Keeping safe from cyber crooks has never been more vital for businesses
Technology is making all our lives simpler, faster and more interesting but with automation comes a greater risk from fraudsters.
Weve all read about, or maybe been a victim of, a data breach at a business where thieves have managed to access data bases to steal valuable customer information. Covid-19 has brought with it an even greater risk as criminals have been cashing in, impersonating businesses and official organisations, and preying on the worries and fears everyone has around the virus.
Companies need to get smart with their operation and systems and stay one step ahead to ensure they and their customers stay protected, says Mahfooz Shamsuddin, Chief Operating Officer at Jarrovian Wealth.
Taking advantage of clever technology means firms can ensure they offer their clients the simplest processes possible - available at the click of a button on the latest gadgets. However, this speedy on-the-go technology is attractive to criminals and scammers who spend their lives finding ways to tap into systems to steal information. Businesses must be on their guard and keep their slick operation and data as secure as possible.
Mahfooz shares his top tips on cyber security.
Automation is good for all
Embrace new technology that will enhance what you offer. Its the future and what everyone wants and expects. Just ensure you manage it efficiently, constantly updating security patches and monitoring your systems for signs something could be amiss.
Know the risks
Who is looking at your networks, systems and data? Could you spot if data has been modified or someone has added a link to take customers to a fake website? Make sure you know your system inside out, and that you and your team monitor everything constantly and have systems in place to alert you immediately of any signs of a breach or attempted data hack.
Its your job to keep customers safe
If you are providing the service and the technology, you must ensure that your systems are easy for your clients to use but secure from those you shouldnt have access. Take the burden off your users, let them know you are in control and that you have your own cyber experts - they are in safe hands so dont need to worry.
Be proactive, rather than reactive
Dont simply hope for the best or assume that you wont be a target. Everyone is game for fraudsters; they will simply go for the systems they can crack whatever the size of a business - big or small.
Give customers some guidance
Let clients know how you operate, and the signs to look out for that could mean a crook is trying to impersonate your firm. Give them regular updates on the ways you will make contact and the personal information you will ask for - and the details you would never ask them to disclose.
Be prepared in case the worst does happen
No one can be 100% safe and secure, remember accessing valuable data is the full-time job of fraudsters, its their area of expertise. They constantly change their tack and invest in software and technology themselves to try and find a way in. Make sure you have a plan and that your team knows exactly what to do, to shut down any breaches immediately and get your systems secure. Have a crisis plan that includes notifying customers immediately, with advice on what they should do and reassurance of what you have done/continue to do.
Get in first before they find out on social media or in the press that their details are at risk.
If you don't contact customers you leave them at further risk from secondary crooks who are ready to pounce on the news of a data breach, hoping to catch customers out by impersonating firms and tricking people into handing over personal details, transferring cash or allowing remote access to computers.
Speed is vital
By being ready and knowing exactly what to do should anything happen will mean you can quickly close down a threat, minimise the risk to your firms reputation and to customers, and get back up and running as fast as possible. It will feel awkward admitting to your clients that theres a problem, but it will be less damaging to your reputation if you are open and honest and show you are in control. A lot of big firms with sophisticated systems have been caught out and not handled breaches well, mainly because they took a nothing to see here type of approach which left customers at the mercy of the rumour mill and angry at the lack of contact and action from their provider.
About Jarrovian Wealth
JW was established in 2017. Our team of skilled and experienced financial planners does more than just look after the numbers for clients around pensions, investments and protection – both personal and business. We get to know and understand the deeper motivations and aspirations, so we can challenge people to think bigger. While knowing they are in a safe pair of hands building up a secure financial future. We may be one of the newer players, but we are packed with experience as our clients have been trusting our experts with their financial lives for over 30 years. We don't just focus on individuals we incubate businesses too helping entrepreneurs and those up and running to get ventures off the ground, stay on track and plan the perfect exit strategy, so owners can focus on the day job of running the show. JW's headquarters are in London.
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PAUL SMITH ASSOCIATES
10th June 2020