Entries tagged with “Data Security”.

At least one, and possibly two, cybersecurity breaches have recently affected one of the nation’s largest wealth management firms.

A new financial advisor, recently promoted after undergoing years of training, stole customer information from the firm’s data system. More than a quarter of a million clients of the firm had their names, account numbers and the amount of money in their accounts posted on an online data sharing site, with a subsequent offer to sell the information for a particular amount of bitcoins (online digital currency).

The suspect in the case purportedly downloaded client information by running internal reports on the firm’s wealth management clients. He subsequently transferred the information to his own personal devices. Investigators discovered the data after retrieving the employee’s personal computer from his home.

While the advisor admits to obtaining the data, he claims he did not post it, nor put it up for sale. Some investigators have postulated that hackers stole the data after he placed it on his personal devices, resulting in two separate breaches affecting the same group of individuals.

In response to the data theft, the wealth management firm has now limited employee access to client information, so that large amounts of information regarding the firms’ clients will no longer be available to any one individual.

According to cyber security experts, a cautious approach regarding data access is the best. Rogue employees are one of the most difficult threats to detect, and a “cloak and contain” policy, allowing individuals only the amount of information they need to do their jobs, is the best way of to keep client data safe.

To learn more how to protect your customer’s credit card and payment information feel free to contact ProPay. Call 888-227-9856 or email marketing@propay.com.

Fraud prevention has the potential to be one of the most cost-effective investments your company makes. To calculate your ROI, however, you need to understand the opportunity cost associated with fraud prevention.

A recent Yahoo Finance article reports on how much UK businesses lost due to fraud. Here are two of the most important figures:

- The average amount of money lost was $4,000

- 1% of SMBs lost more than $15,500

The article also explains that all businesses, whether small or large, can be impacted by fraud. We often say that small businesses are at a greater risk of fraud since hackers know they don’t have sufficient resources to invest in fraud prevention. Hacking small businesses isn’t as fruitful as hacking banks, but it’s easier to infiltrate unprotected technology systems that small businesses often use.

A cost-effective way to practice fraud prevention and protect your business is to use encrypted state-of-the art payment processors. These add an additional layer of security when your clients pay with credit cards. Moreover, you get to track payments in case someone tries to scam your business. The important thing is that you choose a payment processor which fits your company’s needs. There are tons of payment processors out there, and they all vary in terms of features and functions.

We recommend taking your time and researching a few payment processors until you’re completely satisfied with one. Feel free to reach out to if you have any questions about technical specifications.

Having a small business can take you on a thrilling ride, and that ride can hopefully take you somewhere that will give you an enjoyable and positive experience. You can maintain a stable business by making smart decisions financially; these decisions need to be made before you are faced with trouble or any kind of unwanted debt.

You can prepare yourself and your business for the future by remembering these small business financial success tips.

Create a Small Cash Reserve

It is always a wise decision to plan for the future, especially when you have to run your own business. You can accomplish this by putting together a cash reserve that you can use for any emergency situations, or you can use it to give yourself a bonus when the year is over. When you are waiting for the profits to roll in, the cash reserve can help you when you have to plan for any taxes that may catch you by surprise. You should always put money aside for taxes.

Always Remember What the Repercussions of Debt Will Be

Not every small business owner and entrepreneur will get to begin their business with no debt. However, you can still put together a plan that will allow you to pay of your credit cards and any other debt so that no limits will be placed on you in the future. When you can leave your personal debit behind you, you will be able to pursue and secure future loans for your business that will not hurt your credit score.

Do Not Put Personal and Business Finances Together

If you have independent accounts for your business expenses and your financial expenses, you will save yourself from being overwhelmed and confused about being protected in the event of an audit. Keep all of your credit cards, checking accounts, and saving accounts separate. When you do a good job of keeping your accounts separate, you will be able to effectively manage all of your expenses and bills.

Also, part of your business is being aware of the salaries that your employees should receive, but you should not omit yourself. A financial expert can help you review all of your financial options and help you make changes for the better. You can do your research and always prepare yourself, but you should also not be afraid to ask questions.

If you need to receive information from people who are familiar with finances and small businesses, contact us.

Fraud prevention for small businesses is easier than you think, and with these simple considerations you will be protected from a variety of fraud.

It is important to consider the goods you sell and if they could be fraudulently returned. Items that have been used, such as computer hardware, or gift cards, can be used and sometimes returned with the intent on fooling the sales associates. To protect yourself from any adverse situation, it is important to track the sale of each item using serial numbers and bookkeeping.

Addresses that your customers give you should be examined. A simple system that checks for address validity could be added to your website. If customers are hiding their real address, it is very possible fraud will occur.

Chargebacks are inevitable but not the end of the world. Some businesses simply budget for a few chargebacks a year, depending on how many goods they sell. However, using a payment processor can often give you insurance for a certain number of chargebacks, so you do not have to worry.

Be wary of potential partners. Scammers like to target small businesses thinking that they are easy prey. If you receive an e-mail or letter about a business proposition that sounds too good to be true, avoid it. Contacting businesses that you want to partner with proactively is a better strategy.

Feel free to contact us if you want more fraud prevention tips. Fraud is a concern for every business and could result in a major detriment to your business if you don’t take the necessary precautionary steps.

As part of our series on small business financial success tips, we thought we would share some of the common accounting mistakes that we see from small businesses. Review your small business financial practices to ensure that you are not guilty of making one of these mistakes!

- Failing to follow-up with past due accounts – As a small business, you may not have a collections officer on staff, and you may not prioritize calling clients who owe funds. Don’t let clients take advantage of your goodwill (and wreck your cash flow) by sending payments late. Commit to following up with past due accounts.

- Being too lenient in collections due dates – Small business owners often extend lenient collections dates to 60 days or more. Over time, this can sap your cash flow and may leave you without sufficient operating capital. Ask for payment when services are rendered, or no more than 30 days after.

- Forgetting to balance bank statements – We understand that balancing bank statements can sometimes seem minor. However, how will you catch a mistake if you do not balance your bank statements? It’s in your best business interest to ensure an accurate cash flow, and balancing bank statements is an important part of this.

- Not managing inventory levels – It can take some time for small businesses to determine how much inventory is the right amount. Too much and you’ve tied up cash flow in goods that may not sell. Too little and you risk missing out on sales when items are back ordered. Ensure that all staff are keeping inventory records so you can better gauge the right level of inventory and maximize sales.

To learn more about any of the issues we’ve raised here, please contact us today.