Defend Your Organization Against Data Breaches and Other Cybercrime Scams

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Alliance Association Bank shares tips on how to safeguard your information against cybercriminals

It's vital to learn about the different ways cybercriminals attempt to infiltrate your organization.

In 2019, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center recorded 23,775 complaints about business email compromise (BEC), which resulted in more than $1.7 billion in losses. In the wake of COVID-19, fraudulent cybercrimes and email schemes are on the rise.

It's vital to learn about the different ways cybercriminals attempt to infiltrate your organization. This knowledge can help your organization to proactively spot different types of cybercrimes and ultimately guard your confidential information against cybercriminals.

Don’t Get Hooked – Avoid Phishing Emails

Phishing is a type of cybercrime that uses emails disguised as coming from a person or organization you trust, in order to lure you into clicking a fraudulent link or providing access to sensitive information. It is so important that you stay vigilant and keep an eye out for these red flags:

  • The email includes a request for your username and password, either by replying directly to the email or by clicking on the link that takes you to a site where you’re asked to input your information.
  • There are grammatical errors in the email or subject line. You do not know the sender and the email has an unexpected attachment.
  • The email contains email addresses that don’t match between the header and the body, may be misspelled (like, or have unusual formats ( email includes links or email addresses that, when you hover over them, list a different destination than described.
  • They try to create a sense of urgency in order to get you to respond.

If you suspect that an email is a phishing email, DO NOT open any links or attachments in the email. Delete it, or notify your IT or information security department immediately.


These days we are overloaded with online accounts that require credentials and memorizing them is impossible. While it may be tempting to reuse the same password across different accounts, this is not a safe solution. Compromised passwords are a leading cause of data breaches, and reusing passwords can increase the damage in what would otherwise have been a relatively small incident.

Cybercriminals know that people reuse login credentials and often test compromised passwords on commonly used sites in order to expand the number of accounts they can access. So before you reuse a password, consider all of the data that could be at risk both personally and professioally. Here are some tips to help keep your information safe:

  • Use separate passwords for work and personal accounts.
  • Longer is stronger. Use passphrases rather than passwords. Passphrases could include several random words like “Highway owl purple elephant” or could be from a favorite song lyric or book.
  • Add complexity with capitalization or special characters throughout the password. Fido!sanAnAwesomeDog” is a stronger password than your pet’s name.
  • Avoid words like your kids’ names that could be revealed by a few minutes of online research.

Wire Fraud Prevention

Out-of-band authentication is a process where authentication of an account requires two signals from two different channels. Out-of-band authentication makes hacking an account much harder for attackers because they would have to compromise two separate and unconnected authentication channels, rather than one.

For instance, if you get an email from a vendor, you should call them using the number you previously had on file and confirm that they sent the email. This is especially true if they are giving you new account information, for example, asking you to send money to a different account than one you’ve used in the past. Similarly, if you get an email from a co-worker that asks you to send money to a new vendor or changes to the account information for an existing vendor, confirm it is real. Walk over to their workplace or call them on their extension to confirm. It’s better to ask questions first than to authorize the payment and regret it.

Anyone who is tasked with purchasing supplies or making payments to vendors could be at risk of receiving falsified payment instructions. These fraudsters are smart; it is important to stay vigilant and cautious to avoid sending money to someone who is attempting to trick you in order to receive funds through fraudulent methods.

For more information about Alliance Association Bank or to receive these cybersecurity resources electronically to share with your organization, please contact Stacy Dyer, Senior Director of Alliance Association Bank at (843) 637-7181 or

About Alliance Association Bank
Alliance Association Bank, a division of Western Alliance Bank, provides financing solutions to the growing community management and homeowner association industries with an unmatched level of expertise and responsiveness. Catering to the needs of the homeowner association industry, the organization offers a wide range of innovative products and services designed to create efficiencies, reduce costs and increase revenue. Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, is the primary subsidiary of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bancorporation, one of the country’s top-performing banking companies. Western Alliance has ranked in the top 10 on the Forbes “Best Banks in America” list for five consecutive years, 2016-2020, and was named #1 best-performing of the 50 largest public U.S. banks for 2019 by S&P Global Market Intelligence. A national presence with a regional footprint, Western Alliance Bank operates individually branded, full-service banking divisions and has offices in key markets nationwide. For more information, visit

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Stacy Dyer
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