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Protecting Your Small Business Account

Account takeover is a type of fraud where scammers gain access to a business’s finances to make unauthorized transactions.  These transactions include transferring funds outside the company, creating and adding fake employees to payroll, and stealing sensitive customer information that may  not be recoverable. 

Here are some recommended steps to help keep your small business safe:

  1. Educate your employees. Employees are the first line of defense against corporate account takeover.  Strong security programs paired with employee education on warning signs, safe practices, and responses to a suspected takeover are essential to protecting your company and customers.
  1. Protect your online environment. Protect it as you would your cash or physical location.  Cybersecurity is a team sport!  A few suggestions: never use unprotected internet connections, encrypt sensitive data, keep virus protections up-to-date on computers, use complex passwords and change them periodically, and enable multi-factor authentication and/or dual control where able.
  1. Partner with your bank to prevent unauthorized transactions. Talk with your banker or Treasury Management contact about programs that can help safeguard your accounts from unauthorized transactions.  Monitor and reconcile business accounts daily to recognize fraudulent activity before it is too late to act.
  1. Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly. Look out for suspicious emails, pop-ups, and unexplained account or network activity.  Immediately contact your financial institution, stop all online activity, and remove any systems from the network and/or internet that may have been compromised. Keep detailed records of what occurred and when.  Contact appropriate law enforcement if necessary.
  1. Understand your responsibilities and liabilities. Review your account agreement with your bank to determine what commercially reasonable security measures your business requires.  It is critical to understand and implement these security safeguards listed in your agreement.  Otherwise, you and your business could be liable for losses resulting from an account takeover.  Your Treasury Management contact can answer any questions you may have about your responsibilities.