5 simple tips to protect your business against fraud

In these uncertain times, businesses are combatting an increased amount of fraud.

The Financial Cost of Fraud 2019 report published by the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies at the University of Portsmouth suggested that fraud costs UK businesses £130 billion each year.

Throughout recent months, there have been widespread reports of an uptick in fraudulent websites, charity scams and fake emails purporting to be from banks. This increase in fraudulent activity is being driven by opportunists who are attempting to take advantage of the confusion and change of circumstances resulting from the current global pandemic.

Here we’ve provided some tips to protect your business against the costly effects of fraud.

1. Risk assessment

In order to protect against fraud, businesses should carry out a risk assessment. This should include an assessment of any IT risk that could arise through remote working. Cyber security measures should be put in place including firewalls, anti-malware and anti-virus software. This software should be kept up to date. 

2. Staff training

All staff should be trained on how to spot fraudulent emails and should be provided with clear guidelines on what to do if they spot a fraudulent email. For example, check email addresses to see if they look suspicious, report the suspicious email to the IT manager or delete the email.

3. Regular audits

On the financial side, regular internal and external audits should be undertaken. Two signatures or authorisations should be required to sign off on payments from the business.

Access to the firm’s bank accounts, online banking facilities and payment systems should be restricted to a limited number of people. An authorisation or approval process should be put in place for all payments over a certain amount.

4. Password protect devices

Computers, company mobiles, phones and devices should all be password protected. All staff should be trained on how to create a secure password and a process should be put in place which means that all passwords are updated on a regular basis.

5. Insurance policies

Even if you implement these measures, your business could still be the victim of fraud or cyber crime. Make sure that you have appropriate insurance policies in place so that your business is protected against any losses incurred from crimes such as fraud.

For further information or advice, get in touch with a member of our Business Services team on 01903 234094.