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Stay safe out there

Being in the know is the first step to protecting yourself and your business from cyber fraud. Choice Bank is committed to providing you with up-to-date resources and tips to help you stay informed.

For Businesses       For Individuals

Cyber Security Awareness Month

Throughout the month of October, we’ll be sharing valuable tips and information that you can use to help protect you and your business. For additional information, the American Bankers Association has a page dedicated to focusing on educating consumers about phishing scams and how to avoid them.

More Information

Latest Cyber Security News from our Blog

Cybersecurity

Banks Never Ask That!

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Latest Cyber Security News from our Blog

Cybersecurity, Newsroom

Coronavirus scam attempts expected to increase with stimulus check disbursement

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For Businesses

According to the National Small Business Association, forty-three percent of small businesses reported being the victim of a cyber attack.

Now, more than ever, it is crucial to take preventative measures to help protect you and your business from cyber fraud. The following are practices and procedures that can be put in place to aid prevention:

Employee Practices and Policies

  • Employee actions or inactions create the greatest risk. Train employees on cyber security on an on-going basis.
  • Create strong policies around password requirements (length, complexity, and expiration), use of e-mail, and internet usage. Prohibit shared ID’s and passwords.
  • Require employees to review and sign an acceptable use statement that outlines your security policies and hold them account­able to these policies.
  • Limit administrative rights for your employees so they are unable to download malware or viruses embedded in seemingly harmless applications.
  • Assign access to data based on each employee’s need.

Network Practices

  • Deploy strong network security including a dedicated and actively managed firewall, anti-virus solutions, anti-malware solutions, and intrusion detection / prevention systems.
  • Install operating system and ancillary application patches on a regular basis.
  • Seal off sensitive data on the network from third party systems.
  • Use encryption solutions as appropriate (e-mail, laptops, thumb drives, cell phones).
  • Test and validate the effectiveness of controls.

Online Banking Practices

  • Use Online Banking to frequently review account activity.
  • Require the use of dual-control for ACH and wire transfer origination.
  • Utilize an out of band authentication method to confirm transfer requests (i.e. if a vendor sends you an e-mail including wire instructions, call the vendor back on the phone to confirm the instructions).
  • Verify that all online banking sessions are secure.
  • Avoid using Automatic Log-In features.
  • Do not access Online Banking from a public computer.
  • Utilize other cash management services that add additional protection, such as ACH Verify and Check Verify.
  • Promptly report suspicious performance (workstation or the web site).

Human error is the weakest link in cyber security and contributes to at least 95% of all security incidents.

Businesses usually become compromised through a “phishing” attack. This attack might be disguised in a fraudulent email that appears to be a credible communication or it might be embedded in a website. When links or attachments in an email or on a website are opened, malware may be installed on the user’s computer. This malware may record keystrokes, capture otherwise secure information, and allow the attacker access to the network. In another type of scheme, the attacker intercepts email communication or “spoofs” employee email addresses, making it appear that an email is being sent legitimately from a co-worker or vendor. In this case, the attackers then use this compromised communication to instruct the employee to wire or transfer money.

To put it in plainly, systems usually become compromised because of something someone does (i.e. employee clicks on an attachment from an unknown source) or something that someone doesn’t do (i.e. failing to set a strong password or failure to patch operating systems and ancillary applications such as Adobe and Java). Having the best firewall on the market isn’t enough to protect you. Every business needs well-informed employees that can understand and identify various threats. Furthermore, it’s equally important they recognize how certain actions or inaction can put the company in a comprised position.

Cyber Security Training

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For Individuals

According to the University of Maryland, hackers attack every 39 seconds – an average of 2,244 times a day.

Now, more than ever it is crucial to take preventative measures to help protect yourself from cyber fraud. The following are practices and procedures that can be put in place to aid prevention:

Best Practices

  • Actions or inactions create the greatest risk. Keep up to date on cyber security news by following the Choice Bank blog and check out the ‘Resources’ section here.
  • Create strong passwords – a minimum length of 14 characters and consider using passphrases. Do not re-use passwords across sites and do not share your password with others.
  • Consider using a password manager to keep track of passwords.

Network Practices

  • Be sure you’re using a firewall and updated anti-virus/anti-malware software that automaticaly scans for malicious files.
  • Install patches on a regular basis as these are often security-focused.
  • Use encryption where available, such as emails, file sharing sites, thumb drives, and cell phones.

Online Banking Practices

  • Use Online Banking to frequently review account activity.
  • Avoid using Automatic Log-In features.
  • Do not access Online Banking from a public computer.
  • If you notice a sudden changes in computer or website performance, it could be a sign of malicious activity and should be investigated.

Every day, thousands of people fall victim to fraudulent emails, texts and calls from scammers pretending to be their bank. And in this time of expanded use of online banking, the problem is only growing worse.

Online scams aren’t so scary when you know what to look for. And at Choice Bank, we’re committed to helping you spot them as an extra layer of protection for your account.

We want every bank customer to become a pro at spotting a phishing scam—and stop bank impostors in their tracks. It starts with these four words: Banks Never Ask That. Because when you know what sounds suspicious, you’ll be less likely to be fooled.

5 Things We Will Never Ask For Through Phone or Email:
  • Your Full Account Number
  • Your Full Debit or Credit Card Number
  • Your CVV Number
  • Your PIN  Number
  • Your Full Social Security Number

In the end, it’s about trusting your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, hang up and give us a call directly. We are always happy to help because your safety and peace of mind is apart of our #PeopleFirst promise.

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1, 2 Source: Cybersecurity Ventures

3 Source: Verizon 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report