Fraud monitoring and prevention is an ongoing battle in the war against banking fraud. Therefore, it is in your organization's best interest to arm your team with tools to mitigate a sustained attack from opponents who do not sleep, take breaks, observe holidays, and are located in just about every corner of the globe. To be effective, your security solutions need to be active and continuously updated 24/7/365. In a previous blog, we discussed the types of phishing attacks.
Now, let's discuss solutions you can employ to prevent them.
The first and one of the most basic tools in your arsenal is anti-phishing software, and numerous reputable brands offer affordable out-of-the-box solutions. Secure email gateways use artificial intelligence to continually learn your organization's email patterns, volume, and frequency to perform real-time protection of your inbox. A standard email security platform will block most malicious emails and automatically quarantine them, so they never reach your inbox. In addition to email protection, these solutions come with incident investigation capabilities, identify which user accounts have been compromised, perform real-time threat level monitoring, and include remediation teams in case of a compromise.
Web filtering (or URL filtering) prevents employees from visiting known malicious websites where malware and ransomware are hosted. These DNS-based solutions are continuously updated to ensure that existing and new fraudulent websites are blocked, restricting your staff’s access to them. In addition, these tools can identify staff who constantly attempt to visit restricted sites, which may indicate a fraudster within your organization. This issue has become more complex with employees working from home due to COVID and will be further compounded by employees using a blended remote and on-premise work arrangement.
Web Isolation/Network Segmentation
Web isolation is a more advanced solution, but it offers comprehensive protection from threats. This is accomplished by segmenting your organization's network. By dividing your network into smaller secure containers or subnets, separated by firewalls, the browser activity of your staff is trafficked through a subnet, isolating any potential malicious web content away from your network. Keeping your network segmented or isolated protects your network, enabling your team to immediately isolate any threats and identify suspicious activity in a secure environment outside of your primary network.
Social Media Brand Protection
In the digital world, the protection of your brand is critical. Fraudsters are not only trying to impersonate you through email and fraudulent apps, they also seek out your members on social media. In this scenario, a fraudster creates a new social media account and uses your brand elements to look legitimate. When your member performs a search for your credit union, the results will include your legitimate social media page as well as the fraudster’s social media page. Undoubtedly, some members will select the fictitious page. The fraudster then pushes posts on their page to entice members to click a link to a fraudulent site. The end result of this, just like any phishing attempt, is to persuade your member to take action that reveals their personal information or login credentials.
A social media fraud prevention tool can be used to monitor social media channels for any use of your brand and name. The tool will return a report of all instances, and your team can take action to remove any fraudulent pages.
If you are breaking out in a sweat while reading this, knowing that your credit union does not have the resources to manage these strategies… Relax. Connect has partnered with several solutions providers to offer web, network, email, social media, and fraudulent app takedown services. These providers monitor and react to any threats on your behalf to ensure you are protected 24/7/365.
Companies today are reminded daily of the cost of a ransomware attack and what it would mean for their business. What would a ransomware demand or data breach cost your organization in terms of dollars and reputation? We can assure you the cost would be considerably more than any of the solutions mentioned above.
Security Awareness Training
Hackers do not care about the size of your credit union; they are after consumer data and potential monetary demands for the return of that data. Hackers have written automated programs that continuously try to find holes in your security infrastructure, and organizations have implemented fraud prevention tools to mitigate those attacks. But hackers also realize that your staff can supply access to that information as well. As an industry philosophically based on "people helping people," credit union employees are trained to go the extra mile for the member. That eagerness to help, unfortunately, can be an area that fraudsters will attempt to exploit.
While fraud mitigation tools as mentioned above can provide state-of-the-art security protection within digital channels, they cannot prevent the compromise of your staff. Employees are the biggest threat to your organization. Consider the cost of a security training program as part of your annual compliance expenses.
The Ongoing Battle
The quest to protect your member data from fraudsters is an ongoing battle. Because many hacking tools use automated routines that do not sleep, your fraud mitigation solutions must constantly be running to thwart those attacks. While the technical aspect of fraud may get the press headlines, the human susceptibility to fraud attacks is equally important. Fraudsters try to capitalize on every channel available to gain the information that they seek such as email, websites, apps, and even social media. Whatever the medium, the fraudsters will attempt to prey on emotions. While technology can mitigate potential attacks, the compromise of the information by human action usually provides the ammunition for those attacks. A diligent fraud program that encompasses both technology solutions and staff training programs is essential to fight the good fight.