Is your business financially cyber secure?

Fraud is the 21st Century volume crime and an issue which is not going away. With more people sharing data, transacting, setting up businesses, dating and talking online, this trend is set to continue.

Financial scamming and its impact have been receiving a higher public profile in recent months. Although recognised as a growing problem, there is a lack of clear research and evidence into the scale of its causes and the impact on the public.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) England and Wales reports that 1,337,840 Fraud and computer misuse offences were recorded by Action Fraud or referred to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) between January 2019 to September 2020

Who is at risk?

Although it is clear that everybody is a potential victim to this type of crime, criminals are very clever and use significant resources in order to commit financial scams and fraud. The businesses at greatest risk are those new to digital process. For example those undergoing digital transformation and or of course start-ups.

Free cybercrime protection

There is a National Fraud & Cyber Reporting Centre, who offer free cybercrime protection and cybersecurity tools.

The Toolkit for Small Business addresses the most common cyber risks affecting small businesses who conduct any aspect of their business via email or over the internet. The structure and content of the toolkit enables small businesses to precisely target and resolve common weaknesses so they can focus more time and resources on their core business objectives.

It is specifically designed for small and medium businesses with clear, actionable guidance and relevant tools to help protect small businesses from cyber risks faced on a daily basis.

Crypto asset security

With new technology comes new ways for fraudsters to take advantage of this new technology to scam people out of money. When investing in Cryptoassets it is extremely important to be extra diligent with your activity. Fraudsters use crypto assets to create scams, or take advantage of security vulnerabilities to steal funds. Things to consider should include:

  • Keeping seed phrases private and offline where possible. Whilst retaining copies in secure places should you need access if you lose access to the wallet.
  • Enabling 2 factor authentication on exchange accounts.
  • Only accessing your crypto accounts and wallets on secure, trusted networks.
  • Performing your own due diligence checks of exchanges and tokens themselves before using and purchasing. This is to confirm that you are happy with the risk of investing.
  • Considering whether funds / tokens held on centralised exchanges are protected / insured. Also consider secure self-custody options if the risk is significant.
  • Not accessing any crypto links that looks like it is a scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
  • Being weary of crypto tokens that are being artificially inflated in price. Scammers often create tokens and artificially create demand to raise the price and take the proceeds. This also means before investing being sure that you can off-ramp your tokens. Which means that you have the ability to convert it back to fiat currency.

Report it

You can report fraud or cybercrime to Action Fraud any time of the day or night using their online reporting tool. Reporting online is quick and easy. The tool will guide you through simple questions to identify what has happened. Advisors are available twenty-four hours a day, to give you help and advice if you need it.

You can also report to them by calling 0300 123 2040 Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm.

If you have any concerns or would like advice about anything featured in this article please get in touch with a member of our team.