Just because there’s a pandemic doesn’t mean cybercriminals are lying low. Proof of this is the proliferation of coronavirus-themed scams and cyberattacks that exploit people’s unpreparedness in order to steal sensitive information and money. One of the best ways to combat these threats and protect your accounts payable (AP) department is to turn to AP automation solutions like PaperSave.
What COVID-19 cyberthreats do AP departments face?
Most of the cyberthreats prevalent during the coronavirus era have been around for years, but the uncertainty caused by the pandemic has turned people into easier prey for cybercriminals. The biggest threats to your AP department include phishing and ransomware.
Phishing involves scammers pretending to be trustworthy individuals or organizations and, through email or other electronic messages, tricking their victims into giving them money or sensitive information. In some phishing attacks, businesses receive an email from an existing supplier. The email advises the victim to settle their invoice by sending their payment to a fraudulent bank account set up by the scammer.
On the other hand, ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the victim’s data, preventing them from accessing crucial information. To regain access, the victim must pay a ransom. Ransomware can be spread through phishing emails and is considered to be one of the most damaging cyberthreats today.
How does AP automation help fight these threats?
AP automation is an advanced and secure solution that can help protect your AP team — and the rest of your business — from cyberthreats. It does this in the following ways:
1. It helps differentiate fraudulent from legitimate invoices
Your vendors will be informed of the proper channel to send their invoice to once you automate your AP process. If you receive an invoice through your mail, a different email address, or any other channel besides the one you identified, this should raise a red flag. The logical next step is to contact the vendor that supposedly sent the invoice and confirm if the document you received is authentic or not.
2. It limits certain roles to specific users
Paper invoices tend to pass through many hands before they get to their intended recipient. This not only increases the risk of the invoice getting lost or damaged, but it also makes your AP process more susceptible to fraud if the document is intercepted by criminals.
With AP automation, the invoice is sent directly to its intended recipient, preventing third parties from accessing and misusing its contents. You can also set up special permissions for your staff according to their role. For instance, you can configure your AP automation solution so that only those with approval authority can approve invoices. When roles are limited this way, it’s much easier to train people to identify telltale signs of fraudulent transactions.
3. It ensures full visibility of your AP process
But what if a faulty transaction does occur? AP automation lets you see all purchases, payables, and transactions in a given period, allowing you to trace where your money went and identify the errors that led to the issue. This transparency puts authorities in a better position to help your company. It also gives you insights on how you can improve your process and prevent any mistakes from happening again.
4. It stores multiple backups of your invoices in the cloud
The cloud is one of the safest places to store your data these days. Not only are your files encrypted in the cloud — preventing malicious parties from reading their contents — but they can also be accessed only by those with the right login credentials.
PaperSave stores invoice data on multiple off-site cloud servers for good measure. This strategy keeps your data intact and usable in the event of a natural disaster in your area. Should you fall victim to a ransomware attack, this approach also ensures that you have backups of your files, preventing downtime. Even as you resolve the issue of ransomware, you will be able to process and approve invoices, and never miss out on payments.
PaperSave empowers modern businesses by offering an efficient, secure, and flexible means to process, organize, and approve invoices. Discover how we can help your business power through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by scheduling a free personalized demo today.