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Fraud prevention essential as security risks evolve

Mar 20, 2013 Dave King

Fraud prevention essential as security risks evolve

Businesses today face growing risks, as they continue to transition everything - their data, applications and payment methods, for instance - online.

To compound the issue, cybercriminals no longer focus their attention solely on banks and corporations.

"Nowadays, every company with an internet connection is a potential victim," Paul Judge, vice president and chief research officer of Barr​cuda Networks, recently told Fox Small Business. "Even the smallest businesses now have to worry about network security and protection - when they didn't have to worry so much only 5 years ago."

Business owners and IT leaders are extremely concerned about data security, particularly as they continue implementing mobility strategies and transitioning applications online. A recent F5 Networks survey found that 72 percent of respondents are worried about the growing complexity of attacks, while 62 percent have concerns about the evolving cybercriminals.

With the number and sophistication of threats on the rise, executives should make fraud prevention one of their top priorities going forward. The Fox Small Business article highlighted some steps, beginning with identifying whether an attack has occurred. Oftentimes, breaches go days without being noticed and are actually discovered by outside sources. As a result, Judge stressed that fraud prevention measures like firewalls and web filtering software may be good to leverage.

This is especially important for stores that accept electronic forms of payment or ACH cards, as they store a lot of important information online. Electronic transactions have exploded in popularity in recent years, and businesses are thriving because of it.

"This growth has led to a dramatic, positive increase in revenues, gross profit, operating income and net income for the year," said Michael Long, CEO of Payment Data Systems.

But in order to take advantage of all the benefits that come with ACH cards and electronic forms of payment, companies will have to boost their fraud prevention techniques to combat the growing number of breaches.