Every business needs to be mindful of operational risks associated with threats of external and internal fraud. Criminals have taken full advantage of the process disruptions caused by COVID by exploiting the vulnerabilities of remote-work environments, targeting payment-approval mechanisms, email schemes, and government loan programs.
The start of the year is a great time to revisit your company’s security protocols and make sure your financial house is well protected. At State Bank of Cross Plains, our Treasury Management team can help walk you through the process of risk assessment, and assist you in addressing the inherent and developing threats in your business banking functions.
Here are some of the areas we cover when helping our clients perform a yearly risk assessment:
- Online users. It's important to ensure that no former employees are still able to access your portals, and also to verify that current employees continue to occupy roles that require account access.
- Payment card cardholders and credit limits. As a business owner, you want to make sure that your card-holding employees have the right type of card at their disposal, as well as appropriate spending limits. As COVID curtailed business travel in 2020, some cardholders may not need high dollar limits, while the increase in online purchasing might require other employees to use their cards more often.
- Check signers and physical safekeeping. Remote working has brought changes to the check-writing function, and your business may need to review how and where check stock is stored. We also look at your protocols for approving checks to see what works best for your current situation.
- Cash-handling policies. If the business has a cash component, it’s a good idea to have written policy that covers regular counting, reconcilement, and secure storage for coin and currency.
- Electronic payment processes. In the last year, many businesses have increased their utilization of automated clearing house (ACH) payments, electronic bill payments, and online wire transfer originations. We can share some best practices and make suggestions for the best way to choose among types of payments, and consider processes for origination and approval that allow you to maximize security without sacrificing efficiency.
- Network security. In the pivot to remote work that many operations have made recently, some employees have been allowed access to sensitive information with unsecured devices, often from home networks with limited firewalls and many users. Up-to-date antivirus software is as important as ever, as is continual employee awareness training on phishing and the identification of malicious email messages.
We can provide fraud-mitigation tools, such as multi-factor authentication tokens, ACH Filter service, and Check Positive Pay, to help you deal with many internal and external threats. Other risks can be avoided though process change, and in many cases, cybersecurity insurance is a cost-effective way to transfer risk. However, it’s a fact of business that the acceptance of some types of risk is an inevitability.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss your situation and partner with you to keep your business safe in 2021 and beyond. Please contact me (608.826.3516) to schedule a time to discuss your individual situation.