Tag Archives: wfh


Remote Working, Without the Fraud Risk

Fraudsters know a good opportunity when they see one—and the recent, mass shift to remote working was an opportunity too good for them to pass up.  The Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, and Interpol warn that phishing schemes and Business E-mail Compromise (BEC) attacks increased since the onset of the pandemic. This … Read More

10 Tips to Stay Productive While Working From Home

The global spread of COVID-19 has altered the work environment for many of us. In an effort to offset the spread of the virus, health and government officials are urging people to stay at home and many companies have implemented a work from home policy. Whether you’ve been working remote for years or just making … Read More

Remote Working, Without the Fraud Risk

Fraudsters know a good opportunity when they see one—and the recent, mass shift to remote working was an opportunity too good for them to pass up. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, and Interpol warn that phishing schemes and Business E-mail Compromise (BEC) attacks increased since the onset of the pandemic.

This is sobering news when you consider that an astounding 81% of businesses experienced attempted or actual payment fraud in 2019, the second-highest percentage of attempted and actual fraud attacks since 2009 (according to the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP)). 

Fraudsters recognized that the sudden shift to remote working disrupted hardened processes and procedures for safeguarding payments to suppliers and sensitive customer information. 

25% of accounts payable professionals say that the rising risk of fraud is their biggest concern about the disruption to their operations caused by remote work arrangements, according to the results of a poll conducted during a recent virtual town hall meeting held by the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM).  19% of accounts payable pros polled by IOFM during the town hall meeting admit that they are “concerned” about their department’s processes for paying suppliers. 

Accounts payable leaders are right to be concerned. 

Many businesses are leaning hard on e-mail to onboard suppliers and approve invoices.  While e-mail is one way to get work done when shelter-in-place restrictions make it impossible to get into the office, e-mail creates new vulnerabilities that throw the door open wide to payments fraud: 

  • Lots of manual intervention in payment approval workflows
  • No separation of duties in payment approval workflows
  • No tracking of actions taken to approve a payment
  • No chain of custody assurance for sensitive banking data
  • Inadequate visibility across the payment approval lifecycle

These are the types of vulnerabilities that fraudsters dream about.

Securing Payments Wherever AP Works

91% of accounts payable departments are working remotely, at least in part, IOFM research finds.  58% of accounts payable departments are entirely working remotely. 

Since there is no telling when, or if, accounts payable teams will return to the office, businesses must find ways to mitigate their risks.  Educating employees on the risks of payments fraud, and their role in preventing it, is a good first step.  Regularly reviewing financial processes for vulnerabilities is another.  Labeling external e-mails and being alert for potentially malicious links is also critical.

But nothing stops fraudsters in their tracks like a best-in-class electronic payments solution—technology that includes the built-in controls and segregation of duties that remote working demands.

  • Configurable controls.  Best-in-class solutions ensure control over payments with pre-defined system permissions and privileges, business rules for approvals, separation of duties and chain of custody assurance, audit trails, and administrative controls for security settings.
  • Secure storage of banking information.  Best-in-class solutions use a multi-layered approach to gather, verify, store, and continuously update supplier banking data. 
  • FBO segregated accounts.  ‘For Benefit Of’ accounts were especially designed to handle funds intended to go to another party.  FBO accounts at a reputable bank provide clear instructions as to who should receive funds, reducing the chances of interception.
  • Virtual cards.  Virtual cards do not require the distribution of physical cards.  Virtual card numbers can only be used once, and only for a set time.  Virtual card transactions can be restricted by amount, supplier and SIC code.  Transactions must be approved.  And suppliers only receive 10 of the 16 digits for a transaction, and eventually those numbers disappear. 
  • Two-factor authentication.  Two-factor authentication enables organizations to restrict access to the solution.  And advanced encryption technology makes payment information unreadable to unauthorized users, further protecting digital data.
  • Reconciliation.  Best-in-class solutions reconcile every supplier payment daily. 

As businesses settle into an operational rhythm in the new reality, they must remain vigilant to the growing threat of phishing schemes and BEC attacks.  The combination of best practices and a best-in-class electronic payments solution mitigate these fraud risks, no matter where employees work. 

Want to learn more about mitigating your risk of fraud in the new reality?

Contact us today at sales@paymerang.com to schedule a demo with one of our electronic payment experts.

10 Tips to Stay Productive While Working From Home

The global spread of COVID-19 has altered the work environment for many of us. In an effort to offset the spread of the virus, health and government officials are urging people to stay at home and many companies have implemented a work from home policy. Whether you’ve been working remote for years or just making the switch, here are some helpful tips to help ease the transition. 

  • Create a schedule: One of the benefits of working from home is the flexibility. You no longer have to devote time to your daily commute or waste time sitting in rush hour traffic. It may be tempting to use the extra time to answer emails or book additional meetings, but you’ll want to establish a schedule and stick to it. This will help you maintain work-life balance.
  • Repurpose your commute: Take advantage of the extra time to spend time with family, listen to a podcast, go for a walk, make breakfast, and set your intentions for the day. While it may be tempting to lay in bed and work from the comfort of your pajamas, make a conscious effort to get up a prepare for the day.
  • Make a workspace: Many of us are having to share our remote workspaces with loved ones, so be sure to create different workstations for everyone in your house. Create a space where you can remain focused and distractions are limited.
  • Set expectations: If you have other family members at home, be sure to set your expectations so they know when you’re available and when you’re busy with a video conference or phone call. If you have a door to your workspace, consider putting a note on the door to let your family members know when you cannot be disturbed.
  • Take a break: Know your company’s policy on breaks and allow yourself time to take an appropriate break. You can lock yourself out of your computer for 60 minutes with apps like TimeOut for Mac and Smart Break for Windows. If you only need 30 mins to eat your lunch, use the remaining 30 mins to get outside and stretch your legs on a walk around the block.
  • Stay in touch: Video chats and conference calls are a great way to stay in touch with coworkers and clients.
  • Setup regular check-ins: Stay in touch with your team members by scheduling a weekly 1:1 check-in and use the time to see how your team members are feeling and adapting to their new work environments. 
  • Setup a VPN: VPN stands for “virtual private network” – a service that encrypts your Internet traffic and protects your online identity. You should use a VPN whenever you are connected to an open network that you don’t control.  Some organizations have their own VPNs that off-site employees need to access certain servers or websites that store information meant only for internal use.
  • Stay alert: Fraudsters are increasingly clever and using the shift in the workplace to take advantage. Be sure your team is on their guard. It is important that they verify any email attachments or links before opening or clicking.
  • Stay positive: We are dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19 as a global community, if you are feeling anxious, remember you’re not alone. We’re all navigating uncharted territory, remember to be kind to yourself. Try to focus on the positives like extra time to connect with family, the opportunity to unplug, time to explore hobbies.