Cyberattacks: 3 Things Treasury Can Do to Improve Security

What do Sony Pictures, Swiss Bank BCGE and US health insurer Anthem have in common? All three have been in the news in the past months, because these companies have been victims to cybercrime. As thousands of cyberattacks happen in real-time, protecting a company´s data from cyberattacks and fraud is a key task to IT departments today. However, every employee and every department can contribute to improving data security. Let´s review what treasury can do to protect financial data and improve workflow control:

1. Participate in the security management program
It is important to support your IT department in their efforts to assure high levels of security. Attending trainings on security policies and procedures helps to create awareness and avoid accidental security breaches. Additionally, your IT department can advise you on how to mitigate internal fraudulent activity.

2. Increase transparency in cash flows and treasury processes
As treasurer you should know exactly how much cash you have with each of your banks today and what payments are scheduled for tomorrow. Without this visibility into your cash positions and liquidity, cyberattacks and fraud can go on undetected.
Aside from making global cash flows visible, treasury workflows should be reviewed. Authorization and approval mechanisms for bank accounts, transactions and payments should be implemented and documented. This does not only make it more difficult for cyber criminals to steal money from corporate accounts, but also prevents internal fraud.

3. Use current treasury technology
Legacy technology is rarely able to support current industry standards for security. Given the sensitivity of financial data, you should make sure to use current technology such as cloud treasury solutions.
By investing in cloud treasury platforms you can hit two birds with a stone: Working with vendors that are experts in software hosting takes away the burden of data security from the IT department. Choosing a specialty treasury tool helps you to increase cash visibility and workflow control.

Cybersecurity experts estimate that the computer hack could cost Sony Pictures as much as $100 Mil, plus the impact from reputational damage or competitive disadvantages. Better start thinking about ways to protect your company from data breaches and fraud today. It could be expensive to leave it until tomorrow.

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