Cybercriminals are targeting businesses with increasingly sophisticated attacks. Criminals use spoofed emails, malicious software spread through infected attachments and online social networks to obtain login credentials to businesses' accounts, transfer funds from the accounts and steal private information, a fraud referred to as "corporate account takeover."
Corporate account takeover is a type of fraud where thieves gain access to a business' finances to make unauthorized transactions, including transferring funds from the company, creating and adding new fake employees to payroll, and stealing sensitive customer information that may not be recoverable.
Combating account takeover is a shared responsibility between businesses and financial institutions. Bankers can explain the safeguards businesses need and the numerous programs available that help ensure fund transfers, payroll requests and withdrawals are legitimate, accurate and authorized. Companies should train employees about safe internet use and the warning signs of this fraud, because they are the first line of defense.
WestStar Bank recommends following these tips to keep your business safe.
- Educate your employees. You and your employees are the first line of defense against corporate account takeover. A strong security program paired with employee education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses to a suspected takeover are essential to protecting your company and customers.
- Protect your online environment. It is important to protect your cyber environment just as you would your cash and physical location. Do not use unprotected internet connections. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated virus protections on your computer. Use complex passwords and change them periodically.
- Partner with your bank to prevent unauthorized transactions. Talk to your banker about programs that safeguard you from unauthorized transactions. Positive Pay and other services offer call backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes and batch limits help protect you from fraud.
- Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly. Look out for unexplained account or network activity, pop ups, and suspicious emails. If detected, immediately contact us at (915) 532-1000 [El Paso] or (575) 323-6040 [Las Cruces], stop all online activity, and remove any systems that may have been compromised. Be sure to keep records of what happened.
For additional information, you can also visit the following websites to learn more about how to protect your business:
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Internet Security Essentials for Business
- Better Business Bureau: Data Security Made Simpler
- NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association Corporate Account Takeover Resource Center