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HomeEducationCFOs Fight Fraud With Automation and Education

CFOs Fight Fraud With Automation and Education

Gone are the days when chief financial officers (CFOs) were considered old-fashioned and technically illiterate.

According to Ofer Brown, general manager of Israel and APAC at cybersecurity firm nsKnox, the pandemic has led to a rapid acceleration in technology adoption and has made today’s CFO more innovative.

“They used to be [focused on their own systems], … and worked with only one bank,” Brown told PYMNTS in an interview. “Nowadays they work with different banks worldwide and are much more open to information about innovation and new technologies.”

While embracing innovation clearly has its benefits, it’s not without risks, Brown noted, with CFOs falling victim to an increasing number of fraud attacks.

Their roles in organizations have also expanded from baseline projects such as cash management and treasury management to managing external activities such as supplier portals and customer portals. It’s a shift, he said, that has happened without the proper standards needed to automate these increasingly sophisticated systems and make them work seamlessly together.

That lack of integration further opens the door to risks that organizations already face.

“Fraudsters like those cracks between systems,” he said.

That said, Brown was quick to point out that CFOs are “not blind” to these challenges, given the widespread debate about fraud across industries.

“Cybersecurity was a domain that was once limited to cybersecurity conferences. But today, cybersecurity and risk are [widely] discussed in finance,” he said.

Financial professionals are also increasingly aware of compliance, particularly with regard to sanctions against banks in Russia, he said, adding that this has led to an increase in customer requests to validate and verify that money is not being transferred to sanctioned bank accounts.

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“Even banks find it difficult to comply. And at the corporate level, it’s much harder for them to connect with all of them [sanctions accounts] lists out there,” he explained, pointing to how nsKnox steps in with its cybersecurity expertise to help customers authenticate vendor identities.

And because most attacks are related to information sharing via emails and PDF documents, he said the company has introduced a bank account certificate for its customers: check at any time that the account is correct and that you own it .

Keep fraudsters out

According to Brown, education inside and outside the organization is needed to raise awareness, making it as easy as possible for different stakeholders to understand and apply common safety practices.

This also includes sharing knowledge and offering tools to external parties such as suppliers and sellers to handle payments securely. Taking a few precautions can go a long way in protecting organizations from falling victim to fraudulent attacks.

As he said, “the risk is not just in your domain. There is also the risk that your supplier will be hacked and [thus impacting your organization]or your customer is tricked into paying someone else instead of paying into your account.

Banks, which are more secure and invest significant amounts of money in cybersecurity, are less likely to be on the receiving end of attacks than businesses. But as attacks shift from social engineering to malware and fraudsters become much more sophisticated, companies must quickly catch up.

In fact, Brown said that CFOs, who are strategic thinkers by nature, are more aware than ever of the risks they face. As such, they are arming themselves with payment security solutions like those offered by nsKnox to fill the cracks and keep cybercriminals at bay.

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“Fraudsters go where it’s easier for them, if they know you’re running the best antivirus or the best validation services, they’ll go elsewhere,” he said.

How consumers pay online with saved credentials
Convenience is driving some consumers to store their payment credentials with merchants, while security issues are causing other customers to question. For “How We Pay Digitally: Stored Credentials Edition,” a collaboration with Amazon Web Services, PYMNTS surveyed 2,102 US consumers to analyze the consumer dilemma and reveal how merchants can win holdouts.



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