Help your business have a joyful and fraud-free holiday season

November 2021

Help your business have a joyful and fraud-free holiday season

For many businesses, the holidays can be a time of heightened activity and increased sales coupled with temporary staffing or vacation coverage, and disrupted and hectic routines – all things that can put a business at greater risk for fraud. Unfortunately, cybercriminals don’t take off for the holidays – in fact, they take advantage of this busy season to increase their activity as well. On the brighter side, protecting your business is possible with a combination of communication and diligence.

Heighten employee awareness with communication and training:

  • Review your policies and procedures regarding vendor payments with employees. This is especially important for any seasonal or part-time employees who are supplementing full-time staff.
  • Remind employees to be vigilant about password safety: Use longer passphrases, never reuse passwords across different systems or websites, and periodically change their passwords. If they know or believe a password has been compromised, they should change all their passwords and alert your technology support.
  • Educate your employees about email safety. Tell them to be suspicious of unsolicited emails and not click on links, open attachments, or provide personal or business information such as login credentials to unverified contacts.
  • You and your employees should never provide sensitive information – such as passwords, account numbers or identifying information – over the phone. KeyBank will never call you and ask to verify this information.
  • Make sure any vendor or financial institution website, application or software platform is valid before entering any identifying information. Spoofed and malicious websites are an increasingly common way criminals commit fraud.
  • Helping others during the holidays is a worthy pursuit, but it’s important to be aware that charitable fraud is also on the rise. Verify that any charity website is legitimate before making a donation and advise employees to do the same.

Along with awareness, use every prevention tool in your kit:

  • Monitor your accounts frequently and set up alerts online to identify suspicious activity.
  • Ensure your systems are updated with the latest hardware and software; check routers, browsers, applications, security systems, and any employee or point-of-sale devices.
  • Verify your employee access rights and credentials on a regular basis.
  • Identify a clear chain of command for payment processing, including any new employees who will be involved. Utilize dual controls on payments and ensure separation of duties to prevent mistakes, overpayments and fraudulent transactions.
  • Everyone on your systems should regularly clear their browser cache, which can help protect personal information and help applications run optimally.

Every business leader wants to end the year with a strong, profitable and happy holiday season. By staying aware of the threat of fraud, sharing prevention strategies with employees, and strengthening your defenses, you can keep your business safe.

KeyBank stays on top of the latest fraud security threats to advise our customers about how to protect their payment systems.


To Learn more:

Contact your KeyBank Payments Advisor to learn more about our fraud solutions.

This article is for general information purposes only and does not consider the specific investment objectives, financial situation, and particular needs of any individual person or entity.

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