Identity theft is a recurring problem that doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon. Every year, approximately 60 million Americans are victimized. But it’s not just individuals who are targeted. Companies can also have their identities stolen.
Stolen business data can be used to open credit card accounts, file fraudulent tax returns, and more. And the problems don’t end there. If customer data is stolen or misused, your company may be sued. Fortunately, there are practical steps your company can take to prevent business identity theft.
Our Connecticut business attorneys at Aeton Law Partners explain.
Safeguard Your Online Files, Documents, and Transactions
Companies transact a great deal of business online and using computers. Digital assets, which include electronic documents and files, need to be protected from business identity theft. Regardless of how big your company is, you should work with an IT professional to secure your online business.
Talk to an IT expert about such cybersecurity measures as:
- Firewall, antivirus, and antimalware technology
- VPN (virtual private network) for external employee access
- Secure wireless networks inside your business
- Restricting the ability of employees to tamper with networks and servers or install software
- Controlling and monitoring physical access to computers, networks, and servers
- Obtaining secure offsite storage of company data
- Using automatic updates and security patches
Protect Hard Copies of Documents
Most if not all businesses will never go totally paperless. Paper records still serve a useful purpose in the digital age. At the same time, they give identity thieves a potential way to steal from your company.
Here are a few ways to keep criminals from gaining access to these documents:
- Use a secure mailbox and limit employee access to it.
- Purchase a cross-cut paper shredder.
- Keep sensitive files in a locked, secure area.
- For highly sensitive records, use vaults or safes.
Remember, thieves will exploit any security weakness your company has. They often dumpster-dive and rummage through recycling bins to find documents with valuable information in them. Adopting a few common sense steps can minimize the likelihood that your business will become a victim.
Comprehensive Background Checks for Employees
Most companies conduct background checks on new hires. But not all checks are created equal. Few businesses invest the necessary time and resources to ensure their background checks are comprehensive. Remember, your new employees may have access to sensitive customer or company data. That fact should give you pause to ensure your background checks are up to par.
There are numerous reputable companies that provide this service. But you should also be mindful of employees’ privacy rights. A skilled business attorney can guide you.
Establish Comprehensive Security Protocols
Does your company have rules about who can access sensitive company data? Have you named someone to manage a security breach if one occurs? What will this individual’s tasks be?
Questions like these can be answered by adopting comprehensive security protocols. The exact policies and procedures you establish will be unique to your organization. They will depend on factors such as the company’s size and the industry in which it operates. For instance, if your business handles financial data, you’ll need particularly strong security protocols.
Keep an Eye on Bank Statements and Credit Reports
It’s important to monitor your bank statements, credit reports, and related documents. Look out for any suspicious activity, and report it immediately to your bank. Business credit reports must be purchased from one of the credit bureaus. However, they can indicate signs of corporate identity theft.
Let Us Help You Avoid Business Identity Theft
Aeton Law Partners works with Connecticut businesses through the legal issues involved with corporate identity theft.
We can help your business review and update policies and protocols. Our attorneys can also address employment law matters that arise with respect to identity theft. Finally, if your company is sued over identity theft, our firm can defend you in court.
Call to schedule your confidential consultation today.