The brave new world of the Web 2.0 offers us vast global network access, data transfer at maximum bitrates and unprecedented visibility. This seemingly limitless connectivity is a two way-street and the proverbial transparency that the digital age affords us can come at a hefty price. Far too often, visibility leads to exposure, with cyber attacks ranging from ransomware to phishing or fraudulent invoice scams on the rise. In this climate of uncertainty and vulnerability, we at BELLIN make it our business to share our knowledge on how to protect yourself and your company from fraud as well as the strategies and solutions that our fiercely committed and powerfully equipped treasury experts employ to keep you out of harm’s way.
Limited access: the single point of entry
Imagine you own a sprawling mansion with many doors and countless windows, allowing multiple points of entry. Wouldn’t you consider surrounding the entire property with a tall fence, only accessible via a single firmly secured gate? What seems like a no-brainer in the analogue world of stone and steel works equally well in the digital realm - even though putting that solution in place may be perceived as an unsurmountable challenge at first. In fact, there has never been a better time to centralize and standardize payment flows, beyond setting up payment factories or shared service centers. Technological limitations and media breaks preventing treasurers from consolidating payment platforms belong to the past – and so should a fragmented payment technology infrastructure. Every company using more than one payment platform across the group runs an additional fraud risk that can be avoided.
Maintaining a single point of entry is, however crucial, only one way of fraud-proofing amidst a system of interlocking strategies and solutions cooperating to keep cyber crime and insider fraud at bay. In our attempt to provide our fellow finance professionals with a comprehensive fraud prevention checklist we’ve identified three distinct but interrelated areas:
The three pillars of cyber security
User Security: People
All too often employees in vulnerable positions are manipulated into unintentionally passing on sensitive information or authorizing fraudulent transactions. Awareness for the various, constantly changing scams deployed by cyber criminals needs to be raised and cutting-edge authentication tools must be in place, granting access to critical systems and data to trusted company members only. BELLIN’s two-factor authentication for tm5, for example, provides supreme security, which will be additionally enhanced by the October 2017 launch of the BELLIN app that allows for dual-device authentication. Such a state-of-the art system landscape is the basis for setting up comprehensible user rules, which brings us to our next area:
Process Security: Governance
Let’s return to our previous analogy of the mansion once more. The two-factor authentication discussed above would translate best into securing your front gate (if you followed our advice you’ll only have a single one at this point) with two different locks. Now wouldn’t it – assuming safety considerations are paramount to practical ones - improve the property’s security considerably if the keys to those gates wouldn’t be held by the same gatekeeper? Accordingly, it shouldn’t be the same person within your company who’s allowed to enter, authorize and transmit the payment to be executed by the bank either. Instead, dual approval – the so-called “four-eyes principle” – should govern, to the effect that all administrative data changes respectively payment processes have to hold up to the critical gaze of a second administrator. That applies to your organization’s headquarters as well as to all the subsidiaries within your corporate group.
System Security: Technology
The treasurer’s core business is not supposed to be IT security - but to ensure that their company has proper risk management in place and is able to meet its financial obligations without fail. That’s why the security experts at BELLIN monitor the infrastructure 24/7 to afford our customers peace of mind at all times. Our single tenant SaaS infrastructure keeps the data of each client’s application separate from other customers’ information, while enterprise-grade firewalls and the secure encryption of all data passing between BELLIN and their clients’ networks ensure that our users don’t lose any sleep over the looming threat of cyber attacks – and are able to devote all their energies to the constant challenges of dynamic decision making.
Learn more about security in BELLIN client Royston da Costa's Whitepaper "Cyber Fraud: The Impact on Treasury" as well as in our video on BELLIN TV "Curing the Digital Disease: How to Outwit Cyber Crime."