Cyber Risk Statistics and the Need to Secure Sensitive Information - Financial Operations Network
Cyberattacks are not all by foreign actors, nor espionage. Financial gain is the motive in 86 percent of breaches, according to a 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon. In the majority of cybercrime, the perpetrator and victim are located in the same country.
cyber security, P2P, accounts payable, remote workers, phishing, internal controls, email, hackers
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Cyber Risk Statistics and the Need to Secure Sensitive Information

Cyber Risk Statistics and the Need to Secure Sensitive Information

Hackers continue a relentless barrage

Last December, the U.S. government announced a major cyber breach by Russian hackers. Before we even have fully understood the impact of that attack on 18,000 organizations and government agencies, we learn “holes” in Microsoft’s email software have led to the compromise of 30,000 U.S. organizations. This latest attack is by Hafnium, a group operating from China.

But cyberattacks are not all by foreign actors, nor about espionage. Financial gain is the motive in 86 percent of breaches, according to the 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon1. And in the majority of cybercrime, the perpetrator and victim are located in the same country.

Further, due to error and “privilege misuse,” 30 percent of cyber breaches in North America stemmed from people inside an organization. That 30 percent includes inadvertently “leaving the door open” as well as malicious intent.

Hackers of all kinds continue a relentless barrage of attacks on everyone. According to a University of Maryland study2, hackers attack computers connected to the internet every 39 seconds. On average, your computers are under attack 2,244 times a day. In the first half of 2020, data breaches exposed 36 billion records.

It seems there’s nowhere to hide. Do you doubt a hacker could get into your organization’s emails or data files?

Cybersecurity firm Varonis has aggregated 134 statistics and trends3 from multiple sources, including from the Verizon and University of Maryland studies, to paint a picture of the cybersecurity landscape. If security practices are on your list of things to get to, get to it!

Several of the identified activities can affect the procure-to-pay area.  Email is very often an entry point. System and file username/password weaknesses continue to leave companies vulnerable, and too many files are accessible by too many people.

Here are just a few of the statistics:

  • Email is the delivery route for ninety-four percent of malware.
  • The top malicious email attachment types are .doc and .dot, which make up 37 percent, the next highest is .exe at 19.5 percent.
  • Phishing attacks account for more than 80 percent of incidents.
  • Email phishing attacks increased in 2020 to account for one in every 4,200 emails
  • Data breaches exposed 36 billion records in the first six months of 2020.
  • Fifteen percent of cyber breaches involved healthcare organizations, 10 percent the financial industry and 16 percent the public sector.
  • Human error is behind 94 percent of cybersecurity breaches.
  • In 20 percent of organizations, remote workers have caused a security breach.
  • Forty-seven percent of remote employees that fell for a phishing email cite distraction as the cause.

Cybersecurity firm Cybint quotes IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometti saying, “Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.” Get informed and stay informed. Cybint offers this: “Understanding cyber terminology, threats and opportunities are critical for every person in every business across all industries.”

The constant threats and attacks are why your I.T. department personnel’s hair is turning grey. And why they are issuing guidance to the company. I.T.’s requirements may seem inconvenient or irritating. Meet them anyway. Train your staff. Staff training must be well designed, and your team must take it seriously for it to be effective.

The internal controls in your policy and procedures can only protect the organization if your team follows them. Remember, human error is behind 94 percent of security breaches. You cannot eliminate human error. But you can reduce it.

That old annoyance of good password creation, protection and periodic change is critical to all applications, from email accounts to system and file access. And we can’t say it enough: email is not secure. Vendors should not transmit sensitive data via email. Find alternatives to it.

A correctly designed vendor portal provides a secure way for vendors to transmit their sensitive information to you. To learn more, contact us.

1 https://enterprise.verizon.com/resources/reports/2020-data-breach-investigations-report.pdf

2 https://eng.umd.edu/news/story/study-hackers-attack-every-39-seconds

3 https://www.varonis.com/blog/cybersecurity-statistics/



Stop Calls and Emails, Enhance
Service and Increase Profit!

InvoiceInfo saves labor hours and cost by helping suppliers and internal staff easily and instantly get answers online to their invoice-payment questions.

If you are like many finance leaders today, you are being challenged to reduce costs more quickly. InvoiceInfo delivers real bottom-line results almost immediately, allowing you to deploy your customer service staff to focus on more productive, bottom-line oriented tasks.

Let us show you how InvoiceInfo's vendor self-service portal can help your organization eliminate invoice inquiry emails and calls while enhancing service to your accounts payable customers.

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Get Up and Running Quickly and Seamlessly

InvoiceInfo and VendorInfo are standalone applications that can be up and running in as little as two weeks, with little or no IT resources required.

The faster your online portal is up and running, the sooner you will start reaping the benefits. InvoiceInfo and VendorInfo are dedicated solely to helping AP and procurement departments slash the time and expense of servicing vendors, while improving customer service for their suppliers.

InvoiceInfo and VendorInfo are simple solutions with big results. They are easy to implement and easy to use. Here’s how one customer described the process: “You give vendors a URL, provide instructions about what they need to know and tell them to go use it.” It really is that easy.

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Improve Productivity with a Self-Service Solution

For most organizations, deploying a technology solution is a significant investment, and like most investments, the decision point ultimately comes down to the expected return on that investment.

According to a recent benchmark study by The Accounts Payable Network, 60% of AP customer service calls are from vendors while 40% are from internal customers. Vendor issues actually make up even more of the AP call volume than the 60% identified. Many times when a vendor has an issue, the vendor contacts their buyer or purchasing representative, who in turn contacts AP. Even though the call comes from an internal customer, the question originated with the vendor.

Vendor calls affect productivity in your organization exponentially. When vendors call the requisitioner, they are affecting that person’s productivity. Your internal customer’s productivity shrinks when fielding the vendor’s call and again when making the follow up call to AP and getting back to the vendor. Finally, AP’s productivity suffers as a result of the internal customer’s call, the payment status research and the follow-up communication.

With a minimal investment of IT time and talent, you can start reducing customer service calls and expense in a matter of weeks. In addition, you improve vendor relations since you are giving your vendors what they want — answers to their questions immediately — a win-win for everyone involved!

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Easy and Economical Solution to Serve Vendors Around the World

InvoiceInfo can help you provide best-in-class customer service to your vendors around the world at a fraction of the cost.

Many organizations today have offices and operations throughout the world and are dealing with many time zones, different languages, and in some cases multiple ERP systems. InvoiceInfo currently supports different languages and can easily work with multiple ERP systems in different locations.

The key to good customer service is to provide the information that the customer wants when they want it. Whether your customer is a vendor waiting for a payment or a colleague that needs information on payment status, they want their information right away. If your organization has vendors and offices in other countries, they can be challenging and expensive to serve. But, with InvoiceInfo, your international vendors and internal customers can access the information they need when they need it.

With InvoiceInfo, you won’t have to staff your customer service team with 24-hour coverage in multiple languages to provide high-quality customer service around the world.

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Enhance AP’s Role As a Strategic Partner

Learn how InvoiceInfo can help AP do more with less while continuously improving productivity and bottom-line results.

Many automation technologies such as scanning, workflow, e-invoicing, ACH, and electronic invoicing require significant investments of money, time and talent, making it difficult to get buy-in from upper management. Not InvoiceInfo!

If your goal for your AP department is to reduce costs quickly, call or email us today to learn more about how InvoiceInfo can help you achieve this goal through a quick, inexpensive and easy implementation of a vendor self-service portal.

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Enhance Vendor Relationships

InvoiceInfo helps suppliers’ AR departments with simple and convenient access to invoice payment status online at a cost savings for all involved.

It may seem that the organization paying the vendor should hold all the cards in the relationship. But sometimes the opposite is true. Past-due payments and customer service perceptions can harm supplier relationships and disrupt the supply chain.

Your vendors and vendor relationship managers are living in a dynamic, fast-paced environment, so when invoice information is required, it is needed quickly and expected to be of high quality. With InvoiceInfo, your suppliers get answers to invoice inquiries real time, 24/7 with no need to leave messages and wait for responses. Studies show that confidence in data increases when suppliers access invoice and payment information themselves.

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Give Procurement and Buyers the Tool They
Need to Respond to Vendors Quickly

Not only can InvoiceInfo be used by suppliers to learn the status of invoice payments, it can also be used internally within your organization.

In addition to reducing calls from vendors regarding invoice status, you can also reduce internal emails and calls from co-workers wanting to learn the status of invoice payment, and save time and effort and boost efficiency and productivity across the organization. Studies show that 40% of AP customer service calls are from internal customers. Many of these are from requisitioners who have received calls or emails from the supplier checking on payment status. These calls are often more expensive for the company because the internal staff member has taken the call or received an email from the supplier, contacted AP for the payment status and had to return the call or email the supplier.

By providing the vendor with a convenient and credible online option to get the answers it needs regarding payment status, you can eliminate multiple calls/emails between the vendor and the requisitioner saving time and money.

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Eliminate Difficult Vendor Calls and See
Productivity and Staff Morale Soar

Reduce invoice payment inquiries and “promote” your vendor service team to more satisfying and profit-producing tasks.

By sharply reducing inbound calls and emails regarding receipt and payment status that your AP staff must handle individually, your staff can focus their efforts on more productive, cost-saving activities, learn new tasks, feel more confident and boost their careers.

According to a recent American Express survey on customer service, more than one-third of consumers have lost their temper with a customer service professional in the past year. Of those who lost their temper, three in ten “hung up the phone.” Your staff will no longer have to deal with difficult collectors who can be upsetting and disruptive. Your staff will feel that their time and talents are being put to better use and will feel better about themselves, their jobs and their organization. Reducing these calls can be a real productivity and morale booster for your AP department!

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Simplify and Streamline Vendor Onboarding

According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, the average organization spends about $20 in labor to file each paper document, approximately $120 in labor searching for each misfiled document and $220 in re-creation of a document.

Wouldn’t it be great to have all your W-9’s, W-8’s and other registration documents completed online and instantly filed online for easy access when needed? With Vendor Self-Service Onboarding Module, VendorInfo, you can onboard your new vendors in one convenient location and eliminate paperwork and hassles.

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Verify the Accuracy of Vendor Information and Stay in Compliance with IRS and Treasury Department Regulations

Government regulators are increasing the complexity of regulations and penalties associated with vendor-related non-compliance.

Penalties for incorrect 1099’s have more than doubled in recent years. Over the last several years, OFAC has levied more than $1 billion in fines against American companies or subsidiaries that did business with restricted businesses, organizations and individuals on its SDN list. In addition to fining these companies, the Treasury Department posts the names of infringing organizations along with fines paid.

VendorInfo Onboarding Module verifies the accuracy of vendor information and helps protect your organization by avoiding embarrassing penalties and fines.

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