Protecting Your Business From Fraud
Businesses and consumers both need to be aware of the computer-related crimes affecting them. A guide, developed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, provides cybersecurity information for business customers of financial institutions on how to safeguard their computer systems and data. The FDIC provides the following tips:
Protect computers and networks. Install security and antivirus software that protects against malware, or malicious software, which can access a computer system without the owner's consent for a variety of uses, including theft of information.
Require strong authentication. Ensure that employees and other users connecting to your network use strong user IDs and passwords for computers, mobile devices, and online accounts by combinations of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols that are hard to guess and changed regularly.
Control access to data and computers and create user accounts for each employee. Take measures to limit access or use of business computers to authorized individuals.
Teach employees the basics. Establish security practices and policies for employees, such as appropriate Internet usage guidelines, and set expectations and consequences for policy violations.
Train employees to be careful where and how they connect to the Internet. Employees and third parties should only connect to your network using a trusted and secure connection.
Train employees about the dangers of suspicious emails. Employees need to be suspicious of unsolicited e-mails asking them to click on a link, open an attachment, or provide account information.
Patch software in a timely manner. Software vendors regularly provide patches or updates to their products to correct security flaws and improve functionality.
Make backup copies of important systems and data. Regularly backup the data from computers used by your business.
Pay close attention to your bank accounts and watch for unauthorized withdrawls. Put in additional controls, such as confirmation calls before financial transfers are authorized with the financial institution.
Don't forget about tablets and smartphones. Mobile devices can be a source of security challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access your business's network.
Watch out for fraudulent transactions and bills. Scams can range from payments with a worthless check or fake credit or debit card to fraudulent returns of merchandise.
Educate yourself. To learn more about protecting your business, visit the "Stop. Think. Connect." resources for small businesses at http://www.dhs.gov/publication/stopthinkconnect-small-business-resources. The U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee recently released cybersecurity guides for small business.
You can download this brochure from the FDIC here.