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Your Business Could Be the Target of Identity Theft

​​When most people think of identity theft, they picture a thief stealing an individual’s personal information to use it for monetary gain. However, identity theft can also occur on the corporate level, attacking employees’ internal hard drives and databases to hold companies hostage to ransom payments. This blog post will discuss what corporate identity theft is, how it can affect your business, and preventative practices to combat identity theft.

What is Corporate Identity Theft?

Corporate identity theft occurs when criminals pose as employees or vendors to gain access to company systems and data. Once they have infiltrated the system, they can wreak havoc by deleting files, encrypting data, or even holding the company’s information hostage until a ransom is paid. This form of identity theft can devastate businesses, leading to lost productivity, damaged reputation, and expensive recovery costs. Criminals gain access through:

  • Phishing emails: employees receive an email that appears to be from a legitimate company or vendor but is actually from a criminal. The email may contain malicious attachments or links that, when clicked, install malware on the employee’s computer.
  • Malware: criminals can use malware to gain access to a company’s systems and data. Malware can be installed through phishing emails, infected websites, or USB drives. Malware can disrupt operations by locking employees out of their computers– offering to provide a key for access only when a ransom is paid. The hacker can also use malware to secretly monitor emails and other sensitive data. This form of identity theft is valid for threatening the release of information that may impact a company’s reputation in exchange for payment.
  • Social engineering: criminals use social engineering techniques to trick employees into giving them access to company systems and data. This can be done over the phone, through email, or in person.

Corporate identity theft does not need to lead to business-ending payouts.  You can keep your customers and employees safe with encryptions, multi-factor authentications (MFAs), and other tools used by Seamless Chex.

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Identity Theft: Preventative Practices

There are many ways to prevent identity theft in your business. Corporate identity theft is best dealt with before an attack takes place– here are a few methods to be prepared for cybercriminals:

  • Encryption: Encrypt all sensitive data, both in transit and at rest. This will make it much more difficult for criminals to access your information if they manage to gain access to your systems. 
  • Systematic Entry: Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all employees. This means that employees will need to provide two or more pieces of identification– such as a password and a fingerprint– to enter your systems. MFAs make it much harder for criminals to pose as employees and access company data. Systematic entry makes identity theft challenging, forcing your hackers to either dedicate more time and effort to their hack or move on to another target.
  • Education: You must educate your employees on the dangers of identity theft and how to spot suspicious emails or websites. Many lessons for safe cyber practices are available, make sure all of your employees are informed on how to behave online. When one computer is infected, all are susceptible.

By taking these practical steps in safety, you can help protect your business from corporate identity theft.

Keep Your Business Secure with Seamless Chex

Working with a reputable payment processing company like Seamless Chex will help keep your payments safe – offering various protection services tailored to protect transactions and prevent fraud. It is up to business owners to keep their systems and employees hard to hack. By taking the preventative measures mentioned above and partnering with a company like Seamless Chex, you are more likely to keep your business safe and avoid identity theft. Contact a Seamless Chex representative today to learn how we keep your funds safe and recommend you keep your employees resilient.

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