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Business Identity Theft Prevention: Protecting Your Account

Good practices can keep your information secure.

Corporate Account Takeover is a form of identity theft in which criminals steal your valid online banking credentials. The attacks are usually stealthy and quiet. Malware introduced into your systems may be undetected for weeks or months. Account-draining transfers using stolen credentials may happen at a time when they are not noticed for a day or two.
The good news is, if you follow sound business practices, you can protect your company:

  • Use Layered System Security: Create layers of firewalls, anti-malware software and encryption. One layer of security might not be enough. Install robust anti-malware programs on every workstation and laptop. Keep them updated.
  • Manage the security of online banking with a single, dedicated computer used exclusively for online banking and cash management. This computer should not be connected to your business network, should not retrieve any email messages, and should not be used for any online purpose except banking.
  • Educate your employees about cybercrimes. Make sure your employees understand that just one infected computer can lead to an account takeover. Make them very conscious of the risk, and teach them to ask the question: “Does this email or phone call make sense?” before they open attachments or provide information.
  • Block access to unnecessary or high-risk websites. Prevent access to any website that features adult entertainment, online gaming, social networking and personal email. All such sites can inject files into your network.
  • Establish separate user accounts for every employee accessing financial information, and limit administrative rights. Many malware programs require administrative rights to the workstation and network in order to steal credentials. If your user permissions for online banking include administrative rights, don't use those credentials for day-to-day processing.
  • Use approval tools in cash management to create dual control on payments. Requiring two people to issue a payment – one to set up the transaction and a second to approve the transaction – doubles the chances of stopping a criminal from draining your account.
  • Review or reconcile accounts online daily. The sooner you find suspicious transactions, the sooner the theft can be investigated.