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A Guide to Protecting Your Small Business Against Fraud
Friday, 29 January 2021

Fraud remains a huge challenge for business owners in the UK, with Covid-19 having exacerbated this further from the perspective of entrepreneurs.

According to the 2017 Annual Fraud Indicator, UK businesses incur approximately £190 billion in losses every year as a result of fraudulent activity, while the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent spike in ecommerce sales has created more opportunities for cyberthieves nationwide.
 

In this post, we’ll ask how you can protect your small business against fraud, particularly as the risk continues to grow against the backdrop of an uncertain economic climate.

 

1. Educate Your Employees

 
If you employ a number of employees within your organisation, it’s important that you educate them and create a security literate workforce that represents the first line of defence against fraud.
 
This is particularly important in an age of remote working, where a growing number of people are now operating from home and required to safeguard their devices and files across a private network.
 
Key principles that must be reinforced include controlling access to data on personal devices, establishing secure operating systems and the need to use unique passwords and (in some instances) VPN to encrypt connections.
 
Of course, to educate your staff members you’ll first need to understand the basics of cybersecurity yourself, so don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help with this process.
 

2. Focus on Mobility and Device Management

 
On a similar note, remote working arrangements must be managed and controlled at all times, particularly in terms of the devices used by employees and how they’re secured.
 
Some businesses empower remote working by allowing individuals to use their own personal devices, of courses, but this needs to be caveated by the fact the phishing attacks against such devices trebled in 2019 alone.
 
To negate this risk, you’ll have to create a formal and comprehensive mobility and device management program, which ensures that people can work safely outside the office at all times and protect the data of customers and clients alike.
 
This should be part of a wider cybersecurity investment in the modern age, especially if you want to create adequate protections that can cope with sophisticated fraud schemes.
 

3. Sign up to the Government’s PROOF Scheme

 
The government has also taken steps to protect businesses against fraud, with the protected online filing (PROOF) scheme offering a relevant case in point.
 
This works by protecting participating firms from authorised changes to records by preventing the filing of certain paper forms, including amendments to a registered office address and confirmation statements.
 
This is a free and widely accessible service, and one that ensures that any protected forms can only be filed online.
 
Any subsequently paper submissions are automatically deemed to be fraudulent and rejected, enabling companies to focus on safeguarding their online protections.
 
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