Small Business Fraud & Cybersecurity Threats: Protecting Your Business Online

October 13, 2023

Businesses of all sizes are subject to cyberattacks and fraud, but smaller businesses—like those in the center of the community, keeping local services strong and vital—are especially vulnerable. In fact, small businesses are the top target of cybercriminals, experiencing 43% of all data breaches.

When you understand how fraudsters think, staying one step ahead gets a little easier. The perfect time to look closely at your efforts in fraud prevention is now, with October being Cybersecurity Awareness Month .

Read on to learn more about the most prevalent types of fraud and the measures you can take to minimize and mitigate the risks.

5 Types of Online Fraud to Look Out For

Online risks are always evolving. So, staying on top of trends is critical. But the following threats are the most common:

·  Payment fraud encompasses any false or illegal transactions—such as when criminals use stolen credit cards, stolen checks, or stolen Zelle information to make online purchases or obtain funds.

·  Phishing or smishing attacks occur when criminals use email- or text-based communications to social-engineer individuals into sharing sensitive information, downloading malware, or send payments.

·  Spoofing attacks occur when criminals use lookalike websites or emails to impersonate trusted devices or users and social-engineer individuals into thinking the criminals have legitimate requests.

·  Ransomware is a type of malware that denies or restricts a business' access to its data—usually by encrypting its files—until ransom payments are made by the business.

·  Business email compromise (BEC) occurs when an attacker uses phishing tactics to obtain access to (or control of) a business email account in order to access sensitive information or otherwise defraud the company by pretending to be the owner of the account.

Fraud Mitigation Solutions That Protect Your Operations

Small businesses aren't alone when it comes to reducing their fraud risk and staying ahead of threats to their finances. Banks like City National Bank of Florida offer services that help protect your business from fraudulent acts. Here are some tools that can monitor your day-to-day and work to keep your business from being cyberattacked:

· ACH blocks and debit filters, for example, protect businesses' accounts and assets by automatically authorizing or rejecting ACH debits or credits. Small businesses can choose which vendors are authorized to debit their accounts, ensuring no fraudulent payments go through.

·  Check positive pay enables businesses to view reporting of exceptions online any time items do not match their registered checks, for example.

·  ACH positive pay, meanwhile, enables businesses to gain more control over their ACH transactions by accepting or rejecting those transactions as they are presented against the account.

·  Payment Exchange (DPX) gives businesses the ability to process eChecks and send them directly to their vendors—reducing the risk of paper items being intercepted.

To let a City National Bank of Florida treasury management specialist help you find the solutions that best fit your business, contact us.

How to Secure the Path Ahead

Ultimately, taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity is the only way small businesses can protect themselves and their customers. While putting steps in motion for Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a great start, businesses need processes in place for the long-term. Doing that requires businesses to not only stay informed on current threats, but also work with trusted partners who can help them secure their finances for the life of the business.

For ongoing insights into cybersecurity best practices for small businesses, check out resources from the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Small Business Administration.

Please note: The content in this article comes from individual opinions and experiences. The content should not be taken as advice coming from City National Bank of Florida. City National Bank of Florida does not offer tax, legal or accounting advice.


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