Why Is Identity Theft a Problem for Businesses?

While people usually think of identity theft in terms of individuals, a new and disturbing trend is on the rise with exponentially increased potential for damage—the theft of business identities, credit, and reputations.

It starts out simply enough. An official looking message, purportedly from a familiar company, warns a consumer that his account has been "compromised," and for security purposes, he’s directed to a "secure" Web site to provide credit and other personal information. The problem is, the message isn’t legitimate and the "secure" Web site is actually a ploy to steal personal information. This act is known as phishing, and with an estimated 1 out of 20 phishing attempts being successful, these phishing lures have proven to be very profitable for their perpetrators.

Luckily, the number of tools available to protect against such theft is growing. To fully protect your business, investigate different ways you can authenticate your Web site and other key company indicators. Digital watermarks make it more difficult to replicate corporate sites. Software advances and beefed up security from ISPs are at the forefront, offering consumer-targeted anti-phishing tools.

Regardless of the size of the business, employers are responsible for protecting the personal data in their company’s possession. An organization’s best defense is a proactive, comprehensive, consistent position on privacy.

Bryan Ansley CEO Secure Identity Systems Brentwood, Tenn.

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