We have been keeping an eye on the stats regarding businesses vulnerability to data breaches. Despite the increasing risk of business email compromise (BEC) many energy companies are still doing settlement over email.
The escalation of business email attacks makes the practice of emailing invoices more unsettling than ever.
Emailing invoices is just plain risky
According to the latest data1, BEC losses, excluding other types of cyber-attack, reached $360.5 million for the period between October 2013 to May 2018.
“These sophisticated scams are carried out by fraudsters compromising email accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques to conduct unauthorized transfer of funds,” the FBI says.
This trend should be of concern to energy executives. Many companies in the energy trading community still invoice their counterparties via email. The invoice is manually attached and often sent from a shared settlement department email account to a pre-populated email address for the counterparty. With little technical knowledge, hackers can easily intercept the email correspondence, sending electronic invoices from what appears to be a trusted counterparty. The banking information and payment instructions, even on a PDF invoice, can be effortlessly changed, defrauding the real counterparty.
It’s abundantly clear that email invoice delivery is risky and energy invoicing needs a secure solution.
Digitalization for Secure Invoicing and Optimized Settlement Operations
Digitalization is the conversion of analog (paper-based) processes into digital processes that leverage technology innovation. Moving to a digital settlement platform is a quick win that provides significant benefits. One of the most immediate benefits is a secure method for delivering and receiving counterparty invoices and related settlement information. Get the infographic.
CEO and founder of Aquilon Energy Services Jeffrey Wagner recently published an article about the dramatic rise in corporate email compromise and the increasing risk of using email to settle. The article is timely and more relevant than ever. Read the complete article and learn how energy companies are using the Energy Settlement Network to settle invoices safely and securely.
More than 1,000 counterparties — ranging from electric utilities and multinational oil and gas companies to Fortune 500 financial institutions —currently settle energy transactions on ESN every month. ESN provides a collaborative platform where settlement teams and their counterparties can communicate and share sensitive information without attaching an invoice to an email ever again.
1 FBI: Business email compromise, the 12 billion-dollar scam. July 16, 2018
2 McKinsey & Company, Staying ahead on cybersecurity, January, 2017
3 McKinsey & Company, Risk and responsibility in a hyperconnected world: Implications for enterprises, January 2014
Aquilon Energy Services Inc. develops innovative software and service solutions for the energy industry. The Aquilon team combines deep industry insights with advanced technology to bring reliable, collaborative solutions to the energy market. The firm’s Energy Settlement Network (ESN®) enables energy participants of all sizes to manage, access and settle large volumes of power, oil and natural gas transactions with their counterparties. The company is based in Lisle, Illinois, and has an office in Houston. For more information, please visit www.aquiloninc.com.