First County Bank offers cyber security tips

Faked emails, bogus social networks and software that burrows into the secret channels of a computer: all of these are tactics often used by cyber criminals to infiltrate small businesses. Once a computer system has been hacked, unwanted parties can gain access to private information, businesses’ accounts and event transfer funds from accounts.

First County Bank has released a series of tips on how to prevent and combat fraud, known as “corporate account takeover”.

“Small businesses remain in the cross hairs of cyber criminals,” said Reyno Giallongo, First County Bank chairman and CEO in statement this week. “You can shield your company from attack through a strong partnership with your financial institution.”

As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, First County Bank has offered the following tips to businesses:

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

For information, visit ABA’s Small Business Guide to Corporate Account Takeover.

Olivia Just