Imagine for a moment — you’re sitting at your desk enjoying a second cup of morning coffee. Then, your phone rings. It’s a call from your bank to discuss possible fraud.

Your bank is concerned about possible suspicious activity with your accounts, and wants to make sure you’re not a victim. As a consumer, your accounts are insured by the FDIC.

However, if you own a business, your bank accounts are not insured. So it’s imperative that you use best practices to buy cyber insurance.

Actually, the nightmarish threat happens each weekday. Attacks by cybercriminals are skyrocketing, according to the American Bankers Association. The association represents the $14-trillion banking industry.

“Small businesses are a growing target for account takeover,” said Frank Keating, president and CEO of the American Bankers Association (ABA). “Yet, a strong partnership with your financial institution will give you the tools needed to shield yourself from this attack.”

Criminals are transferring money from accounts by stealing sensitive information.

Banks have a term for it – corporate account takeover.

How? The lawbreakers use variety of tools – online social networks, malicious software and phony e-mails.

Their goal is to get login credentials. That’s how they gain access to small business accounts.

“We’re far more effective at combating account takeover when we combine resources than going at it alone,” said Mr. Keating.

“Talk with your banker about the tools your business and bank can use together to minimize this threat,” he added.

The lawbreakers use variety of tools – online social networks, malicious software and phony e-mails.

Tips to protect bank accounts

To prevent your accounts from being taken over by cybercriminals, the ABA provides four tips:

1. Protect your online environment. It is important to protect your cyber environment just as you would your physical location. Do not use unprotected internet connections.

Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated anti-virus and anti-spyware protection on your computers. Change passwords from the default to something complex, including at point-of-sale terminals.

2. Partner with your bank for payment authentication. Talk to your banker about services that offer call backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes, batch limits and other tools that help protect you from unauthorized transactions.

3. Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly. Put your employees on alert. Look out for strange network activity, do not open suspicious emails and never share account information.

If you suspect a problem, disconnect the compromised computer from your network and contact your banker. Keep records of what happened.

4. Understand your responsibilities and liabilities. The account agreement with your financial institution will detail what commercially reasonable security measures are required in your business. It is critical that you understand and implement the security safeguards in the agreement.

If you don’t, you could be liable for losses resulting from a takeover. Talk to your banker if you have any questions about your responsibilities.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related articles:

BYOD, Mobile-Banking Warnings about Security Prove Prophetic — Not to be gauche, but in 2009 you saw the Internet security warning here first – mobile banking is so risky an IT security guru said don’t do it. The warning was prophetic.

5 Safety Measures to Thwart Mounting Social-Network Attacks — An epidemic of social-networking attacks presents an unprecedented danger to companies, and five crucial steps are needed for business survival.

Tips For Internet Security to Prepare you for New Cyber Attacks — Do you need more evidence to be diligent in using best practices for security on the Internet? According to a Web security study in 2013, Internet attacks have been impacting businesses, with the majority of them reporting significant effects in the form of increased help desk time, reduced employee productivity and disruption of business activities.

New Cybercrime Serves as Warning to Take Defensive Precautions — Cybercrime is only getting worse. From both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, here are three examples of countless crimes: Authorities including the Secret Service are investigating the hacking of retailer Target in 2013 – hackers stole credit and debit card data from 40 million customers.

Lesson about Passwords after Theft of 16,000+ UCLA Patient Records — Unfortunately, we’ve learned another lesson about passwords at the expense of 16,288 patients who’ve been treated at UCLA’s network of hospitals and clinics.  The patients’ sensitive information are in the wrong hands following a burglary of a doctor.

“He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it.”

-Lucius Annaeus Seneca


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.