Identity fraud sounds like an individual issue. It’s probably not something at the top of the list of threats for a business but identity fraud is not to be ignored. Businesses have an identity that can be stolen, and once the information’s out there it’s almost impossible to get back, which is why a proactive approach to preventing identify fraud is an essential aspect of any security plan.
What is identity fraud?
Identity fraud is the illegal use of personal information. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2010), it costs Australians more than 3 billion a year. Often it’s fraud involves opening or accessing bank accounts or credit cards but for businesses threats include sending out fake invoices to clients or lodging fraudulent GST claims.
No longer simply an individual consumer crime, businesses have become valuable targets for perpetrators of identify fraud.
It can also be harder for businesses to pick up on whether their accounts have been compromised because invoice payments are processed monthly. While individuals might check their account regularly, and therefore notice any discrepancies quickly, some businesses schedules could prevent fraud from being seen for up to 30 days.
Even if businesses could catch fraud quickly, there’s only so much that can be done to clean up the mess once it’s made. Prevention is the best way to keep your company safe.
Four tips to fight it!
- Secure business files
When important information is not in use it should be secured, whether it’s being stored as hard copy, digitally, or both, the principle is the same. Don’t leave it lying around where anyone can access it.
- Be aware of who can access information
Make sure you have a way to know who has access to information and when. Only allow trusted individuals to use company credit cards. Separate the information and spread it between employees so that no one person has all the information.
- Make sure staff log out
Everyone who has access to sensitive information needs to log out of systems when they’re not in use. Basically logging off is the equivalent of making sure the door is locked after you leave the office. It’s something that should be standard but is often forgotten.
- Install up to date security software
Protect computers and networks with multiple security products. This includes an antivirus but also an email filtering service as well as a specialized security solution like Heimdal’s Thor Foresight to block malicious connections that try to steal your confidential information.
Clearly identity fraud is a significant risk for business and it should be treated as such. If you’re interested in learning more about security software that could help prevent your business from becoming a victim contact SecureSoft today.