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The security implications of Covid19 and remote work on the finance function

In our latest blog post we examine why prevention is better than a cure when it comes to fraud.

There’s no denying Covid has impacted every element of our lives. When it comes to the world of work it is hard to imagine things going back to how they were at all, particularly in terms of office-based working.

So where does that leave shared services or global business services (GBS) teams, where it was traditionally believed that physical proximity was critical to getting many processes, particularly more complex ones, done effectively?

Surely one of the most critical areas in a shared services environment must be on ensuring the Finance contingent of the department is as safe and secure as possible to minimise fraudulent activity?

Well, according to a recent report from Gartner only 13% of shared services leaders report that fraud has increased with the transition to remote work. Maybe it is not as pressing as we have been led to believe…

But when we consider just how much fraud has correlated with the rise of home working this year (Action Fraud reported that it received 3,916 reports of cybercrime during the first month of lockdown alone) security has to be a bigger concern.

Well, when we take another look at the Gartner report it reveals that an additional 37% of leaders are unsure if fraud has increased or not, giving rise to the worrying possibility that fraud has increased, undetected.

With more and more companies moving to digitize their finance functions, finance leaders can no longer afford to be unsure if their financial data is accessible to potential threat actors or not.

For peace of mind across shared services teams and the wider organisation in which they sit, it is imperative that the right tools are in place to ensure a safe environment that can keep payments and collections processes secure.

With the dangers posed by team members using their own devices to access payments data, extra precautions must be taken to preserve the integrity of how that data can be accessed and exchanged. And in remote working scenarios, these teams need to be able to transfer files around their network more securely than they ever could in the office.

So, what’s the solution?

The good news is that technology already exists to help organisations combat this issue.

For example, anyone who uses the AccessPay platform to exchange payments and collections files benefit from bank grade security when it comes to encrypting data and segregating access to specific payment workflows, seriously minimising the ways in which payment files can be compromised.

We’ve also built an AI-powered detection engine to proactively flag suspicious or erroneous transactions. This can ensure finance teams receive real-time automated alerts, allowing an action to be taken  and risk removed immediately, or prevention of an event completely.

To find out more about how to ensure your firm can secure your payment processes, schedule a demo with one of our finance specialists now.

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