Is your practice at risk for cyber fraud?

September 29, 2010 | Web Exclusive Is your practice at risk for cyber fraud? Four tips to preventing an attack. by Pamela Campbell

September 29, 2010 |
Web Exclusive

Is your practice at risk for cyber fraud?

Four tips to preventing an attack.

by Pamela Campbell, Senior VP, San Diego Reional Manager, California Bank & Trust



On March 30, 2010, a group of cyber criminals hacked into the computers of a Springfield, Missouri-based dental practice, gaining access to their bank accounts and making away with $205,000 – all without attracting notice. The money was taken by way of 11 electronic wire transfers.

How were these virtual crooks able to access the practice’s computers and bank accounts?  As it turns out, a “Trojan horse” had been installed on the company’s computers.  Trojan horses are just one category among many malware, phishing, SMISHing and malicious software programs that have recently gained popularity among hackers.

Malicious malware make their way onto company computers in a number of ways.  An employee might receive an email from what appears to be a legitimate source, such as a bank or brokerage firm, then click on a link.  A bookkeeper might download a file that contains a virus or enter the company’s pin code into a screen when requested.  Those simple actions can cause a cascade of computer commands, ending with a thief gaining access to your files and passwords. 

While most banks and financial institutions have implemented rigorous security measures to help avoid cyber threats, these measures can only safeguard accounts if business clients practice security measures as well.  California Bank & Trust encourages strong security strategies among clients. We recommend implementing the following tips to help prevent cyber crime in your practice:

• Install up-to-date security software.  Anti-virus and anti-malware software can provide protection if kept up-to-date and scanned regularly. A firewall can also help prevent computers from becoming infected.?
• Do not provide sensitive information:  Instruct your staff not to provide financial or banking information such as pin numbers via the Internet.  If you receive an email from a bank or other financial institution requesting personal information, never respond to it. Call customer service to report the situation.?
• Use office computers for work purposes only.  Cut down on risk by blocking access to various social networking websites and instituting a policy of “work-only” usage for company computers.?
• Report any suspicious activity to the police.  Speak with your business banker about ways to identify unusual account activity and halt questionable transactions. 

About California Bank & Trust ?California Bank & Trust, a subsidiary of Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ: ZION), is one of the largest banks headquartered in California with over $10 billion in assets and 100 offices statewide. With local management and decision-making and an emphasis on relationship banking, CB&T provides products, resources and financing solutions for businesses and individuals, including commercial and small business lending, cash management, international banking, wealth management, and online banking. Learn more at Member FDIC.

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