Many people are still waiting for their second stimulus payment to arrive; fraud once again becomes an immediate concern. With huge numbers of checks and direct deposit payments surging from the federal government to individuals all over the country, now is a prime time for fraudsters to pull out all the stops in order to steal some of that money for themselves.
In this limited series, we’ll talk about the top two common fraud types and trends, as well as some solutions for mitigating the risk to your business and your customers. We’ll start with the most common type – cyber fraud.
Online activity, shopping, and payments exploded this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But as e-commerce sales figures came in well over $100 billion higher than forecasted, 2020 was also the time of the “digital pandemic” where cybercrime reports increased by a whopping 400% as well.
737 million files were breached in 2020. Cybersecurity threats are growing and changing all the time, and you and your business are not immune to these threats.
To protect your business, you should develop a cybersecurity plan and update it regularly.
The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) offers 10 cybersecurity tips for small businesses. We’ve included some of them below and also pulled insights from a variety of other sources.
Properly Equip and Educate Your Employees
Every employee is a valuable asset, but also a potential security risk. Educate your staff about security practices and policies. Encourage them to use strong passwords and change their passwords every 90 days. Make them aware of internet usage guidelines: this includes staying away from restricted or potentially dangerous websites, auditing emails to check for fraud, and keeping personal information and usage off company devices.
Another important facet of this training, especially with the remote work boom we’ve been seeing, is training your employees on best practices regarding their personal mobile devices. Any smartphones being used for work need to be password protected. And no employees should leave work email apps or other business assets running without a password gateway. It’s also best if employees disable the password autofill functions on their phones unless there are other encryption measures in place on the device.
Another best practice is to make sure each employee creates an authorized account that only they know the credentials for. Instruct them not to ever allow another employee or supervisor to log in using their credentials.
Secure Your Wi-Fi Networks
Unsecured Wi-Fi networks are a perfect door to your business’s valuable files and information. To decrease the chances of being breached via this technology, your workplace Wi-Fi needs to be secure, encrypted, and hidden. You can set up your router not to broadcast your network, and strong passwords must be in place on all routers and networks as well.
Take Advantage of Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication may seem like a hassle, but it can protect your company’s data and network. Many financial institutions already require additional information either before or after a password is entered. This is especially important in areas of your system that have sensitive data like financial records, classified documents, personal information like employee social security numbers, health-related data, and the like.
Lower Your Risk of Cyber Fraud Today
To protect your business from this growing threat, you need to have the right software and solutions in place before a breach takes place. ReliaFund offers secure payment processing services like ACH processing, online payments, and other powerful features like reporting and reconciliation to create payment flexibility for your business. Contact us to learn more.