Did you know that organizations lose 5 percent of their revenue every year due to fraud? This can lead to trillions of dollars in fraud loss, which is devastating for businesses and economies around the world. Whether your business has experienced fraud or not, it’s imperative that you take the steps to promote fraud prevention and awareness. Keep reading to learn more about International Fraud Awareness week and what you can do to protect your business’s sensitive data.
What is International Fraud Awareness Week?
Established in 2000 by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), International Fraud Awareness Week is from November 14th to the 20th and is designed to promote awareness and education about an ongoing security issue – fraud. Businesses are encouraged to take action to reduce and prevent fraud within their organizations. This special week provides several opportunities for businesses to participate, such as enrolling in anti-fraud education, watching live webinars, attending in-person cybersecurity events, and/or providing anti-fraud education to employees.
What you need to know about fraud
Before we go any further, it’s helpful to briefly discuss what fraud is. After all, the better you understand fraud, the better you can protect your business and customers. Fraud refers to a person or group that intentionally and illegally uses false or misleading information to take something of value from another person or organization. This can involve money, property, sensitive data, or rights. Indeed, fraudsters can target small and large businesses, schools, and government entities. These criminals use a variety of methods to commit fraud, such as with phone calls, emails, mail, advertisements, or online. In many cases, the fraudster is someone known to the targeted business or individual.
How to observe International Fraud Awareness Week
As a business, you have numerous options for observing this international holiday. To continually protect your business from fraud, it’s a good idea to implement these ideas on an ongoing basis. Check out these suggestions below for ideas:
- Host yearly fraud awareness events for local businesses in your community
- Provide monthly fraud awareness training for employees
- Post helpful resources on your website and social media networks that help others learn about fraud, as well as identify and report fraud
- Host a monthly podcast discussing all things about security, including fraud prevention tips, suggestions, resources, and advice from leading security experts
- Write to local and state officials about the importance of fraud prevention and awareness
- Share your business’s best practices for protecting against fraud on your company website, social platforms, and/or monthly email newsletters
- Use #FraudAwarenessWeek when posting any content related to fraud awareness week
How to protect your business’s sensitive data
The holidays are quickly approaching, which is both a blessing and a curse for businesses. On one side, businesses will likely enjoy a huge surge in profits from customers checking off their shopping lists. However, this also leaves businesses more susceptible to fraud. Indeed, businesses must be proactive with protecting customers’ sensitive data. If ignored, this can negatively impact their brand reputation and success, or worse, lead to permanently shutting down.
A holistic security solution
One of several security solutions to consider is called tokenization. This is an effective approach to help reduce businesses’ risk of compromising sensitive data and to ensure that businesses meet compliance standards for their industry and continue to achieve their goals. Tokenization refers to the process of replacing sensitive data with a unique non-sensitive token (placeholder). Unlike encrypted data that can be deciphered, tokenized data cannot be reverse engineered. This is because a token consists of randomly generated numbers, thus they do not reveal any sensitive data. If a company suffers from a data breach, hackers will not have access to any sensitive data. The only thing these cyber criminals will see are meaningless tokens, rather than sensitive data like PCI or PII.
Like any security solution, it’s not bullet-proofed. Tokenization is just one of several solutions that are beneficial for businesses to use. Businesses can still be targets for fraud, especially during the holidays. However, a reputable tokenization provider will ensure that your sensitive data is secure if your business is impacted by a data breach. Just like with health insurance, it’s something everyone should have for those “what if” moments in life. You have it if you need it. A solid security solution is your company’s insurance for those possible cyber attacks.
Aside from tokenization, businesses should also take other measures to prevent fraud. Security best practices for fraud prevention will continue to evolve, which is why businesses must keep track of the latest fraud reports and recommendations to safeguard customers’ sensitive data. Consider these suggestions below to maintain a holistic security solution for your business.
- Address Verification Service (AVS) – this uses a comparison look-up to confirm an address associated with a cardholder
- Device fingerprinting – this uses device information and reputation to confirm a customer’s transaction request
- IP intelligence – this enables businesses to prevent transactions from fraudulent IP addresses
- SSL – this offers a secure communication between customers’ devices and payment solutions (i.e., website, application, etc.)
- 3D Secure – (also known as 3DS) this uses a three-domain model to authenticate credit and debit card purchases
Take your data security to the next level
On the occasion of International Fraud Awareness week, I hope this discussion has been helpful for how security solutions like tokenization can help prevent fraud and protect sensitive data. The demand for security protection will continue to rise as more technologies evolve that store customers’ data, including everything from wearable devices to smart home devices. As sure as the sun rises, fraudsters will continue looking for security loopholes to compromise data, which is why businesses must be diligent with safeguarding customers’ information. Indeed, businesses that take customer data protection seriously will be viewed as more reputable, trustworthy, and professional compared to those that fail to protect customer data from cyber criminals.