Incidents of small business digital fraud are on the rise. In today’s world of modern, interconnected businesses, this escalation is perhaps not terribly surprising. For companies of all sizes, the events of the last few years have served to dramatically accelerate digital transformation. This acceleration has, in turn, opened up more targets for opportunistic cybercriminals looking to capitalize on the increase in online activity.
Simply stated, to put off the implementation of reliable digital security infrastructure is to put your entire enterprise in jeopardy. If you feel as though you could be doing more to protect your own company in the digital arena, you’re far from alone. To help protect your interests against malicious intent, give some careful consideration to the tips and tech tools listed below. You may want to implement one or more of them sooner rather than later.
What is digital fraud?
At its simplest, digital fraud occurs whenever a cybercriminal attempts to deceive someone into inadvertently giving them access to financial assets or sensitive data. Unfortunately, damaging incidents of digital fraud hitting small business owners come in many forms. They can show up in a wide array of venues.
Successful cyber-attacks can be exceptionally difficult to recover from. This is particularly true for smaller businesses operating with thin profit margins. It can be overwhelming for small business owners to split their attention between protecting their assets and establishing a good reputation with customers. The first step is to stay informed. For example, you can greater insight into how cybercrimes such as takeover fraud occur by checking out this page.
Install company-wide email compliance software.
We’ve experienced a sudden rise in remote work and a worldwide increase in screen time. The digital realm is packed with more emails than ever before. Every email created represents another piece of hackable data. Any increase in data creation spells more opportunities for cybercriminals.
Steps should be taken to eliminate vulnerabilities. A reliable email compliance system can do just that. Effective email compliance software can regulate your emails on a company-wide basis. It can also allow you to archive and store information for later access should a security incident take place.
Insist on a strong authentication system.
Adopting a stronger authentication system can greatly reduce opportunities for small business digital fraud. It might mean something as simple as requiring every employee to come up with strong passwords on their first day of employment. Instituting this practice might seem obvious, but bad passwords are far more common than you might guess.
If even one of your employees conducts business on your network with a weak password, they represent the weakest link in your chain. They are, in effect, creating a vulnerability through which cybercriminals might gain access to the deepest parts of your infrastructure. Educating your employees and raising awareness is a good way to combat this widespread practice. Another safeguard to consider is introducing a two-step authentication system.
Moreover, if you’re handling vast amounts of sensitive data or highly valuable digital assets such as product blueprints, it may be worth thinking about introducing a tiered access system. That way, only your most trusted employees have access to the portions of your network housing make-or-break data systems.
Set up security-related SMS alerts.
Sometimes cybercriminals will attempt to hijack an account by force. They typically employ methods such as a brute force attack that utilizes ransomware…or even just by successfully guessing an employee’s password.
Setting up SMS alerts can help. These can notify you instantly whenever unusual changes occur to your business account. These provide a timely way to give yourself a heads-up warning. In many cases, instantaneous notification gives you time to change passwords before any lasting damage takes place.
Install anti-spam software on all company machines.
Anyone with an email address will, unfortunately, be well-acquainted with spam messages. Most of these can be easily spotted and avoided. However, an increasing number can come across as incredibly convincing and appear authentic. To avoid having your small business “phished” and your reputation damaged, installing anti-spam software might be able to provide a helping hand.
Not only are spam messages incredibly annoying, but they can also be extremely harmful. Taking steps to reduce spam and phishing attempts across the board is a must.
Perhaps one of the best ways to prevent a successful phishing attack is to educate your employees. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to discern the telltale signs of a spam email. However, doing so has become absolutely necessary to keep your business safe.
Adopting an approach to tackle human error can be immensely helpful. This is one of the main ways phishing attacks manage to succeed. Teach your staff to spot telltale signs of fraudulent emails by running through a simple list of markers.
- Check for spelling and grammatical mistakes.
- Find out whether the sending email address is from a legitimate domain.
- Recognize when a request is genuine vs. unusual or overly demanding.
- Notice when branding is wrong or “off somehow” even when the message contains stolen images and logos.
Use a cloud-based VPN for core business functions.
Implementing a virtual private network (VPN) is a great way to disguise your location online. This might be especially helpful for small businesses who want to avoid being directly and preemptively targeted by cybercriminals.
Disguising your location can help free your business up to make use of the online world in peace. Setting up a VPN has many other great benefits, too, such as bypassing content that is locked by region.
Adopting centralized, cloud-based security solutions provides an effective way to ensure that your digital assets are kept safe in one location. Losing digital assets can be a highly expensive problem, even a business-ending one. Adopting a safe, singular location for your employees to access and share information might just be the best way to go.