Here’s how to guard your small business against online fraud

Here’s how to guard your small business against online fraud

Online fraud is an umbrella term that refers to the schemes cybercriminals use to steal sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII), which enable them to commit identity theft and other crimes. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, fraud cost companies worldwide an average of $8,300 a month in 2020.

Alarmingly, 48% of small businesses in Canada and the United States still believe that they are not big enough organizations to be targeted by fraud; hence, they don’t enforce proper safeguards against it. Changing that dangerous mindset is the first step to protecting small businesses against online fraud. Here are important security measures to implement:

Perform a security audit

A security audit uncovers weaknesses or flaws in your systems, enabling you to fix these vulnerabilities before cybercriminals can exploit them. Patching unsecured points in your systems can also make it less likely for cybercriminals to successfully carry out fraudulent schemes such as phishing attacks and social media scams.

Protect your bank accounts

Separate your business bank account from your personal bank account, no matter how small your organization is. Doing so prevents hackers from having access to all of your funds in case they get a hold of either one of your accounts. Setting up different accounts will also make it easier to track your business expenses and report deductions on your tax returns.

Find out if your bank offers adequate fraud protection, such as biometric logins, automatic logouts, or real-time alerts for withdrawals or transactions made beyond a specified amount. Keep transactions digital — the more paperwork you have lying around, the more likely your banking information could fall into the wrong hands. You should also regularly monitor your online banking account for any suspicious activity.

Educate your workforce

Anyone in your organization can be a target of fraud. An average employee may receive a tempting email about getting complimentary access to a paid subscription, or they might be tricked into divulging sensitive information by an entity posing as a compliance expert. This is why it’s critical that every employee knows how to identify and manage fraud attacks.

For starters, you can incorporate online fraud topics in your onboarding program or employee education training. You can also reinforce the habit of double-checking all online requests and checking them for any red flags. The important thing is for top-level management to take the lead and encourage employees to keep a vigilant eye on fraud and other security threats.

Top-level management must take the lead and encourage employees to keep a vigilant eye on fraud and other security threats.

Insure your business

Insuring your business against losses from internet-based risks can save your company from financial ruin. In case fraud does befall your organization, having the right insurance policy can mitigate your losses and help you get back on your feet. A good fraud insurance policy typically covers financial damages resulting from employee or third-party fraud, such as dishonesty, forgery, theft, or embezzlement.

Implement proactive solutions

While getting fraud insurance is a great idea, an even better scenario is not becoming a victim of fraudulent schemes in the first place. This is why it’s important to implement the best available IT solutions against these attacks.

For instance, big companies can invest in enterprise fraud management (EFM) software, which detects, analyses, and manages activity across multiple company users, accounts, processes, and channels in real time to identify suspicious activities. On the other hand, small- or medium-sized businesses with limited resources can do phish testing to raise awareness among their employees. They can also introduce features that make it easy to report fraud attempts, such as an embedded report button on their staff’s inbox. And, while it won’t protect you from what happens on other websites, implementing 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) can keep fraudsters from gaining access to your networks and data even if they have stolen a user’s credentials.

Deploying only one solution doesn’t guarantee the prevention of all cyber risks. There are thousands of threats to your business, so it’s only logical to implement several solutions to counter them. With XBASE Technologies’ Exponentially Better™ services, your company can enjoy a comprehensive, state-of-the-art, and cost-efficient suite of cybersecurity solutions that will help protect your business from fraud and other threats. Contact us today to learn more.