Double the cybersecurity protocols and double the fraud

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Cybersecurity hacks can happen with just a click… And with the increase in digital transactions in banking, it’s crucial that financial institutions, businesses and consumers are aware of the risks involved with every transaction. IBM’s latest report on cyberattacks found that data breaches in the United States cost businesses an average of $9.44 million, twice the global average. He also pointed out that phishing attacks, business email compromise and third-party software vulnerability are the biggest cyber threats.

Small businesses are major targets for cybercriminals because they typically lack the cybersecurity assets and security measures of large organizations. According Accenture study on the cost of cybercrime, 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses. That’s why, for commercial banks like ours, keeping our small business customers safe is a top priority by providing them with the most up-to-date documentation and regular cybersecurity checks. Leaders across industries need to be on high alert as organizations’ digital footprints grow and centralized cybersecurity risks increase.

To avoid potential risks, many banks offer a number of products to help small businesses counter the risk of fraud and cyberattacks. Positive Pay, for example, is one of our bank’s fraud protection services, which aims to reduce the risk of customer fraud through electronic payments and paper checks. With this product, as checks come in for payment, the system will cross-check against the list that the customer has uploaded, if a presented check matches the list, it will automatically be paid. If a check presented does not match or is not on the list, the customer will be asked to verify it. This thwarts fraudulent invoice attempts and unauthorized collection or payment attempts.

Resilience in the banking sector plays a critical role in protecting the finances of individuals and businesses. The latest from the FDIC 2022 Cybersecurity and Financial System Resilience Report underlined its commitment to the security of its systems and the protection of data for the coming year. The report ultimately provides banks with the policies and procedures to follow that enable better protection against cyber threats.

With October being a month dedicated to cybersecurity awareness, it’s a good time for companies to think about ways to improve their security infrastructure to prevent harmful attacks. Here are some suggestions as cyber threats evolve.

1. Know your recipients and the risks of wire transfers

Electronic transfers are a quick and easy way to send money to individuals and businesses, they serve as an easy method of payment. But be aware that once a wire transfer has been sent it is irreversible – so be sure to confirm who you are sending it to.

2. Think before you click

A somewhat obvious but common way for businesses to fall victim to a cyber threat is through suspicious links. The sender may pretend to be someone from your bank, but it’s more than likely a scam. For many of us, our phones and other digital devices contain a lot of sensitive information, so we should always be on the lookout for unusual activity and ask ourselves, “Am I expecting that ? Did I ask that? Does that make sense?” If you’re not sure, check with the company or person you think generated the email.

3. Who is texting you?

As technology becomes an integral part of our daily lives and easy access to information becomes increasingly sought after, pay attention to the text messages you receive. If someone texts you and asks you to log in or provide information, it’s a scam. Look for the option on the messaging app you use to report junk or spam and send a screenshot of it to your carrier by texting it to 7726 (SPAM).

4. Sharing is not always benevolent:

Do not send or enter any personal information sent to you by email or SMS. Personal information can include anything from your address and social security number (SSN) to your account number or password. You may also receive phone calls, where someone will ask you for information – remember that a legitimate institution will never ask for private information over the phone.

5. Make your [email protected]$sw0rDs longer and stronger:

Weak passwords are still too common, and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) no longer recommends requiring special characters or mixing upper and lower case. New guidelines state that length is what matters and to adopt a passphrase that is longer and stronger, even up to 64 characters. Opting for two-factor authentication is another recommendation.

Reduce your business risk

Building a strong and secure infrastructure to protect against cyber threats is crucial not only to protecting a company’s bottom line, but also to its reputation. Business owners and executives need to think carefully about who has access to sensitive data and resources, both internally and externally, and implement strong multi-factor authentication. Critical systems and endpoints should be hardened, and digital assets and data centers should be regularly scanned for vulnerabilities. Finally, a company’s employees are often the last line of defense against fraud attempts. Providing ongoing education and training therefore pays significant dividends for businesses of all sizes.

Ultimately, companies should approach everything as if it were a risk and put processes in place for employees to follow. Be aware of the risks your business faces and educate employees to ensure they are also protecting themselves and the business from cyberattacks.

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