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ACH Fraud: Protect and Combat Ransomware Attacks

ach fraud

Learn more about ACH fraud and how to protect your computer systems from cyberattacks. Beef up your security systems with NatPay's security solutions!

The digital space has evolved over the last couple of decades as many day-to-day activities have migrated online. For example, people can now conduct even the most complicated financial transactions over the internet in seconds, with maximum convenience.

However, technological advancements have also paved the way for digital security attacks, like automated clearing house (ACH) fraud. Ransomware, a type of malicious software used to take hostage of an individual’s or organization’s devices, is on the rise. When activated, ransomware uses encryption to take control of the devices. The cybercriminal then asks for a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key.

Cybersecurity has quickly become one of the biggest concerns of companies and organizations across the globe.

Startling insights from the Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2021 Q3 survey found that 1,291 data breaches were recorded between January and October in 2021 alone.

Increased connectivity has made it easier for cybercriminals to hack and attack organizations and individual devices.

With ACH fraud and ransomware attacks becoming rampant, it is crucial that businesses take the necessary steps to protect themselves from cybercriminals. As more companies adopt hybrid and global work models post COVID-19, they will require stronger security measures to protect their decentralized workforces.

ach fraud
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Install Anti-Malware

For obvious security reasons, ransomware is particularly devastating to companies that handle sensitive data. Ransomware attacks can reveal crucial financial information, putting clients and other businesses at risk of financial attacks and fraud.

If attacked with ransomware, financial institutions run the risk of information leaks, data destruction, loss of funds, and customers’ information being compromised. On top of the monetary impact, they also lose consumer trust, which is critical in finance.

Additionally, paying the ransom does not ensure that an organization’s data will be recovered. Your computer systems are at the mercy of your attackers, and they can still leak or destroy precious files if they wish. Most organizations have a downtime of at least a week following a ransomware attack, which significantly impacts business operations and client relations.

CNA Financial, one of the largest insurance companies in the United States, experienced a ransomware attack in March 2021. It was only able to fully restore its data two months later, in May—after paying a $40 million ransom to regain system control!

Financial institutions need to adopt more robust security measures to protect their and their customer's data, such as installing an effective and efficient anti-malware program. Especially in the case of hybrid teams, remote employees may put your systems at risk by unconsciously exposing their work devices to malware. Anti-malware programs can detect malicious software and provide solutions to protect your devices and system.

Use Firewalls to Prevent Unauthorized Access

Firewalls are another tool that can boost security for financial institutions. Firewalls act as a protective barrier against potentially harmful internet traffic. Using a set of established security rules, firewalls analyze incoming and outgoing traffic to scan for any malicious activity and promptly block traffic they deem harmful. Firewalls have been the first line of defense in network security for over 25 years.

Firewalls lend you an extra security measure against cybercriminals and make it difficult for them to access your data. These security defenses can prevent backdoor access, ACH fraud, spam attacks, and remote login hijacking.

While ACH payments are arguably one of the more secure ways to facilitate payments online, this does not mean they are completely safe from cyberattacks. Security breaches can leave financial institutions vulnerable to ACH fraud. Firewalls can provide institutions yet one more layer of security.

Run Regular Security Tests and Checks

When it comes to cybersecurity, you can never be too safe. Regular security tests are important to ensure that your protective measures are up to date. Cybercriminals can exploit even the smallest vulnerabilities as an entry point to take over your company’s whole system.

Penetration testing, also known as ethical hacking, is a mode of securities checks used to evaluate system vulnerabilities. Penetration tests examine how prone your computer network is to hacks, which you can use to determine the security measures you should implement. This prevents security breaches like bogus invoice payments.

Strengthen Email Security to Protect Your Finances

Along with your basic network controls, poor email security can also leave you vulnerable to cyberattacks. Many cybercriminals use emails to infiltrate financial institutions, and a single click can allow hackers to take over your whole system.

Security education for your employees is key to preventing cyberattacks and ACH fraud via email. If your employees are not well-versed with computer security best practices, the door is wide open for a hacker to slip in thanks to an erroneous response to a phishing email. You should also use active email security systems to help users determine the legitimacy of emails they receive.

Protect with NatPay Secure Solutions

As a financial institution, robust security measures are crucial to your business. Protect your ACH transactions by working with a secure, trustworthy payment processor like NatPay. A leader in the ACH processing industry since 1991, NatPay stays at the forefront of digital security technology.

Reach out to NatPay today to learn how you can best protect your data!