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Cybersecurity Insights World-Region-Country

Business Email Compromise Inbound for Banks With High Fraud Risk

Accounts Payable (AP), Accounts Receivable (AR) and Treasury departments are all to increase spending on fraud detection and prevention controls, whilst business email compromise (BEC) continues to be the highest risk factor to banks; finds latest Bottomline and Strategic Treasurer survey.

The most recent ‘Treasury Fraud and Controls‘ survey from Bottomline and Strategic Treasurer has brought to light current corporate and banking experiences, including action plans against fraud.

Results show that with an increasing reliance on remote work, banks and corporates are experiencing greater risk exposure from internal factors. Four of the top six factors include increased exposure, directly or indirectly, resulting from employees’ actions.

Specifically, business email compromise (BEC) continues to be the highest risk factor to banks, which are experiencing more losses than corporates.

BEC is when a criminal attempts to trick a senior executive or budget holder through a phishing attack into transferring funds or divulging sensitive financial information.

Concurrently, banks continue to encourage corporate clients to adopt various bank security services.

This push highlights the need for companies to increase fraud awareness training and use the security services that their banks offer.

Omri Kletter, VP, cybercrime and fraud management at Bottomline
Omri Kletter

“Across the stage of bad acting, countering both internal and external actors, there is now more technology available to detect, investigate and prevent ongoing systemic risk. Banks, corporates, and the industry together need to spotlight that reality,” said Omri Kletter, VP, cybercrime and fraud management at Bottomline.

“This is another call-to-action moment for us to collaboratively encourage adoption of readily available solutions that support the cause.”

Investigating financial crimes has taken a front seat, with 67 per cent of respondents indicating their plans to use network visualisations and analytics as part of their strategies to investigate financial crimes.

Visualisation is a really good way to identify attack activities compared to audit trail information.

The majority of respondents indicated data security, and 78 per cent stated employee education as current controls in place to prevent fraud.

Additionally, 85 per cent of respondents indicated that AP and AR are key areas to bolster with fraud prevention and control investments.

“It’s good to see that AP, AR and Treasury departments all indicate plans to increase spending on fraud detection and prevention controls,” Kletter continues. “Our role as partner to both banks, in the provision of security services, and to corporates directly, is one of the most important that we at Bottomline play.”

Craig Jeffery, Strategic Treasurer's chief researcher
Craig Jeffery

Corporations are increasingly concerned about the rise in the threat level over time, as Craig Jeffery, Strategic Treasurer’s chief researcher, comments: “The compounding view of an increased cyber threat level is astonishing. From 2019 to 2022, the percentage of companies indicating a significant increase in the threat level has risen from 16 per cent to 29 per cent of all respondents.”

He further notes that: “This consistent secular increase in the top-level concern is an alarm for companies who may not be strengthening all elements of their defences: systems, processes, people, and structure.”

The survey was conducted in the last calendar quarter of 2021, with nearly 100 questions and over 300 respondents globally.

It is the seventh annual survey between the two firms, whose research partnership also includes the annual B2B payments survey.

Author

  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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