Throughout recent months, there have been widespread reports of an uptick 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.
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.
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, delete the email, etc.
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.
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.
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.
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