Fighting Back Against Financial Cyber Fraud

Cyber hackers target thousands of businesses a year in search of companies with lots of financial assets and few protective measures. A recent survey of IT business decision makers1, P D F opens in a new tab found that 74 percent expected a cyber attack in 2016. In most cases these cyber criminals are seeking financial gain.

A financial breach has an obvious economic downside, but it can also impact your customer service and business reputation. Read on for how to take precautionary steps.

Recognize that you are a target

The biggest threat to businesses is a lack of awareness of how commonplace cyber attacks are. The numbers above tell the story and all businesses are at risk. Don’t wait until after an attack to put protective measures in place. Increase security now via technology, guidelines and training, to avoid this costly experience.

Keep employees current

Victims of fraud are often surprised at how sophisticated and multilayered financial attacks can be. Criminals have upped their game to trick even careful and tech-savvy finance professionals. For example, criminals can now hack into someone’s computer to steal bank account login information, and also gain access to operate their computer remotely. The final trick with this scheme is to hack the employee’s cell phone to intercept text messages typically used to gain approval for large financial transactions. Continuous training of employees to alert them to the latest financial fraud techniques can help to ensure that employees can do their part to ward off an attack.

Establish guidelines

Widespread protection against fraud needs to happen every day, in many small ways and some big ways. Procedures and guidelines for everyone from the CEO on down are key to supporting these good habits. Whether it’s requiring employees to change passwords regularly, verify requests for funds, or double-check financial directives, employees’ daily habits can deter cyber criminals, or prevent access being granted to unauthorized users. These safeguards are essential even if you only have a handful of employees. Typical areas for guidelines include passwords, business use of personal devices and mobile work.

Move data to the cloud

Relocating data off-site, and storing it on a network of distributed servers, can make it more difficult for hackers to breach the system on which your important data is stored. Typically, a company that offers hosting of sensitive information in the cloud will have invested in sophisticated protection that is more secure than what you could establish for your own company. Since secure storage is its business, a cloud provider should also have systems for keeping one step ahead of new fraud approaches. Always verify this fact, though. Ask any potential cloud provider to spell out its security procedures and safeguards. Also ask specifically what it does to evolve as cyber crime becomes more sophisticated.

Choose financial relationships carefully

In addition to equipping your company with fraud protection and detection tools, be sure that all companies you work with have solid practices in place for protecting your information. This is particularly true of banks and other financial partners. While a time-saving of-the-moment financial tool may have appeal, be sure you know exactly what safeguards are in place to protect your information. Ask about protections and how they will evolve as threats grow and change.

Want to work with a financial institution that has its own proven safeguards in place? Go to: https://www.firstcitizens.com/privacy-security/protects-information