Cybersecurity Awareness for your Business
First Franchise Capital: Smart businesses are aware they are under attack at all times. They also have plans in place to reduce their fraud risk. While mitigation practices are nearly endless, there are four main categories of risk to be aware of. One, security. This is in the forms of user security, computer security, building security, and check security. Two, separation of duties. Three, account reconciliation. And four, bank account management. One, to mitigate fraud as much as possible, never enter login information after clicking an email or text link. Never provide authentication codes or pins over phone or chat. And as always, consider using a password manager system to avoid sharing passwords at all costs. Make sure all employees lock their screens when away from their computer, and don't leave sensitive information on printers. Utilizing paperless methods for checks and wires whenever possible is a great mitigation strategy. You should also always securely contain and store your check stock. Finally, if there are ever changes made to payment instructions, such as the pay to routing number or a direct request from the company's CEO or CFO, it is always best practice to pick up the phone and call using your company's trusted vendor contact. Two, there should be separation of duties and dual controls throughout all systems in the organization, but especially for all cash or payment handling operations. For example, employees that issue payments should not also reconcile the account, and those who create a wire or ACH must not also approve them. Three, all organizations should operate behind a firewall as a basic and necessary computer security practice. This goes hand in hand with making sure all anti- malware and antivirus systems are up to date while keeping your systems patched and updated, including disabling USB, CD, DVD access if not essential. You should run endpoint detection and protection tools on all systems. And make sure links are only clicked if you are sure they are clean and safe. Four, reconcile all accounts to include credit cards immediately. And always review canceled checks for anything suspicious, such as forged signatures, missing or duplicate check numbers, or checks that do not match records. Ultimately, there are endless steps to take to mitigate fraud at your organization. While it can be overwhelming, being aware of red flags and common scams is a huge step towards securing your company against fraud. The best practice is to report all fraud immediately.