Business Identity Theft: It Could Happen To You
Identity theft doesn’t just happen to individuals; businesses can also fall victim. Small businesses are an easy target for business identity theft because they typically do not have the same defense capabilities as larger organizations. Often, the business owner doesn’t even realize they have been hacked until damage is done. An attack can cost a business time, money, and its reputation. In some cases, this damage can be enough to shutter a small business permanently.
The video linked below is a local news piece on a small business owner who fell victim to business identity theft, losing business and suffering damage to his business brand. Michelle Ward, founder of Cyber Safe Workforce, had the opportunity to be featured in this story, demonstrating just how easy it is to become a victim of business identity theft and sharing some tips on how to protect your business.
Successful phishing attacks are the number one way businesses get hacked according to 2016 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium-Sized Businesses (SMB). Once a scammer has your username and password, your business is at risk. Contact information can be changed and payroll information can be accessed, among other things.
If you want to protect yourself or your small business, consider these tips. First, set up two factor authentication for your email and website. If your username and password are stolen, 2FA provides an additional layer of protection for your account. If you receive a suspicious message, independently verify it with the sender or simply do not click – delete the message instead. Finally, educate your employees about the dangers of phishing. Cyber aware employees are the strongest defense against business identity theft and other cyber attacks!