March 15, 2013

Protect your business from cyber crime

Sophisticated criminal gangs are putting Australian businesses at risk by attempting to take over their computers, stealing security information such as passwords and using these to siphon money from their bank accounts. Learn how you can help protect your business.

Sophisticated criminal gangs are putting Australian businesses at risk by attempting to take over their computers, stealing security information such as passwords and using these to siphon money from their bank accounts.

Although they may be situated thousands of kilometres from Australia, the gangs gain access to computers or information through infected websites (which can track what you do or look at what you type on your computer) and through ‘phishing’ emails – these are legitimate-looking emails that aim to trick people into clicking on links and entering private information,  such as personal information,  passwords,  pins and access details.

Once they have your information, criminals can gain access to secure banking systems or even remotely use your own email system to send different payment instructions to debtors and other business partners. Ultimately, their aim is to transfer money out of businesses’ accounts by working from the inside with your security and personal information.

What you can do

Businesses can help protect themselves from cyber crime with a few simple steps:

1. Guard your information:

Business account details should never be written down and only authorised personnel should be given access to conduct transactions. Details pertaining to your personal accounts should not be shared with anyone. The best security is NAB systems in partnership with personal vigilance.

2. Up to date systems:

Make sure computers have anti-virus software that regularly updates and that they’re regularly patched with software updates.

3. Think before you click:

Criminals send well-crafted, legitimate-looking emails purporting to be from legitimate entities such as banks, customs, police, tax office etc. They try to trick businesses into clicking on Internet links that download malware onto their computers. If an email seems suspicious or out of the ordinary, think before you click and check with the person who is supposed to have sent it by calling them on a phone number that you find independently – not one that is included on the website or in the email.

4. Dual authorisation:

Configure your NAB Connect business Internet banking account to require two people in the business to authorise transactions, making fraudulent activity more difficult.

What NAB is doing to protect your business

NAB has significant resources dedicated to fraud prevention and cyber security, with a team of over 100 people working 24 hours a day against fraudsters and online attacks. The team conducts around the clock ‘sweeps’ of the Internet looking for phishing sites made to look like NAB sites and stolen banking details or passwords. “We want to make sure our business customers can conduct their business securely and ensure their banking experience is always safe, easy and reliable,” says Nick Scott, Head of Cyber Security at NAB.

NAB’s cyber security team not only monitor the local online environment to guard the bank, the group of highly trained experts constantly scour the web for future threats and suspicious activity. “While we have teams of specialists constantly watching and assessing, it’s important our customers are vigilant in protecting their privacy and security information such as passwords and PINs, and are alert to suspicious emails or downloads while online.”

Fraud detection

Working closely with the Cyber Security team is the NAB Financial Crime team who monitor business account activity to detect irregular account transfers and spending on credit cards. When a transaction occurs outside the normal behaviour of the account holder, such as payment to another country, an alert is sent to a Financial Crime team member, who assesses the transaction and contacts the customer for confirmation.

The account is temporarily blocked and monitored until the transaction is confirmed fraudulent or deemed valid. The NAB Financial Crime team also examines the ‘electronic signature’ of bank account logins to look for indications the customer’s machine has been taken over or is infected with malicious software (malware) designed to gain unauthorised access to computer systems.

To further protect businesses against cyber fraud, online payments trigger a text message to a customer’s mobile phone asking them to confirm or block the transaction. In order to receive these added security features it’s important to register via NAB Online Banking as it makes it more difficult for criminals to steal from customers’ accounts, even if passwords have been stolen.

NAB’s point of sale devices such as EFTPOS machines, are tamper-evident making it very difficult for criminals to install ‘skimmers’ – illegal devices used to steal credit card information for fraud.

Protect your business

For more information about how NAB can help protect your business from cyber fraud, contact your NAB business banking representative or the business banking call centre on 13 10 12.

This article was first published in Talking Shop.

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