Recognize Potential Threats and Safeguard Your Business
As a business owner, do you feel as though rapidly evolving technology poses risks in shapes and forms that are difficult to recognize? Do you find it challenging to ensure that your security measures up to the new potential threats to your business? If these aspects are giving you sleepless nights, you are not alone. In fact, technology has made it easier for fraudsters to steal sensitive information and make huge gains from it. The Department of Justice acknowledges identity theft as one of the top profit crimes in the U.S.
Due to the low-risk and high-profitability nature of identity theft, criminals target businesses of all sizes to steal sensitive information of the owners, as well as clients. If you are a senior manager or key executive in a large firm, your personal information is closely linked with your business through aspects such as your bank accounts, finances and credit information. If you are an independent professional or the owner of a service business, your personal and business information may be virtually the same, making you even more vulnerable to identity theft.
Business Identity Theft – What Risks Do You Face?
Depending on the size of the business, your role in the business, and the extent of information stolen, you may face several risks:
- Inability to Meet Financial Obligations: If the identity theft has led to an attack on your business bank account, your ability to pay wages or taxes and meet other financial obligations may be severely impacted. This could not only cause the inability to meet ongoing business expenses, but may also disrupt business operations and result in dramatic pay cuts or layoffs. You may even have to dip into your personal finances to cover your business obligations.
- Personal Liabilities: Since most business credit cards, loans or lines of credit are granted on the basis of a personal guarantee from the business owners, you could be held liable for all debt arising out of identity theft. If the fraudsters have used stolen information to acquire new loans or lines of credit, those liabilities may also be added to you, until they are proven to be duplicitous. Similarly, if any fake transactions have been made in the name of your business, they could potentially generate negative consequences in terms of state and federal laws, taxes, commissions, or even business licenses.
- Accountability for Customer Information: Based on the nature of the breach, you will need to inform your customers about the extent of personal identifying information (PII) that has fallen into the wrong hands, along with the measures that you are taking to control potential threats. While you are obligated to report the theft, your clients or customers may not necessarily choose to stay loyal to your company. If they move on to competition due to their lack of trust in you, you could not only be facing huge business losses, but also personal debts, or even complete closure of your business.
Here are some of the top measures that you can employ to safeguard your business against identity theft:
- Make cybersecurity your top priority and invest in the technology that protects your business data, hardware and software.
- Create robust information security measures such as safe storage of physical documents, password protection and encryption for digital records, and access control to files and databased, based on sensitivity of information.
- If your employees are making purchases through corporate credit cards for business purposes, set tighter limits, or use prepaid cards to create protection against card theft.
- Monitor your business credit reports available through the major credit bureaus, so that any breach or suspicious activity can be tackled immediately, based on their alerts and notifications.
- Create awareness amongst your staff to ensure that intruders and tailgaters are kept away from your office premises.
- Train your staff to manage sensitive information with the utmost caution and observe a clean desk policy. Ensure that physical documents no longer required for business or regulatory purposes find their way to the shredding bin regularly.
For safe and meticulous disposal of documents, rely on TITAN Mobile Shredding, a professional, NAID AAA Certified company. We offer a host of on-site and off-site services such as annual bulk purges, routine on-site shredding, and destruction of digital media such as hard drives, discs, tapes, and thumb drives.
To speak to the data destruction professionals at TITAN Mobile Shredding, call us at (866) 848-2699 or contact us online to request your free quote.