Businesses are combatting an increased amount of fraud in these uncertain times.
Over recent months, there has been a rise in fraudulent websites, charity scams and fake emails purporting to be from banks, etc. 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.
Businesses should carry out risk assessments in order to protect against fraud. This should include an assessment of any IT risk that could arise through remove work 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. Our sister company, Assure UK, has a blog on How to Avoid Pension Scams that outlines helpful steps to take to protect yourself against fraudsters.
Training on how to spot fraudulent emails should be provided to all staff as well as guidance on what to do if they spot a fraudulent email. This includes actions such as checking email addresses to see if they look suspicious, reporting suspicious emails to your IT manager, and deleting the email.
Crucially, on the financial side of things, regular internal and external audits should be undertaken. Two signatures / 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 / approval process should be put in place for all payments over a certain amount.
Two factor authentication should be used on company computers and mobiles. Using secure password managers such as LastPass should be considered. Passwords should also be updated on a regular basis.
Even after the implementation of these measures, your business could still be the victim of fraud or cyber crime. To protect yourself against any losses incurred from crimes such as fraud, make sure you have appropriate insurance policies in place.