Protection from digital fraud

6 Strategies To Protect Your Business From Digital Identity Fraud

As the business world becomes more digitally driven, companies face constant privacy threats. This is backed by research, which reveals that over 70% of enterprises have experienced some fraud. However, some businesses are more prone to digital identity fraud than others for several reasons, including varying vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals are constantly on the lookout for such vulnerabilities, making it essential for your business to be alert and adopt the right strategies to prevent these risks. Fortunately, it is possible to overcome these ever-evolving threats, and it starts with implementing robust security measures, including those outlined below.

1. Educate your employees

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Every business has a security chain that protects laid-down rules and procedures. However, employees can be one of the weakest links in that security chain. That is due to carefully planned cyberattacks that usually target or trick unsuspecting employees into revealing sensitive company data. Sometimes, all it takes is clicking on a single malicious link for cybercriminals to gain access to the company’s IT system. It explains why educating and sensitizing your employees on cybersecurity issues is crucial, as it can protect your business from digital identity fraud. It is best to focus on comprehensive cybersecurity training where all staff members are involved. Touch on topics like phishing emails, suspicious websites, sensitive data handling, and so on. According to data, these three topics rank high on how cybercriminals gain access to secured company files. The objective is to raise awareness among your staff and foster a vigilance culture that helps reduce or eliminate your business’s risk of digital identity fraud.

2. Make Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) a must

This step is an extra security layer that requires users to provide multiple verifications to access their accounts. Cybercrime has evolved over the years, and having a single password authentication is no longer enough. With sophisticated gadgets, software, and decryption knowledge, cybercriminals find it easy to break into single authentication security systems. Even two-factor authentication has come under intense scrutiny, and that cannot be good news for any business intent on protecting its online systems. The multi-factor security layer is very much welcome in a period when cybercriminals can obtain login credentials through phishing emails. The MFA requires a password, followed by a verification code, which is usually sent to the user’s smartphone. The third step may include some biometric data or other information only known to the user or business. The MFA security layer must cut across all your business systems and applications to enhance your digital protection.

3. Update software and systems regularly

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A cyber report on the website described outdated software and systems as low-hanging fruits for cybercriminals. These are known to have loopholes that hackers can exploit and hold your business to ransom if they access critical company files. That explains why software developers stay ahead of the game by releasing updates that resolve glitches and other gaps that put your business at risk. It would be best to examine all your company’s operating systems, software, and firmware and check for recent updates. These security patches mend or strengthen your digital systems with the latest releases. Your business will benefit more from automated patch management tools, especially if you are concerned about the likelihood of oversight or human errors. Although system and software upgrades are technology-aided, it takes human intervention to set the process in motion. Therefore, be proactive in your decision-making processes, especially where systems and software upgrades are concerned.

4. Strengthen your company’s network security

Many companies have their network security systems compromised every few minutes, showing how prevalent cyberattacks are in the 21st century. You should, therefore, invest in robust firewalls and intrusion detection systems to protect your company’s online presence against unauthorized intrusion. Additionally, implement encryption protocols for your business’s network security as a defence mechanism against data breaches. It may be time to reconsider your stance on getting a virtual private network for your business’s online activities if you don’t have any already. In this era of increased remote work, a reputable VPN service will be beneficial when your employees must access company data away from the office. The objective is to grant them access through a secured network while eliminating risks. This step is particularly important when workers are compelled to use public Wi-Fi networks to access company online resources. These virtual private networks work by encrypting internet traffic and masking sensitive information that hackers may access. 

5. Monitor transactions and accounts

Financial thefts are prevalent in the digital space, and according to data, ecommerce businesses are most at risk as they lose $48 billion annually to online fraud. That is a whopping figure that can spell doom for the ecommerce space if timely interventions are ignored. These interventions start from within, and that involves monitoring your transactions and accounts. Consider setting up alerts for large transactions that exceed a preset amount. It also helps to set up alerts for rapid, unusual login attempts or changes to your business account settings. These measures seem like a lot to do, but the long-term benefits far outweigh the inconvenience of setting different alerts for all transactions and accounts. The advantage of constant monitoring is the opportunity it offers to mitigate fraud in real time. You can also investigate potential security incidents and immediately review your existing mitigating measures. Remember that it only takes a few seconds or minutes to hack your online financial accounts and transactions, so staying ahead of the curve will save you millions of your company’s money.

6. Conduct regular security audits

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Regular security audits are like follow-up medical appointments after a diagnosis or after commencing a new treatment. Your security measures must be regularly reviewed and audited to identify potential weaknesses in the system. These audits are usually conducted by engaging third-party experts to embark on penetration testing. Therefore, consider hiring cybersecurity professionals outside your business to try hacking into your systems. This strategy often sounds counterproductive, but upon careful observation, it is the best way to test your business’s internal security systems.

By staying one step ahead of cybercriminals, you reduce your business’s risks of digital identity fraud.

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