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Information Security and Fraud Prevention Tips for Your Business

It’s an unfortunate reality that every business is at risk for a security breach or fraud. Threats to data, customers, and finances come in many different forms, but all potentially result in lost time, money, and reputation. Awareness and preparedness will help offset that risk and, should a breach occur, keep your business on track. Use and review this tips checklist with staff often.

Educate Your Team

Recognize how you’re being targeted

According to a 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 74% of all breaches include the human element, with people being involved either via Error, Privilege Misuse, Use of stolen credentials or Social Engineering.

83% of breaches involved External actors, and the primary motivation for attacks continues to be overwhelmingly financially driven, at 95% of breaches.

Identify internal threats

Threats aren’t always external. The most dangerous ones often come from inside the building and can often be unintentional.

Classify trustworthy sources

Only click on links from credible sources, and use built-in methods for betting links, such as Facebook’s “About this Website” feature.

Learn where your emails come from

Phishing emails are the primary source of malware and computer viruses. Be distrustful of an invalid email address, suspicious links (hover over link to see where it points), and time-sensitive requests that ask for account login information.

Take Precautions

Use strong passwords and update frequently

Implement a multifactor authentication that goes beyond simple password entry. No single-layer login solution is 100% effective.

Assign User access only when necessary

Minimize risk by only assigning access to business computers and systems to those who require it. Laptops can be easy targets, so protect them by locking them up when unused.

Keep security tools and associated signatures up to date

Patch Windows, Adobe®, Flash, Java, and other business software regularly.

Use caution when connect to public Wi-Fi

When connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, look carefully for warning signs. Spelling errors, letters replaced with special characters, or hidden spaces before or after the name of the wireless network could connect you with trouble.

Put it in writing

Introduce a document security policy that outlines how your company will protect sensitive information and destroy confidential information appropriately. Establish a prevention procedures, and know who is accountable for each process.

Enhance Fraud Controls

Go paperless

Prevent “lost” bills and invoices, reduce the risk of manipulation and information theft, and provide an audit trail of who accessed, viewed, or changed a statement.

Keep business and personal accounts separate

Maintaining separate accounts (savings and checking accounts, debit cards, and credit cards) makes it easier to track your activity and associate it with your business or personal finances. It also facilitates tax preparation.

Check your accounts daily

Consistent monitoring reduces the risk of a lost or stolen debit or credit card, or that unauthorized charges will go unnoticed.

Share with caution

Avoid giving confidential information (social security number, debit or credit card number, and other personal or business information) over the phone, through email or over the internet unless you are absolutely sure you are doing so securely.

Deter employee theft

Defend your business and employees from fraud by conducting a background check on employees who will have access to sensitive business accounts.

Monitor company cards

Clearly outline when and how business cards may be used, and conduct regular reviews of spending activity. Employees should submit receipts for purchases to verify transactions.

Nothing can eliminate all possibilities of a security breach or fraud incident but awareness, preparedness, and vigilance will help offset that risk and, should a breach occur, keep your business on track.