Cyber-Security Best Practices: Don't Fall Victim to Fraud

Fraud and Financial Crime

Mary Elliott

Oct 27, 2020

More than likely your organization, or one you know of, has fallen victim to cyber-crime, leading to damaged reputations and strained customer relationships that can be difficult to repair. In fact, over 50% of respondents to the Strategic Treasurer’s 2020 Treasury Fraud & Controls survey reported that their organization has been a victim of fraud. This reiterates the importance of staying informed about fraud, how it can impact your business, and what you can do to protect your organization.

Business Email Compromise (BEC) is the fastest growing type of fraud, followed by ransomware. Both are types of fraud that leave organizations vulnerable to compromised data and diverted funds. With the click of a button from an imposter email, hackers can access personal data. This is a strategy called Phishing, where hackers deploy fraudulent emails with the intent to gain secured information by tricking recipients to click on a link or download an infected attachment.

According to Strategic Treasurer’s report, 82% of respondents experienced some form of BEC fraud in the past year, with 15% showing a loss of funds as a result. Furthermore, 21% reported attempted ransomware attacks with a 5% loss of funds.

So, what can your organization do to prevent fraud? Here are three security best practices to keep in mind for preventing fraud in the digital age:

  1.  Implement a principle of least privilege - this allows only the person who needs information for specific job duties to have access to the related data. By removing widespread access to sensitive information, the risk of compromised data is minimized - 55% of organizations reported fewer losses as a result.
  2. Research and utilize online resources - is a great resource for checking if your personal information is being stored on a website that has experienced a data breach. By typing in your email, the website provides a list of compromised data from websites and a brief description of what was compromised, when, and where.
  3. Focus on employee training - Better security starts with teaching and training employees to recognize and report fraudulent activity as soon as they see it, and overall awareness helps to recognize cybercrime before it becomes an issue. Something as simple as training can cut down on the success rate of ransomware attacks.

With digital-based fraud increasing 50% over the past three years, staying in the know and following tips for better online security practices can help better equip your organization. stay better informed on the latest fraud and risk management tactics, read the full article by fraud expert, Chris Gerda of Bottomline, “When It Comes to Cyber Fraud, Every Organization is a Potential Victim”.


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Mary Elliott

As a featured SmartPayments contributor and marketing intern at Bottomline Technologies, Mary Elliott brings a unique perspective with her diverse background in the technology, marketing, and non-profit industries. She is simultaneously pursuing a BS in advertising with a minor in technical writing at Kent State University.
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