By now, businesses are well aware of the standard cyber security protocols surrounding passwords, the importance of sharing data securely and so on. Yet, identity theft and fraud are still prevalent problems for companies across every industry.
Identity theft is a criminal act, whereby an individual or a business’ identity is illegally assumed for the purposes of fraudulent activity and illicit economic profit. If the stolen identity is subsequently adopted and used, this then amounts to identity fraud.
So, what can you do to keep your business safe from fraudsters?
A high-value target
Far from being a problem reserved only for the individual, larger corporations are also at a heightened risk of being targeted by identity theft criminals. Sizeable bank accounts, high credit limits and regular transfers of substantial sums of money make it significantly easier for cyber criminals to hide their illegal pursuits amongst day-to-day activities.
Although the recent revision of the GDPR has set cyber criminals back and diminished the scope of details available online, it has undoubtedly become easier over recent years for identity thieves to obtain company information.
Companies House, LinkedIn and business websites: these are all places cyber criminals will look to access information about organisations and their employees. For example, through Companies House, fraudsters can file false documents in order to illegally trade under your business’ name and existing reputation.
Details of company credit cards or bank accounts could also be stolen and then sold on the online black market, known as the ‘Dark Web’. And once that information gets into the wrong hands, cyber criminals could cause an irreparable amount of damage before you’ve even detected the details have been stolen.
As well as this, fraudsters may attempt to distribute seemingly legitimate phishing emails to employees, in order to gain access to company information such as bank details or confidential announcements which, if released early, could affect stock value. It is also not uncommon for emails riddled with viruses to be accidentally circulated around the workplace. Through such malware, hackers could gain access to your company’s internal systems and once they’re in, it can be a challenge to force them out.
Corporate identity theft can, therefore, have detrimental consequences for your business. If you fall victim to identity theft, your company’s finances, confidential information and reputation could all be at risk – and depending on the severity of the crime and financial losses, you could suffer irreparable damage.
Stay safe with comprehensive cyber security solutions
No matter how big or small, all businesses should take out cyber insurance. Identity theft can often lead to catastrophic financial losses which could render your business paralysed – but cyber insurance can cover this and help to keep your company protected.
Typically, financial loss which stems directly from a fraudulent act is not covered by a standard cyber insurance policy, so it is important to check how inclusive your plan is. Luckily there are plenty of cyber insurance companies available which offer cover for fraud and financial crime as an add-on to your basic policy.
Investing in up-to-date cyber security solutions is also of paramount importance to evade identity theft and fraud. Some critical examples of measures which could help prevent identity theft include encryption of employee data, installation of firewalls, automated system updates, using robust total endpoint security solutions (more than just anti-virus software) and most importantly educate staff not to divulge sensitive data to unauthorised 3rdParties.
It is also advisable to partner up with a trusted specialist or consultant who is uncompromising when it comes to cyber security. This specialist should be able to offer you continuous advice and have access to a wide range of technology solutions to ensure your company is protected from all angles.
Burning Tree offers first-class assurance for your business, so you never have to second guess the security of your, or your employees’, information. Get in touch today to find out more about how we can work with you to keep your business protected.