Small business identity theft is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for businesses of all sizes. With the increasing reliance on digital technologies for day-to-day operations, it has become easier than ever for cyber criminals to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other personally identifiable information (PII) from unsuspecting small businesses.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the issue of small business identity theft in cyber security, and explore some of the ways that small businesses can protect themselves against this growing threat.
What is Small Business Identity Theft?
Small business identity theft occurs when a cyber criminal steals sensitive information from a small business, and then uses that information to commit fraudulent activities. This can include opening new credit accounts, making unauthorized purchases, and even filing false tax returns.
Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to identity theft because they often lack the resources and expertise to adequately protect their sensitive information. In addition, small businesses often have weaker security measures in place than larger organizations, making them easier targets for cyber criminals.
When is a Small Business Exposed to Identity Theft?
You’re exposed as soon as you take any personal information from your customer or potential customers. Personal information is the following:
- Date of Birth
- Social Security Number
- Driver’ s License Number
- Credit Card Numbers
- Bank Account Numbers
- Medical Information
- Employee Records
How Does Small Business Identity Theft Happen?
Small business identity theft can happen in a number of ways, but some of the most common methods include:
Small Business Identity Theft from Phishing Emails
Cyber criminals often use phishing emails to trick small business owners into providing sensitive information. These emails may appear to come from a trusted source, such as a bank or financial institution, and will typically ask the recipient to click on a link or provide login credentials.
Small Business Identity Theft from from Malware
Malware is a type of software that is designed to infect a computer or network and steal sensitive information. Cyber criminals may use malware to gain access to a small business’s network and steal sensitive information.
Small Business Identity Theft from Social Engineering
Social engineering is the practice of manipulating people into divulging sensitive information. Cyber criminals may use social engineering tactics to trick small business owners or employees into providing login credentials or other sensitive information.
How Can Small Businesses Protect Themselves?
There are a number of steps that small businesses can take to protect themselves against identity theft. These include:
1. Implementing Strong Passwords – Small businesses should require employees to use strong passwords that are difficult to guess or crack. Passwords should be changed regularly, and should not be shared with others.
2. Educating Employees – Small businesses should educate their employees about the risks of identity theft and the importance of safeguarding sensitive information.
3. Installing Antivirus Software – Small businesses should install antivirus software on all computers and devices to protect against malware and other types of cyber threats.
4. Encrypting Sensitive Data – Small businesses should encrypt all sensitive data, including customer information and financial data, to protect against unauthorized access.
5. Monitoring Accounts – Small businesses should regularly monitor their accounts for any suspicious activity and should report any unauthorized transactions or suspicious activity to their bank or financial institution immediately.
If you accept any private information from your clients via email or you enter it in your data base you could be exposing your business to a Cyber Liability Threat. Cyber thefts know small businesses do not have the firewalls and other software protections in place that larger corporations do. In fact Cyber/Privacy theft incidents are increasing for small business owners. Most small businesses are easy targets for Cyber theft.
Unfortunately, we cannot protect you from Cyber or Privacy Liability losses. The average cost is $204 per lost record due to a data breach. Most of that expense comes from the expense you will incur to repair your organizations reputation and regain your customer’s trust. Cyber / Privacy Liability insurance can help you defray some of these costs, it you want a quote for Cyber/Privacy Liability Insurance please click here.
In conclusion, small business identity theft is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for businesses of all sizes. By implementing strong security measures and educating employees about the risks of identity theft, small businesses can better protect themselves against this growing threat.
Bancorp’s insurance agents are available to provide you with a free review and consultation. Contact Us – Bancorp Insurance Call 800-452-6826
Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used in place of consultation with our agents.