Imagine you’re your company’s co-owner instead of the sole owner. Or that there’s a satellite business operating in another state. Or a business using a similar name and address is pretending to be yours. What would these situations mean for your business? This is how business identity theft looks. This can happen to any company, large or small. It could also happen to you.
Small to medium-sized businesses often need to be aware of the damage identity theft can cause.
Business identity theft does not target individuals. Instead, criminals seek ways to steal valuable information from legitimate businesses. They seek bank accounts, passwords, credit card numbers, and sensitive intellectual details.
They gain access to bank accounts and drain them many times before the bank realizes it. It is possible to lose a lot of your business’ identity. Repairing the damage can take hundreds of hours and cost much money. Some companies are unable to recover and end up going out of business.
Identity theft in business is a relatively recent crime. It is a new crime that most business owners have never heard of. It is tempting to ignore it. Steve Cox, from the Better Business Bureau, says that business identity theft is a real problem in today’s market. It’s much more cost-effective for criminals to steal business than consumer identities. :
Criminals are quick to act. They realize they have only a very short time to catch the culprits before the crime is exposed. According to the Ponemon Institute, 84 percent of cases were robbed before fraud detection by the bank.
Many small-business owners believe they don’t have enough to give a thief. You can have a name at maximum. Thieves can use it to obtain loans, order products, and ruin the business’ reputation. Robert Strezze, Dun and Bradstreet’s Senior Analyst for Risk Analysis, states that this trend is especially alarming because of the large dollar amounts involved. The losses can reach the mid-six figure when criminal activity is detected.
Unfortunately, most businesses need more resources or time to protect themselves against crime. Many are too busy with daily business activities to take the time to protect their business. A business only realizes the danger once it is too late.
What keys are there to preventing business identity theft?
Businesses that try to prevent identity theft can have some good news. Preventative measures often lead to big savings and a better reputation in the community. Three keys are key to reducing the chance of identity theft in your business.
First, establish a position in the leadership team responsible for monitoring business identity theft and establishing procedures to prevent data breaches. For example, this officer could be called Chief Security Officer and can access banking, credit cards, and other accounts. It would be a good idea for the officer to set “best practices” in information security, including employee training and password protection.
A second important step is establishing monitoring services to watch over you. The personal information of a business is all around. It’s nearly impossible to keep an eye on all aspects of a company from one person. An identity theft protection service for businesses that includes internet surveillance and credit monitoring, identity theft alerts, and business recovery can be an asset.
Third, you need to set up Dark Web credentials monitoring. This is where criminals do their business buying-selling-trading stolen information. Credentials monitoring alerts businesses when stolen credentials, IP addresses, and, for banks., BIN card numbers are found. Companies can take preventive steps to stop stolen information from affecting them, their customers, and their employees. Every month, millions of login and email credentials are stolen. Stolen certificates influence all forms of business fraud.
They are skilled and determined business identity thieves. They can exploit businesses and business owners who fail to take steps to protect their businesses.