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SMB's Digital Footprint Limited By Cyber Fraud - Employee Education Helps Step It Up

Published: June 10, 2020 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.

The priorities of running a small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) often don’t include cybersecurity planning. And if it does appear, chances are it will be toward the bottom of the priority list. A new report by Javelin Research finds that more than 40% of retail, restaurant, financial, and insurance industries say that concern about digital fraud is an impediment to their business. Because of their fear of online fraud, many SMB’s believe it keeps them from expanding into innovative technologies and other channels of digital services. SMB’s have not had an easy time managing cybercrime prevention, as research shows 60% are out of business within six months of a data breach. Yet, only 4% of restaurants in the study considered managing the risk of digital fraud as a top concern when moving forward with digital innovation.

Javelin’s research shows 48% of consumers are aware and more sensitive about fraud in our current cyber world. Still, only 64% of enterprise customers have faith in the security of their own digital footprints. Today, consumers expect a company to provide anti-fraud measures to keep their transactions safe and their data where it belongs. And with that, SMB’s are expected to step-up their cybersecurity measures or risk losing their customers and their reputation from fraudulent attacks. On the flip side, the study finds 43% of retail merchants still use only usernames and passwords to authenticate a customer’s identity, leaving accounts open to digital fraud (34%) and takeovers (10%).

One tool every SMB can use as a firewall against digital fraud is something they already have–employees. Employees are often the front line of defense against bad actors, and a cyber-smart staff can be your best weapon against cyber threats. These employees can stop email phishing and other cyberattacks in their tracks.  A few tips for phishing prevention go a long way:

  • If a link or document, regardless of the file type is unexpected, consider it phishing.

  • If the sender is unfamiliar, deem it phishing.

  • If there is any reason, what-so-ever to suspect phishing, don’t click it.

  • Remind employees to report any clicks that may have set off a phishing attack to their managers or IT department immediately to prevent more damage than necessary.

According to Avanan, one in ninety-nine emails is a phishing attack, with almost 30% making it past default security efforts. Two thirds of those emails use malicious links, and more than half contain malware. Since the average employee receives 4.8 phishing emails per week, staff with updated and relevant cyber education can go a long way preventing fraud and other security events.

Remember, it only takes one wrong click by a staff member to threaten an SMB’s future, but a cyber-smart employee knows how to recognize and mitigate a cyberthreat before it happens.

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