Pagoda Blog


How to Protect Your Business From Identity Theft

February 15, 2018

Just like an individual can be targeted for identity theft, your business is also at risk. While the number of individuals reporting identity theft actually decreased in 2017 compared to the previous two years, business identity theft is on the rise.

 

With sensitive company data such as EINs stored online (and sometimes even posted publicly on a company website), criminals are able to open corporate credit cards and file tax returns under your business’s name. Cloud-based software, messaging apps, email, and your own company website are all potential doorways through which criminals can gain access to enough information to steal your business identity. Fortunately, if you put some simple policies in place, you can greatly reduce the risk to your business.

 

Here are five ways to strengthen your cybersecurity and protect your business from identity theft:

 

1. Only share required company information on your website

If your business is an LLC or a corporation you’re required to share certain information with the public. (This varies by state so you may need to research your state’s requirements to find out what information you’re required to post publicly.) You should never, however, post your EIN on your website. When you receive a request via email for tax information, always verify the identity of the sender to ensure it’s not a phishing scam.  

 

2. Monitor business credit reports

This may seem obvious but how often do you actually do this? Especially if you have multiple employees using a business credit card, you should be actively monitoring the activity on a regular basis. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion all provide 24/7 monitoring services and email notifications of suspicious activity. It’s not that your employees aren’t trustworthy, but if multiple people are making online purchases, the risk of someone intercepting your credit card information and making unauthorized purchases only increases.

 

3. Provide cybersecurity training to ALL your employees

Every single employee on your team should partake in regular cybersecurity training. This can prevent someone from using the company card on an insecure site, falling prey to a phishing scam, or neglecting to make critical software updates. Speaking of which …   

 

4. Keep your operating system up to date

Keeping your network and operating systems up to date ensures that you receive all the latest security patches and updates available to keep your data safe. These updates provide protection against ransomware attacks and other malicious viruses and security flaws like Meltdown & Spectre. Timely proactive maintenance and regular updates will not only deter hackers, it will also make your machines run faster and stay compatible with all your apps and other software.

 

5. Establish a formal cybersecurity plan

Don’t wait for your business identity to be stolen before taking action. Implement a thorough cybersecurity plan now that lays out how to detect identity theft and what actions to take if it is detected.

 

If your business lacks the expertise or bandwidth to implement the above tactics, hiring professional IT services is a worthy investment. Business identity theft can ruin your company’s credit score, expose your data to corruption, and cause you to lose your tax refund, costing your company thousands of dollars. Get in touch for a free consultation if you think your business could benefit from identity theft protection.

 

 

 

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Need ongoing IT support for your business? Contact us for a free consultation. We’d love to work with you!

 

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About Pagoda Technologies IT services

Based in Santa Cruz, California, Pagoda Technologies provides trusted IT support to businesses and IT departments throughout Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area and across the globe. To learn how Pagoda Technologies can help your business, email us at support@pagoda-tech.com to schedule a complimentary IT consultation.

 




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