It does not matter whether you run a small coffee store or you have a nationwide chain of legal firms, you need to do everything in your power to ensure that both your employees and clients are protected.
However, cybercriminals are only getting more and more sophisticated, making the challenge even more difficult. With that in mind, below, we are going to take a look at some of the different things you can do to protect your business from fraud in the modern day.
What is a fraud ring?
Before we reveal more about protecting your business from fraud rings, it is vital to explain what a fraud ring actually is. A fraud ring is basically an organized group of fraudsters. They tend to be much more sophisticated when compared with opportunistic fraudsters, and they can access more technology, money, and resources.
While there are some fraud rings that specialize in just one kind of attack, the majority of fraud rings will use a number of different fraudulent methods, even overlapping with both general crime and cybercrime. In a recent post, SEON discusses various fraud rings, and this can help to give you a greater insight into how they operate and what to expect.
For example, a lot of fraud rings work with experts in a number of fields, including synthetic ID creation, credit card fraud, and social engineering.
We should also say that it is challenging to provide a precise definition of what makes a fraud ring. As is the case with a lot of other types of organized crime, there is no real definition for how many members are required before you can call it a crime group.
Tips on protecting your business from fraud
Now that you have a better understanding of what a fraud ring is, we are going to take you through some of the different steps you can follow to protect your business from fraud:
Invest in employee training
There is only one palace to begin when it comes to protecting your business from fraud, and this is with employee training. Did you know that the majority of fraud incidents are insider attacks? While some of these incidents do occur because of malicious employees, a lot of them happen because an employee has done something risky without realizing it.
This can be very frustrating. However, if you do not train your employees in cybersecurity, how do you expect them to know the methods to use to best protect your business? Investing in security training for your employees is definitely money well spent.
At the same time, it is imperative to make sure you do thorough background checks whenever you take on an employee. This will help to reduce the chances of you taking on someone who simply wants to be employed because they have malicious intentions against your business.
Safeguard all of your computer systems with numerous protection methods
There is no magic formula when it comes to data security. If there was, we would all be following it. The truth is that there are a number of different methods that you can and should be using. VPNs can help to keep you safe. For example, you can use a VPN for New York to get a New York IP address whilst hiding your true location. This makes you harder to track.
Firstly, you need to make sure that you have automatic backups in place. We would recommend that you are running backups on a daily basis so that you can restore your files with ease if something does go wrong.
Next, you need to make sure that there are stringent protocols in place when it comes to password selection, and employees should be prompted to change their passwords every three months.
Setting up multi-factor authentication is critical. This means you would need more than just a password in order to access your account or get into the business network. You may need to provide a code that is sent to your mobile, answer a security question, or undergo face recognition, for example. This extra layer of security helps to make sure that even if someone guesses your password, they cannot get into your account.
In addition to this, downloading antivirus software is a must, as is making use of a firewall. However, if your business has employees working remotely or collaborators who need to connect to your network from outside the office, a firewall that’s too tight can be a hindrance. In these instances, it’s best to use a cloud VPN for small businesses that allows you to enable zero-trust global remote access. Both products can help to protect your network, ensuring no one is able to get access to your system.
Finally, whenever you send information over the Internet, make sure that it is encrypted. Encryption turns your data into an unreadable code. So, even if someone were to get access, they would not be able to steal any of your or your customers’ data.
While insurance cannot stop fraud from happening, it can stop your business from needing to close its doors for good because of an incident of fraud. There are specialist ID theft insurance policies available today, allowing you to claim if an attack happens.
This cannot stop your business from being a target. However, it can mean that your business can return to its usual day-to-day activities a lot quicker than it otherwise would have been able to.
Depending on the nature of your policy, the insurance could cover all of your customer compensation payments. Nevertheless, do not assume this is the case. Make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions of the policy you take out.
Install SSL certificate:
It is wise to buy an SSL certificate and install it on the server as it secures the information traveling between the server and the user’s browser. SSL certificate is the primary security for those enterprises who want to provide peace of mind to their customers over the web. Customers will be ensured that their information will remain secure on the site. SSL certificate here, offers data integrity, security, and authenticity. Without an SSL cert, the information passes between two ends in plain text, which hackers can interpret easily and take advantage of it. SSL certificate with strong encryption binds the information and keeps hackers away from such data. The information due to higher encryption looks like a gibberish form, which hackers can not understand it.
Carry out audits on a regular basis
Frequent audits are also required to detect any evident signs that fraudulent activities have taken place. If such activity happens, then the owner of the company must take the action to minimize damage.
By auditing your system on a regular basis, you will be able to identify any unusual activity on your accounts, such as irregular purchases or withdrawals.
This means you will be able to act on instances like this quickly to make sure they do not turn into a bigger and more damaging issue for your business.
Make sure you keep accurate records
Next, all of your records need to be correctly handled and managed, enabling you to prove that transactions are free of errors and that they are legitimate.
There are a number of steps you can take to make sure your records are secure and accurate. The security and safety of your company depend on the way you handle your documents. Therefore, the most fundamental step you can take is to carefully assess any documents that you receive or send containing business or personal information, whether it is by email, post, fax, or any other method.
You also need to make sure that you or your team members never post sensitive or personal information online, unless a secure server is being used. If fraudsters can steal a phone number or a mailing address, they will easily be able to steal other types of financial and personal data from your business as well.
Seek professional support
The final piece of advice we have for you is to consider seeking professional support. Unless you have experience in this area, it is virtually impossible to protect your business adequately. Remember that fraud threats are changing all of the time, as cybercriminals get more and more sophisticated.
Therefore, we would recommend using a fraud management solution to help you in terms of identifying risks and, of course, mitigating them. Fraud management businesses provide these systems to make sure that small businesses have all of the tools they need to assess their current performance and status.
According to Phi Dang, director of Sidepost, “…Fraud management solutions are beneficial because they can help you in terms of putting a plan together with regards to enhancing your processes by reviewing the goals that attain to your success.” He further adds that “…you can also collect and handle information in a secure manner, giving you peace of mind.”
If that was not enough, these tools are helpful when it comes to figuring out the kind of fraud that has happened and the root cause, helping you to stop any security issues from cropping up in the future.
Preventing involves assessing trends and gathering data that can get to the bottom of why a breach happened, formulate the best approach in terms of remedying it, and review the security procedures that are in place.
Safeguard your business today with the tips we have provided above
So there you have it: an insight into fraud and the steps that you can take to protect your business. We hope that the advice that we have provided you with above will help you to ensure you do not become another statistic when it comes to fraud.