Protecting Your Business from Online Theft & Fraud

There is a fast-growing type of fraud that is targeting attorney trust accounts. Businesses across the United States have suffered large financial losses from these electronic crimes so it is important that your business understands and prepares for this risk.

Corporate account takeover is a type of business identity theft where cyber thieves gain access to a business' finances to make unauthorized transactions and steal sensitive client information. The fraudsters target businesses through phishing, phone calls and social media networks. It is common for thieves to send emails posing as a bank, a client, court or the Better Business Bureau. Once the email is opened, malware is loaded on the computer which then records login credentials and reports them back to the criminals. Now that the criminals have login credentials they can view confidential emails between you and your clients and use that information to arrange fraudulent wire transfers.

One of the best ways to protect your business against corporate account takeover is to have a strong partnership with your financial institution. It's best to work with your bank to understand the security measures needed within the business and to establish safeguards on the accounts which can help the bank identify and prevent unauthorized access to your funds.


Here are some tips to help ensure that your business is prepared for this risk1:

  • Educate your employees. You and your employees are the first line of defense against fraud. A strong security program paired with employee education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses to suspected fraudulent activity are essential to protecting your company and customers.
  • Protect your online environment. It is important to protect your cyber environment just as you would your cash and physical location. Do not use unprotected internet connections. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated virus protections on your computer. Use complex passwords and change them periodically.
  • Partner with your bank to prevent unauthorized transactions. Talk to your banker about programs that safeguard you from unauthorized transactions. Positive Pay and other services offer call backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes and batch limits help protect you from fraud.
  • Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly. Look out for unexplained account or network activity and suspicious emails. If you notice fraudulent activity, contact your financial institution immediately, stop all online activity and remove any systems that may have been compromised. Be sure to keep records of what happened.

For more information on how to better safeguard your accounts, please contact us.



1 http://www.aba.com/Tools/Function/Fraud/Pages/CorporateAccountTakeoverSmallBusiness.aspx