How to protect your business from fraud

In the digital age, safeguarding your business from criminal activity is more important than ever.

Businesses face monumental risk from those looking to exploit vulnerabilities for financial gain. If companies are caught up in complex scams like phishing attacks, the consequences can be severe.

From keeping your assets secure to building a strong reputation, this key focus area protects multiple aspects of trade. Whether you own a small startup or a large regional business, implementing robust fraud prevention measures is essential for your future success.

Protecting your business from fraud: Our top 5 tips:

Train employees

    Start out by educating your team on all things concerning fraud. If you operate an office-based business, cybersecurity should be a primary focus.

    Your staff should receive training on how to identify phishing email attempts, recognise social engineering tactics, and spot fraudulent invoices. Bigger companies are more likely to be targeted via phishing, but at least 84% of UK businesses reported a phishing attack in 2023.

    Implement strong system controls

    Internal controls are key. You need your systems to be relatively self-sustaining, especially when it comes to the prevention and detection of fraudulent activities within your organisation.

    Firstly, any SME or large business should ensure to hire a professional internal IT team. Next, if you’re worried about a previous attack or potential threat, it’s time to seek advice from global tax consulting experts for a complete, strategic approach. For companies attempting to recover from fraud, professional support is critical.

    Vet suppliers and customers

    Before entering any professional relationship, you should make sure to conduct thorough due diligence. Ensure thorough checks at every interview stage for every candidate, too.

    Verifying the legitimacy of trade relationships will ensure that you trust every individual and company associated with your business. In turn, the credibility of each transaction and strategic decision will be guaranteed. Be wary of deals or offers that seem too good to be true – and approach any anomalous transactions with scrutiny.

    Develop an anti-fraud strategy

    Across the company, your employees should be aware of an overall anti-fraud strategy. This includes regular financial reviews, implementing security measures like two-factor authentication, and carrying out regular audits.

    This includes your responsibility to encourage whistleblowing. In a transparent whistleblowing policy, you should create channels for employees, suppliers, and customers, allowing everyone to anonymously report suspected fraud or suspicious actions.

    Stay up to date with tech

    Finally, it’s vital to keep the latest versions of company software, antivirus programs, and cybersecurity measures. This not only helps your business to defend against ever-evolving threats but ensures a safer browsing experience for the whole team.

    When handling or processing online payments, make sure to use websites with secure payment systems and SSL encryption. If your colleagues work remotely, a company-specific VPN could be an invaluable tool for overall security as the first line of defence against cybercriminals.