3 Business Fraud Threats to Be Aware of in 2016

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As you plan for 2016, it is the perfect time to increase information security for your company. Watch out for these three business fraud threats next year.

1. Hacking & Cybercrime

Hacking and cyber threats continue to rise across Canada, so your digital data is more susceptible than ever to theft. Technology-savvy criminals use a variety of methods to steal business information, such as:

  • Phishing scams
  • Malware
  • Social engineering

Businesses are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the risk of ransomware threats. Ransomware uses a virus to encrypt sensitive data so you can't use it. The thieves then hold the data hostage until you pay them a substantial amount of money to unencrypt it.

These threats make it vital for your employees to be trained in security awareness. Every staff member should know how to spot suspicious emails. Otherwise, they may unknowingly open links or attachments that allow thieves access to your network.

Use “forced password updates” in your business applications so user passwords are changed frequently. Similarly, configure all corporate devices—including smartphones, tablets and laptops—to accept automatic updates. Remember to back up your data offline, so when data is lost, it can be quickly restored.

2. Insider Attacks

Insider business fraud can be especially damaging, because the theft of confidential information can go undetected for weeks, or even months. According to the 2015 Kroll Global Fraud Report, 80 percent of companies that reported fraud in 2015 “suffered at the hands of at least one insider.” The same study found that theft of physical assets was the most common fraud experienced.

You should use professional records storage and management services in order to prevent insider attacks. A commercial records centre, for example, physically secures your paper records in a secure, purpose-built facility while monitoring and controlling all access to them. Only designated employees from your company can request files, and only screened records centre staff can retrieve and transport them. Once they reach your office, they verify that the person who receives the files is actually the authorized requester. Barcode technology tracks the movement of your documents so you know exactly where your information is at all times.

3. Dumpster Diving and Mail Theft

High-tech business fraud schemes continue to increase. Most thieves, however, still rely on crude methods to gain access to your sensitive business information. Dumpster diving and mail theft are still very popular.

Fortunately, there are easy solutions for preventing both. Always collect inbound mail promptly. Don't leave it laying out where someone else could pick it up. Drop outgoing, sensitive business mail inside the Post Office rather than in an office mail tray.

A professional shredding and destruction service will help keep obsolete documents from landing in the hands of thieves. The service will distribute locked shred collection containers around your office. These handy containers enable your employees to safely drop confidential files inside within seconds.

When the containers are full, a shredding professional comes in to collect the contents. The service provider either destroys your information onsite at your facility using a mobile shredding vehicle or, if you prefer, they will shred the material offsite at their secure shredding plant. Either method includes a Certification of Destruction that is sent to you after your documents are destroyed.

Each year, your business faces new security threats. Use the tips we’ve discussed here to keep your business protected.

Docu-Dépôt provides records and information management services for businesses in Montréal and throughout Québec. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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