The Rising Security Threats to Small Businesses

Since the advent of the likes of PayPal and Amazon, the business world has steadily evolved from a brick-and-mortar world to one driven by digital and mobile devices. Consumers are increasingly on board with the endless possibilities of using their mobile devices to make formerly mundane and physical tasks faster, easier and more automatic. Mobile payment transactions of all types – from purchasing a simple cup of coffee to complicated banking transactions – are all on the rise, more accessible and more common than ever before.

As technology pushes businesses of all sizes and industries even further into the complex terrain of the digital world, and as consumers are demanding more and more speed, convenience and efficiency from these companies, the opportunity for security threats and challenges to crop up is multiplying quickly.

This is especially true when it comes to small businesses. Small businesses are far more vulnerable than larger companies because they often lack the controls, the budgets, and infrastructure that large corporations have in place to manage security and prevent breaches. Additionally, for small businesses that are just starting out or operating with funding from bank loans or a merchant advance, a financial hit can be much more catastrophic than it would be to a larger company that has more financial padding. In many cases, an act of fraud is enough to drive a small business into bankruptcy.

Internal acts of fraud are most likely to be perpetrated by trusted employees, bookkeepers, or accountants – those people who have access to sensitive financial information, bank accounts, and the like. Externally, fraud such as identity theft and hacked accounts are on the rise as more consumers than ever use their mobile devices for financial transactions.

To prevent internal acts of fraud, small businesses need to first recognize that although unpalatable to think about, employee theft does happen all too frequently. The company needs to be diligent in conducting background checks, putting into place security checks and balances, and not giving a sole employee complete and unsupervised access to financial data. Small businesses also need to stay constantly alert to red flags that may indicate that fraud is taking place under the surface.

Fortunately for both small businesses and the consumers who purchase from them and use their services, there are a growing crop of fintech companies developing more advanced technologies that will quickly prevent and identify acts of fraud – before devastating damage is incurred. These companies are focusing on creating anti-fraud technologies using data analysis, information sharing, machine learning, AI, authentication technology, biometrics, behavior analytics, IAM and more to prevent security breaches that may occur during all types of financial transactions.