Author: Larry Twito, Vice President, Commercial Card Payments Product Strategy
If you think your business is safe from cybercrime, current statistics may change your mind. Last year over 85% of businesses suffered some form of cyberattack. For 40% of those companies, cybercrime was a persistent problem, resulting in more than six attacks in a single year.
While these statistics are sobering, you have options when it comes to combatting cybercrime. Here are some things you need to know to help prevent attacks on your company.
Every year, cybercriminals bilk businesses out of billions of dollars. Business email compromise schemes alone cost companies $2.4 billion in adjusted losses throughout 2021, and it’s pretty easy to understand why.
In recent years, hackers have become increasingly sophisticated. For instance, an attacker may hijack a business leader’s email address and send instructions as if they were the email owner.
Often, these instructions are aimed at diverting funds from business bank accounts into the hands of criminals. Since the instructions originate from a legitimate email address within the company, most employees are none the wiser, and neither is the organization until the lost funds are discovered.
While email fraud relies on the use of stolen credentials—the leading method for gaining access to business accounts—there are other schemes hackers employ to steal from unsuspecting companies. Check fraud is one of the most common types of crime committed against small businesses.
In this scheme, an attacker either steals a business check to send money to their own bank account or creates a counterfeit check using the company’s information. By the time the fraud is discovered, it is often too late to recover the funds.
According to Business Fraud Prevention, small businesses and private companies are at higher risk for fraud simply because they don’t have the internal controls needed for prevention. However, many types of fraud can be deterred with a little help from your bank.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the cost of cyberattacks could be as high as $10.5 trillion by 2025. Accenture reveals another sobering statistic: Business interruption costs resulting from cyberattacks add up to $4 million annually.
One of the first things you can do to prevent your business from becoming a victim is to educate yourself and employees about the latest phishing scams, technology breaches and ransomware attacks, as well as other fraud and financial crime schemes. That knowledge will help you identify fraudulent acts before the attacker makes an impact or before you mistakenly allow bad actors to illicitly move money through your account, which can result in interrogation by law enforcement and having your books opened up for review unnecessarily. Being proactive also will allow your business to react more quickly should you fall prey to cybercrime, fraud or other financial crimes.
When it comes to beating bad actors at their own game, your bank may be one of your most valuable resources to safeguard your company finances. Most leading financial institutions offer services to aid you in identifying cyberattacks, fraud and other financial crimes before a theft occurs. At FNBO, we offer several fundamental and effective services that will reduce your business’s chance of falling victim to fraud.
With Check Positive Pay, your payment information, such as account number, payee information or issue date, is compared to a list provided by your company. If the check doesn’t match the list, your bank will notify you and withhold payment.
With ACH Positive Pay, you can monitor and control your business’ ACH payments online. You’ll have the power to accept or reject items before they post to your account and pre-approve ACH transactions.
Reverse Positive Pay allows your business to detect and stop fraudulent, altered or counterfeit checks from posting to your account. You’ll be able to review all checks that have been presented to your account for payment before payment is sent.
Check Block can help reduce fraud by restricting all payment activity to electronic activity. By limiting paper checks and restricting your business to digital transactions, you’ll reduce the risks associated with dealing in paper.
Switching to a card payment process can reduce fraud risk and offer extensive payment controls. Whether you are considering a shift to card payments, you process already integrates a commercial credit card or your payments are solely done by credit card, take a look at virtual card options. With virtual card, your exposure to fraud and overspending are nearly eliminated with one-time use card numbers and centrally managed purchasing controls.
Fraud can cost your business time and money and damage your brand reputation. It’s important to take steps now to help prevent cybercrime, fraud and other financial crimes.
Learn more about monitoring solutions and protection for your business, or connect with an FNBO representative to determine what product will best meets your needs.
About the Author
Larry leads a diversified team in developing long-term product strategy designed to facilitate business needs for all commercial payment services. He puts his extensive experience to work for FNBO clients, developing industry-leading B2B payment and mobile commerce solutions that boost client business outcomes and better support their financial goals.
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.