PROVIDENCE, R.I. – According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, losses from Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams amounted to $1.3 billion in 2018 — twice the losses in 2017. Over the 12 months ending in July, more than 6,000 organizations were targeted each month by BEC scams, according to cybersecurity software firm Symantec.
These statistics highlight the importance of having strong solutions and internal policies that can detect and prevent fraudulent transactions. To mark National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, here are five tips that can help you protect your business:
- Share BEC examples with employees to increase awareness. By providing real examples of phishing emails, employees will get a better idea of common tactics used by hackers.
- Remind employees to look for subtle differences in email addresses and links. Hackers are relying upon these details to go undetected.
- Question emails that ask for anything unusual, especially in a tight timeframe. It’s always better to ask questions about something that is out of the ordinary.
- Confirm requests to change payment instructions by contacting the party via a previously known phone number. Making the extra effort to do this could save time and money. It is good practice to confirm any change in payment routines.
- Execute an email phishing test to measure how employees respond. Put your employees’ knowledge to the test. You would rather raise awareness by having employees fall for a friendly phishing test – and learn from it – than fall for the real thing.
“Thousands of companies are targeted by Business Email Compromise scams every month and the financial consequences can be severe,” said Michael Cummins, head of Treasury Solutions at Citizens Bank. “If it hasn’t already happened to you, don’t think that it can’t. Hackers are devising new tactics every day, but educating employees and remaining vigilant can help reduce the risk that you will be vulnerable to these scams.”
Citizens is a strategic and financial partner, offering deep expertise, great ideas and seamless deal execution. The Citizens Commercial Banking approach puts clients first, and offers solutions that help clients make the best decisions throughout the life cycle of their business.
For more information about Citizens, visit the Citizens Commercial Banking website.