News & Resources

Business fraud might be dropping

Jan 31, 2013 Dave King

Throughout the past several years, the United States government has launched a tactical and widespread attack on cybercriminals, identity thieves and other web-based criminals. Still, businesses remain the first and most important line of defense against fraudulent activity, as a large portion of the overall pool of corporate and consumer theft is derived from enterprise operations.

While regulatory compliance has tightened and many experts believe this trend will continue, companies have refined internal best practices to prevent crimes like ACH card and wire fraud. For the first time this decade, those efforts might be successfully decreasing the amount of losses consumers and businesses are taking from theft.

Cybercrime down?
Network World recently reported that funds stolen electronically from business accounts and commercial banks might have decreased in 2012. According to the news provider, there were 2.11 cyberattacks for every 1,000 commercial banking accounts in the first six months of 2012, which is substantially lower than the 3.42 attacks per 1,000 accounts seen in 2011.

The source cited statistics from the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) that found much fewer attacks were successful in 2012 than four years ago. In 2009, 70 percent of cyberattacks on business accounts were successful in stealing funds, while roughly 9 percent were able to fraudulently pull funds in the first half of 2012.

The survey from FS-ISAC revealed that respondents believe businesses are more educated in electronic payments and cybercrime than years prior, and this has directly led to a drop in successful attacks on corporations. Further, Network World explained that the use of advanced fraud detection and analysis technology has helped businesses further protect their systems from the growing number of threats.

The source added that there is still a lot of ground to be covered to completely protect against cybercrime, and businesses need to be at the forefront of efforts, which should include the strategies and software used to adequately protect accounts from theft.

How companies can thrive
The fight against cybercrime and theft through ACH cards and wire transfers is complex and constantly changing, as criminals become increasingly capable of thwarting more antiquated protocols and software. Business executives should consider updating all security software regularly, looking for the most advanced options to defend against hacking that leads to theft.

Policies should be clearly outlined and taught to all employees, while corporate decision-makers should also keep all accounts payable and receivable monitored regularly for unusual or incendiary activities.