Running a successful business requires you to be knowledgeable about your industry, competition, and your customers. And in these advance technological times, you must be knowledgeable about another critical area—cyber threats to your business. Today, cyber thieves are constantly developing new ways to defraud businesses online. And it’s usually smaller businesses—those with less than 100 employees—that are impacted.

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One popular threat that has adversely impacted small businesses today is what’s known as a corporate account takeover or (CAT). With a CAT, cyber thieves use various techniques, such as phishing to lure unsuspecting victims into downloading malware on their computers. The malware allows thieves to get a company’s online banking credentials and eventually, to wire or transfer money out of the company’s accounts.

Corporate account takeovers can result in serious loss for impacted businesses. There are, however, some steps you can take to protect your company from falling victim:

  • Beware of suspicious emails. Cyber thieves have become adept at disguising emails and links containing malware. You may, for example, receive an email about a problem with a package delivery at UPS or a complaint filed about your business from the Better Business Bureau. Be careful about opening suspicious emails or emails from senders you do not recognize.
  • Train your employees about corporate account takeovers. If you have employees who do your online banking, make sure they know about this cyber threat and remind them to exercise caution in downloading and opening unknown emails. Also, instruct them on the importance of safeguarding online banking credentials.
  • Dedicate one computer for online banking. As an added level of security and protection, consider using a single designated computer for online banking. Refrain from accessing emails or surfing the Web on this computer.
  • Change your online banking passwords regularly. You and your employees should choose difficult to decipher passwords, which feature a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Also, be sure to change your passwords regularly and to not write them down where others can see them.
  • Password protect your computer. Your employees should also be instructed not to leave computers unattended, especially during online banking sessions. Computers not in use should be powered down and should always require a password for access.
  • Secure your networks. Make sure that you and your employees use private and secure networks to do your online banking and not public WIFI spots. You should also run virus scans on your computers regularly and ensure they are equipped with the latest security software and updates.
  • Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity. Use online and mobile banking to view your account balances and transactions. You can also set account alerts to notify you when specific account activities occur, such as transfers, bill payments, and other account withdrawals.

What to do if you believe you have been impacted by cyber fraud
If you notice suspicious activity in your accounts, stop using online banking and notify your financial Institution immediately.

The best way to protect your business is to be vigilant and knowledgeable—and to make online security a priority.