Fight the Phish with Digital Accounts Payable
As the need for speed in B2B payments grows, fraudsters are getting smarter and learning how to exploit vulnerabilities and compromise accounts payable processes. The average number of business email compromise (BEC) or “phishing” attempts received in the last year increased by 15% between Q2 and Q3, identifying payment and invoice fraud as the predominant target of fraud — representing a staggering 155% increase in fraud attempts over Q3 alone.
It’s no secret to fraudsters that AP practices remain entrenched in outdated, paper-based processes. A failure to update and streamline these processes can create inefficiencies that have a ripple effect and eventually become security vulnerabilities. Many companies have viewed AP digitization as “nice-to-have” rather than a priority. However, thanks to the increasing number of attacks, the days of kicking the can down the road with little to no repercussions has ended.
Phishing schemes are executed by third-party actors who employ “social engineering” tactics to trick an unsuspecting employee into revealing sensitive information. Typically posing as a partner or vendor, fraudsters use highly targeted emails with the goal of convincing the recipient they are a trusted source, whereby the recipient divulges information or transfers funds. Some do not use email at all and instead take place over the phone or via text message.
According to recent research from Proofpoint, 75% of organizations around the world experienced phishing attacks in 2020, with 74% of attacks on US businesses resulting in a successful breach. This past September UK-based Barclay’s Bank was the victim of a large-scale phishing attack aimed at robbing customers by sourcing their online details. The messaging told users that the bank is upgrading software and that they should go to a link to confirm bank details, which resulted in the loss of millions. Unlike simple email scams of the past, claiming to be royalty or oil tycoons that need your help to shift their money, modern-day scams can be sophisticated, multi-phased and extremely convincing.
An Integrated Payments Solution Can Protect Your Business
Clearly, security presents a mounting challenge for businesses, especially when it comes to safeguarding AP operations. Technology can improve security performance including helping to identify and stop fraudulent behavior throughout the accounts payable process.
An integrated payables solution can help businesses secure their payment processes. How? It can prevent account takeovers and unauthorized account changes. Multi-factor authentication helps ensure that only authorized changes are made to critical bank and other account details. Some payments solution providers store supplier bank account data in a highly encrypted and secure network, taking that responsibility off the business and reducing risk.
Payments solutions like Finexio also include “concierge-level” onboarding services that include identity verification methods and manual expert reviews, both of which help businesses thwart identity theft and fraud attempts. Technology can also be used to identify characteristics of fraud attempts and apply automated control and response measures to protect against fraud attempts, with no end-user intervention required.
Even banks are realizing the payments ecosystem of today requires them to do more for their corporate customers than just helping them move money. Clients increasingly expect banks to help them protect that money and partnering with a FinTech provider is an effortless way they can offer those security measures.