6 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 suggested that fraud costs UK businesses £130 billion each year. This has only increased since the report was first published.

Throughout recent times, there has 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 taking advantage of confusion. This is based on the increased use of online payment methods and the technology surrounding this.

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, or if the bank details have changed, report it 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.

The number of people with access to the firm’s bank accounts, online banking facilities and payment systems should be restricted. 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. 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. This ensures that your business is protected against any losses incurred from crimes such as fraud.

6. Technology

Whilst technology can be seen as a cause of these issues, it can also be seen as the aid to having a more secure business. Using software which assist with creating an automated purchase order approval process, or to automate the process of supplier payments themselves which can assist with the verification of bank details. This area is fast developing and improving all the time, businesses should therefore be aware of what is out there and what the capabilities are. This is certainly an area in which we can help, so please do not hesitate to let us know and we will be happy to provide recommendations, or carry out a wider systems review.

For further information or advice, get in touch with a member of our Cloud & Digital solutions team team on 01903 234094.