The 2014 Association for Financial Professionals Payments Fraud and Controls Survey reports that 60 percent of organizations—both private and public—were targets of attempted or actual fraud. The FBI reports that this fraudulent activity costs consumers, banks and businesses between $18 to $20 billion, every year, and victimized businesses suffer an average loss of $23,100, per case. With even the largest firms being targeted by “data breaches” and payments fraud, businesses of all sizes need to remain vigilant about preventing fraud whenever possible. Below is a checklist of some simple ways to ensure your business is secure:
- Regularly monitor account activity. Carefully monitor your daily transactions and network account activity—including login times and dates—to identify unusual patterns, since compromised networks are often accessed outside of business hours.
- Establish uniform security procedures. Create and enforce company-wide policies and employee requirements for:
- Creating and updating strong passwords
- Logging off inactive computers
- Restricting email usage for confidential or sensitive information
- Using dedicated computers for banking or sensitive information transfers
- Updating current browsers with encryption technology
- Exploring security features from your banking platform, like VPNs or IP restrictions
- Train your employees. Educate and monitor team members regularly to update them on new and current fraud trends (such as “phishing”) and to ensure they’re following company policy, every time.
Protecting your business from fraud is an ongoing process, but by following a few of these straightforward guidelines and procedures, you can go a long way toward keeping your information safe.