Corporate Identity Theft: Business Identities at Risk
June 12, 2012
Allison here, with AllClear ID. We talk a lot about personal identity theft, or the identity theft of an individual, but did you know that companies and businesses can have their identities stolen too? Corporate identity theft can affect anyone; if you own or work at a company that has a breach, there’s a lot to lose.
Corporate identity theft is the fraudulent or deliberate misuse of a company’s identity, which can come in a variety of forms. It can involve the identities of customers and employees, as well as company records. Any or all of these forms of theft can ruin a company’s reputation, costing a lot of money to fix. Forms of corporate identity theft include:
- Spammers using the company name to appear more legitimate, like in FBI scams
- Spammers posing as employees or vendors to retrieve personal information
- Hacking into the website or servers to steal company, employee, and/or customer credit card and personal information
Many of the same tactics that apply to protecting personal identities also apply to corporate identities, such as being extra careful with personal and confidential information and checking statements for suspicious transactions. However, there are additional measures that businesses need to take to protect the identities of employees and customers while keeping the corporate identity intact. These include:
- Ensure that you have the most up-to-date website security solution in place
- Use a search engine to check for your company name. This can help in spotting fakes and seeing what your web visitors see when searching for your company. You can also set up a Google Alert to notify you whenever your company’s name is used on the internet.
- Improve awareness among everyone with whom you do business, including customers, vendors, contractors and employees. Any one of them could accidentally leak information, just as you can accidentally leak theirs. Improving awareness lets them know that you’re looking out for them, and that you hope they look out for you.
- Have someone in charge of spotting suspicious activity to prevent security breaches from happening. This includes deleting old login information and passwords of old employees and updating security measures regularly.
- Create company policies and get these procedures in writing. They should include consequences for someone who is caught or help liable for a possible breach or leak.
As always, if your company does go through a data breach, you can count on us here at AllClear ID. Contact us via the web or by our Breach Hotline at 1.877.441.3009 .