‘Fortifying Your Business’: A fraud protection guide for manufacturers

Michelle Di Gangi
Posted by Michelle Di Gangi
Small Business Banking

One of our small business clients recently compared cyber-security attacks to natural disasters, pointing out that both can be equally devastating to a business.

Cover graphic of the 'Fortifying Your Business' white paperThe analogy seems fitting. Just as businesses prepare for floods, snowstorms, and hurricanes, shouldn’t they take steps to protect against fraud and security threats?

3 risk categories reviewed

In our latest white paper, “Fortifying Your Business: Fraud and Security Measures for U.S. Manufacturers,” we look at common fraud and security risks — wire fraud, securing intellectual property, and protecting websites and email. Our report also identifies practical and cost-effective steps to help safeguard small and medium-size manufacturers against these risks.

Many American manufacturers are growing, boosting sales domestically and overseas and expanding their operations. Growth brings with it a lot of new tasks — hiring, building relationships with new customers, expanding business with existing customers, ramping up inventory, and upgrading technology to support growth. Amid all these activities, it can be easy to overlook business security.

Business size is not a factor

It’s not uncommon for small and medium-size manufacturers to believe that fraudsters only target the biggest companies.

“Business owners often have the misperception that they’re small enough to fly under the radar. The reality is that small businesses are actually victimized more than any other business size,” says Bank of the West Fraud Prevention Officer David Pollino, author of “Fortifying Your Business: Fraud and Security Measures for U.S. Manufacturers.”

In the report, David looks into the rising threat of a wire-fraud scheme known as masquerading, as well as other common fraud risks. Manufacturers doing business with overseas vendors are particularly susceptible to masquerading, in which criminals use fraudulent email to request a wire transfer to a foreign bank account. Companies large and small have been targeted by this scam, a topic David has blogged about and spoken to the media about frequently.

Fortifying Your Business: Fraud and Security Measures for U.S. Manufacturers” is part of a series of reports we’re publishing that combine Bank of the West’s perspective and the real-world experiences of our small and medium-size business clients.

Many of us at Bank of the West spend time talking with our clients to understand their businesses and the issues and opportunities facing their industries. In recent months we’ve paid particular attention to manufacturers, gathering and sharing their insights on growth and business challenges. Our ongoing “Made Here” blog series features interviews with a wide range of companies, including a paper manufacturer, a bicycle parts maker, and a designer of ceilings for commercial buildings. What we’ve been hearing is that the outlook is promising for U.S.-based manufacturers, which we covered in our first white paper, “Made Here: The Business Outlook for U.S. Manufacturing.”

How are you preparing your business against security risks? Check out the “Fortifying Your Business” white paper to help build and refine your plan for security.

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