Fostering a Culture of Fraud Prevention
By Tammy Trilli, Senior Vice President, Commercial Payments Organization
In today's digital business world, fraud is an ever-present threat. The financial and reputational repercussions of a cyberattack can be devastating, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars and the compromise of customer data. There is no question that it is crucial for businesses to establish a culture of fraud protection and that company leaders play an essential role in shaping an environment that helps prevent fraud.
FNBO is a private, family-owned bank, and our employees are dedicated to preserving the heritage and values of our founders. This unwavering commitment extends to our customers and the communities we serve. Such loyalty can be engendered at any business when leaders inspire their teams to deeply care about the company, its goals, vision and purpose. It's rooted in leaders who establish core values that prioritize ethics and integrity.
The Role of Leadership in Fraud Protection
The need for proactive tactics to thwart bad actors is vital. While it may seem that front-line and public-facing employees are best positioned to fend off scams, executives play a pivotal role in instilling a company-wide, fraud-resistant mindset.
Leadership can set the tone by establishing security policies and procedures and bringing those policies to life by ensuring they are not just words on paper but a philosophy deeply ingrained in the organization's DNA. A philosophy that is frequently reviewed, updated and acted on. Executives who lead by example create an atmosphere that encourages employees to ask questions, to report suspicious incidents and behaviors, and to feel safe taking these actions. Strong leaders also engage in strategic planning that extends beyond today’s work, looking ahead one, three, five and even 10 years to envision how the organization can be efficient and innovative.
Breaking down silos and forging holistic teams that unite around customer-centricity is paramount. Speed to market is a crucial factor here. A leader may opt to rush a new product out to its customers to meet a deadline, even if issues surface, or they can pause and re-evaluate. Yes, a slowdown may temporarily inconvenience the customer, but it is better to implement practices that will protect the customer from harm. A leader committed to fraud prevention will invest the time needed to ensure the customer experience is strong, stable and safe.
Similarly, fraud controls may alter familiar processes and can be perceived as adding steps, but the potential prevention of cyberattacks that come with implementing solutions like dual authentication or out-of-band authentication (OOBA) makes procedure changes worth the time and investment. But it does take leadership support – and communication of that support – to make these kinds of transformative changes.
Supporting and Empowering the Workforce
Diligence is also essential to a security-oriented culture. Leaders must be engaged, question the status quo, commit to technological advancement and the innovation, and instill confidence in their teams. Confidence, however, is not achieved overnight; it comes with time, tenure, accountability, training and placement of the right individuals in the right roles. The workforce needs to know what is non-negotiable and be taught to handle challenging situations. They need continuous education about the latest cyber threats and preventive techniques, including secure data handling and password management.
Empowered and confident employees are more likely to ask questions and report suspicious behavior, secure in the knowledge that leadership trusts them and will back them up. For instance, when a front-line service associate receives a call from an internal colleague who asks them to bypass a rule, they are faced with a choice. Do they stick to the policy or make an exception? In a security-centric culture, the front-line employee possesses the confidence, courage and backing to make the right choice. They know their leader will support them, allowing them to prioritize the customer's best interests.
At FNBO, our emphasis on customer relationships is at the heart of our values, making us an indispensable partner when a customer falls victim to fraud. Simultaneously, we are committed to pioneering innovation and supplying powerful tools to protect our customers. This culture begins at the very top of our organization and is reinforced at every level of the bank.
Ultimately, a company’s proactive stance against fraud is the collective responsibility of every employee, with leadership cultivating and preserving a culture of resilience against the ever-evolving threats.
Encourage your leaders to take immediate steps toward nurturing a culture of ethics and integrity, promoting ongoing awareness and inquisitiveness, and inspiring their teams to be vigilant against fraud and having the confidence to unite against bad actors.
About the Author
With over 30 years of experience and industry leadership in commercial payments, Tammy leads FNBO’s Commercial Payments Organization, providing end-to-end payments capabilities for business customers. She is proud to support local communities by helping businesses achieve superior financial results through client-led solutions.
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.