Phishing email attacks, data breaches, credit card fraud, and ransomware infections targeting small businesses are becoming far too familiar. Cyber fraud is estimated to cost UK businesses £193 billion per year, with accounts payable understandably being one of the most targeted departments. In addition to external hackers taking advantage of your business, fraud can come from inside your organisation too. It’s therefore imperative to beef up your infrastructure and put systems in place that protect your business accounts.
Choose a cloud provider and no one will lawfully have access to your business’ data without your permission. A two-step authentication process will make it incredibly difficult for anyone to hack into your account.
The automation capabilities of cloud servers add a barrier against internal fraud as well, since it takes control away from human hands. Not only is accounting faster and more efficient, but it also adds transparency to processes with details of every transaction tracked. The automated system informs users about modifications to documents, so any suspicious activity is immediately flagged.
Back up your data
The best way to avoid ransomware infections is to back up your data so you can restore previous versions of your files in case you’re a victim of a scam and get locked out of your computers. In addition to backing up your data to the cloud, you may want to back up to a hard drive as well. Use an external hard drive that you disconnect after each backup, so even if your computer gets infected, your hard drive stays safe.
Cyber scams are evolving along with technology, so it’s essential to stay vigilant and informed about how not to get hacked in 2018. When you’re an entrepreneur running your own business, your reading material may focus on pitching, funding options, managing accounts or tax planning, but it’s a good idea to add cyber fraud to the list of topics to keep an eye on. Listen to industry bodies and their updates, and if you hear that a competitor has suffered a breach, find out what happened and look into how your team can defend against it. For example, are you aware that experts are predicting that cyber threats will thrive on mobile devices this year?
GDPR and data hacks
With GDPR at our heels, it’s important to remember that if you do get hacked and personal data gets in the hands of an unauthorised party, under the new data protection legislation, you are required to report the breach to authorities within 72 hours. Small businesses need to know how to recognise a data breach and develop a response plan if it does occur.
If you are concerned about fraud from the inside, you may want to perform due-diligence on candidates to verify their qualifications and check for a criminal record. Pre-employment screening can help identify red flags when you are hiring for a position that will handle sensitive information.
Berley Entrepreneur Accountants
Cyber scams can have severe impacts on any business, but due to their size, small businesses are most vulnerable. One severe attack can considerably stunt a business’ growth. In fact, according to a Vocalink study, 71% of small businesses that have fallen victim to fraud in the UK, believe that it’s the biggest risk to their business.
As small business growth specialists, Berley Chartered Accountants cannot stress enough the importance of having appropriate security measures in place. When you choose us as your accountants for your small business needs, you can be sure that we will do everything to keep your financial accounts secure.