Press Release

Fortifying Your Business: Bank of the West Manufacturing Report Highlights Fraud and Security Issues and Provides Preventative Measures for Small and Midsized Businesses
SAN FRANCISCO | Aug 27, 2015

Second in Series of Manufacturing Papers Reveals Key Security Vulnerabilities

Bank of the West announced today the publication of "Fortifying Your Business: Fraud and Security Measures for U.S. Manufacturers," a paper by David Pollino, fraud prevention officer at Bank of the West, and the second in a series addressing challenges and opportunities that small and midsized manufacturers face. The report highlights threats manufacturers should be aware of, as well as measures that business owners can take to prevent them.

Based on Bank of the West research, conversations with manufacturers and external data, the paper draws attention to a worrying trend: small and midsized business owners have a false sense of security.

"Business owners often have the misperception that they’re small enough to fly under the radar,” said Pollino. “However, the reality is that small businesses are actually victimized more often than any other business size. A single attack can have a substantial and lasting effect on a small business.”

In 2013, a Bank of the West study confirmed that security and fraud threats tend to be a low priority among small business owners. To help manufacturing business owners determine where to invest time and resources toward safeguarding their businesses, Pollino identifies three primary areas of fraud and security risk:

  • Masquerading is a payments scheme in which a fraudster impersonates a company executive or outside vendor and requests a wire transfer through a phone call or email to a company controller, or someone else with authority to wire funds. As small and midsized manufacturers expand domestically and internationally – broadening their network of vendors, business connections and customers – the risk of masquerading will rise.
  • Intellectual Property Theft is a risk to any manufacturing business, since product blueprints and trade secrets are a company's lifeblood. In the wrong hands, practically anyone can replicate a product and effectively undercut a company.
  • Cybersecurity should be a top priority. Digital assets, such as websites and email, have become vulnerable to a range of cyber-attacks, particularly as manufacturing has become increasingly automated.

The paper offers simple steps that small and midsized business owners can take to prevent fraud and security breaches, as well as first-hand insights from Bank of the West manufacturing customers who have experienced the damage that can be caused by these attacks.

"At Bank of the West, we are determined to educate and help manufacturers – and all businesses – detect and prevent fraud,” said Pollino. “Awareness is the first step to getting ahead of potential attacks. Taking precautionary measures ahead of time can help save businesses money and time and protect their reputation.”

To read the full whitepaper, Fortifying Your Business: Fraud and Security Measures for U.S. Manufacturers, visit

To read the first paper in Bank of the West's manufacturing series, Made Here: The Business Outlook for U.S. Manufacturing, visit here.

For additional guidance and insights, visit the Bank of the West blog at and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Bank of the West: 

Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $72.5 billion in assets as of June 30, 2015. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees.

Media Contacts:

Michele Scott

Julia Mellon

Corporate Headquarters

180 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104


Media Relations

For media inquiries, please call 415-432-3696 or email

Download Fact Sheet >