bankers Association a strong partnership with your financial institution or credit card company is the best way to prevent and protect your business from being attacked.
To combat this type of fraud, Credit Card companies and the ABA offers small business owners the following advice to help prevent account takeover:
- Educate your employees. You and your employees are the first line of defense against corporate account takeover. A strong security program paired with employee education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses to a suspected takeover are essential to protecting your company and customers.
- Protect your online environment. It is important to protect your electronic environment just as you would your cash and physical location. Do not use unprotected internet connections. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated virus protections on your computer. Use complex passwords and change them periodically.
- Partner with your bank or credit card company to prevent unauthorized transactions. Talk to your banker about programs that safeguard you from unauthorized transactions. Positive Pay and other services offer call backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes and batch limits help protect you from fraud.
- Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly. Look out for unexplained account or network activity, pop ups, and suspicious emails. If detected, immediately contact your financial institution, stop all online activity and remove any systems that may have been compromised. Keep records of what happened.
Understand your responsibilities and liabilities. The account agreement with your bank or credit card company will detail what commercially reasonable security measures are required in your business. It is critical that you understand and implement the security safeguards in the agreement. If you don’t, you could be liable for losses resulting from a takeover. Talk to your banker or credit card merchant if you have any questions about your responsibilities
By Jack Stieber – President – American Receivable