Cyber fraud: Is your business secure?

Fraud is the 21st Century volume crime. This trend is set to continue with more people operating online including:

  • sharing data
  • transacting
  • setting up businesses
  • dating
  • banking
  • communicating

Cyber crime is on the rise

Financial scamming and its impact have been receiving a higher public profile in recent months. Although recognised as a growing problem, there is a lack of clear research and evidence into the scale of its causes and the impact on the public.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) England and Wales reports that fraud and computer misuse offences have increased substantially over the last two years, despite other types of crime decreasing.

In fact, fraud offences increased by 25% compared to the year ending March 2020. This was driven by an increased in ‘advance fee fraud’ and ‘consumer and retail fraud’.

There has been an upward trend in the number of fraud offences referred to the NFIB. England and Wales, year ending March 2014 to year ending March 2022

Who is at risk?

Criminals are use significant resources in order to commit financial scams and fraud. More than 43% of cyber attacks are now targeted as small businesses.

Businesses at greatest risk are those new to digital process (or undergoing digital transformation) as well as start-ups. These businesses may not be aware of best practice to protect against common threats. They’re also less likely to be prepared to respond to an attack or incident.

Some of the big fraud risks businesses face include:

  • Identity theft/account takeover
  • Mobile banking fraud
  • Expense fraud

Free cybercrime protection

Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, offer free cybercrime protection and cybersecurity tools for small businesses through the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA). The GCA is a non-profit organisation dedicated to making the Internet a safer place by reducing cyber risk.

The Toolkit for Small Business addresses the most common cyber risks affecting small businesses who conduct any aspect of their business via email or over the internet. The structure and content of the toolkit enables small businesses to precisely target and resolve common weaknesses. This allows them to focus more time and resources on their core business objectives.

It is specifically designed for small and medium businesses. It offers clear, actionable guidance and relevant tools to help protect small businesses from cyber risks faced on a daily basis.

Free cybersecurity tools for small businesses

Report it

You can report fraud or cybercrime to Action Fraud any time of the day or night using their online reporting tool. Reporting online is quick and easy. The tool will guide you through simple questions to identify what has happened and our advisors are available twenty-four hours a day, to give you help and advice if you need it.

You can also report to them by calling 0300 123 2040 Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm.

If you have any concerns or would like advice about anything featured in this article, please get in touch with a member of our team.