Different departments working in harmony are what make a company successful. This can include anything from administration, marketing, customer service, HR to cybersecurity, even though the last one often gets overlooked.
Some companies just don’t have the resources or knowledge to create an effective cybersecurity strategy, while others choose not to give it as much attention as they should.
They just don’t believe they could become a target. They’re still stuck in the old belief that only big companies and tech giants can become a victim of cyber attacks, while the medium-sized or small businesses are perfectly safe. Unfortunately, that is no longer the truth.
Everybody can become a victim because cybercriminals do not discriminate. They don’t care if you are a small company or if you’re a tech giant. The only thing they care about is making a profit.
Truth is that in most cases their preferred target will actually be small and mid-sized businesses as they usually have weaker cyber security strategies than the big companies.
The bigger companies mean bigger financial gain for them, they also mean a stronger cyber security strategy which makes their job a bit harder, while with smaller companies they will get a smaller profit but the process will be a lot quicker.
One type of cyber attack that can cause significant financial but also reputational damage is identity theft. With this type of fraud, criminals steal the company’s identity and pretend to be that company so they can illegally make a profit through various fraudulent activities such as pay loan fraud.
It is time for businesses to start taking necessary actions in order to stop payday loan fraud and similar fraudulent activities connected with identity theft.
How to Stop Identity Theft From Affecting Your Business?
Identity theft is a serious problem for whomever it affects as it is similarly used, but it can create unprecedented damage for businesses.
Just as with the individuals, while they are conducting identity theft fraud cybercriminals can target the company’s funds, apply for a loan or a new credit card, they can even file for fraudulent tax returns – anything that will result in financial gain for cybercriminals.
The number of business identity thefts has increased with the introduction of Covid 19 relief loans that were meant to help struggling businesses but ended up being exploited by cybercriminals. For example, just in the UK, the Department for Business has estimated fraudulent loans were worth £4.9bn, 11% of the total approved loans.
Protecting your business and your client’s sensitive data needs to become a priority in order to avoid identity theft ruining your business.
1. Secure Your Files
Your business surely deals with different types of files, online and offline, such as bank statements, tax returns, business contracts, or even files that have employees’ and customers’ confidential information.
There is nothing cybercriminals won’t be able to do to your business and your customers if they get ahold of some of that sensitive information. Just by taking a few basic steps to secure your files, you can make a big difference in the safety of your business.
You can start by shredding any documents that contain sensitive information once you no longer need them, using a secure mailbox, and keeping any sensitive files password protected
2. Introduce Cybersecurity Protocol
To fight against online fraud, you need to have the proper protection in a form of an effective cybersecurity strategy. Implement firewall, anti-virus, and anti-malware technology through your network, including even remote employees to reduce the risk of cybercriminals breaching your system.
Always make sure your cybersecurity tools come from a trusted source and that security updates are provided regularly.
3. Update Your Internal Controls
One of the most important lessons you need to learn is that in order to keep your business safe that not everyone needs access to everything. By restricting employee access to certain documents to just the ones that need access to those documents, you will significantly reduce the risk of a data breach.
4. Implement Password Policy
Passwords are like a key to your account which is why you need to ensure they are protected. By implementing a password policy you can ensure your employees are aware of the importance of having unique passwords and not repeating or reusing them.
5. Check Your Bank Statements
One of the best ways you can ensure you stop identity theft fraud before it can cause serious damage to your business is by regularly checking your bank statement and business accounts for any discrepancies.
Bank statements can be most useful for online retailers who are targeted by reverse chargebacks through something called friendly fraud. These could occur in case of human errors by someone who’s familiar or aware of another person’s identity and can impersonate them, causing financial damage without deliberate intention.
Enabling the right security measures for any entrepreneur or site owner can make or break their business. Fraudsters tend to use similar methods to acquire someone’s ID through email phishing and pharming.
One of the best ways to prevent fraud is to detect it in time and create barriers to minimize access to someone’s user account. By enlisting the right KYC measures as mentioned above, one can filter out fraudulent behavior and take appropriate action.