From online stores to brick-and-mortar establishments, the holiday season is unfortunately a time where fraud tends to increase. For example, last year alone e-commerce CNP (card not present) fraud was up 22% during the holidays. So, business owners should be prepared for similar threats in 2018. In general, cyberattacks seem to be consistently increasing and, without adequate protective measures, businesses both large and small can lose thousands upon thousands of dollars.
Identifying the most common types of fraud is one of the best proactive measures to safeguarding your business. Specific measures to perform will vary dependent upon the size and the industry an organization finds itself in. As such, threats are different for small businesses who are more hands-on with each and every purchase compared to larger organization who see many transactions each day from a wider lens.
The following are some of the most important general precautions to take to protect your business from fraud this holiday season:
- Institute a specific company-wide plan for the holiday season. Ensure that the staff is well-versed on processes and procedures to handle an influx of transactions as well as all internal fraud-prevention tools.
- Update or upgrade your anti-virus software. Something as simple as an employee opening a suspicious email attachment could invite malware into your business.
- Invest in shredding. From bills to deposited checks and from receipts to statements, properly shredding confidential documents is imperative.
- Implement multiple factors in customer verification to prevent account takeover fraud.
- Keep a close watch on sales metrics and buying patterns throughout the busiest sales weeks. Look out for red flags such as sales spikes on a specific or suspicious transactions coming from the most expensive items.
- Be on the lookout for shipping scams such as package rerouting.
- Commit to extra measures of communication with your team before, during, and after the holiday season to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Holiday fraud is hard to circumvent entirely in today’s primarily digital world. However, taking proactive steps to safeguard and protect your business will dramatically reduce your organization’s susceptibility to fraud and thus ensure satisfactory holiday profits. From major corporations like Google and Facebook to the smallest of local businesses, every organization must take precautionary steps to fight fraud. Now is the time to strategically reassess your company’s security, both internally and externally, to prevent fraudulent activity this holiday season.