Business Identity Theft
Most people have heard of identity theft, but did you know that a business can also have its identity stolen? Not only can criminals steal an individual’s information, but businesses are also at risk for this type of security breach. Businesses are often more attractive to criminals given the greater opportunity for theft of higher amounts of money at one time.
Frequently, criminals will pretend to be someone with a high position in the business, such as an owner or officer in order to steal money or get loans in the business’s name. In the process, they can ruin the business’s credit.
Business owners must be vigilant in protecting their sensitive company information, such as the owners’ personal data and the business’s tax and financial reports. If this information gets into the hands of criminals, it can be very expensive both monetarily and timewise to restore. Unfortunately, some small businesses never recover from this type of loss, and they have to close their doors indefinitely.
Criminals of identity theft are constantly evolving their methods of obtaining sensitive information. Businesses must be vigilant in their practices of staying protected. Regularly checking the business credit card and bank account statements monthly or bi-monthly is a great way to keep track of monies coming in and going out. Transactions that look suspicious need to be investigated promptly. Otherwise, that can leave a business vulnerable to a larger loss.
Having an IT firm monitor your business’s information on the Dark Web can help put a quick stop to any compromised passwords or emails. Many reputable online security companies have the ability to monitor sensitive information on a regular basis, such as credit, debt, and finances for signs of fraud.
If your business becomes a victim of identity theft, it is important to take action immediately. You will want to notify your bank and credit cards to review any recent charges or orders and to put further protections in place such as a PIN or password. You will also want to notify local and/or state police and report the issue to the small business credit reporting agencies of Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Additionally, notify your insurance agent promptly to see if your business has coverage in place for business identity theft. If your business has a cyber liability policy in place with the appropriate coverage for this event, the insurance carrier can help investigate the breach and restore the data. They may also be able to connect you with an attorney who has experience navigating this field.
Having your business properly insured will give you peace of mind when encountering a loss. To find out if you have the proper insurance you need or for any insurance inquiries, contact your agent today.
DISCLAIMER: Coverage for the exposures mentioned in this blog post is dependent on the specific policy language of each individual policy and adjuster review determining the cause of loss.