How Safe is Your Business?
Recently published statistics in the USA indicate that 3.7% of American adults have been victims of identity theft crime (Federal Trade Commission); In Europe that would indicate that 14.8 million adults have fallen victim to fraudsters. Research by the British Federation of Small Businesses claims that 5% of businesses have experienced corporate ID fraud; across the EU that’s 1 million businesses in the SME sector alone!
Corporate ID fraud is big and can be expensive, both in direct costs and time taken to resolve the consequences. There are many ways it can happen; fraudsters changing companies’ details, hijacking of web domains, fraudulent bank mandates and obtaining discarded papers in the rubbish. The impact can be considerable, damaging a company’s reputation, credit rating and profitability.
There are some simple steps that can greatly reduce the risks:
1. Verify the identity of customers, suppliers, business partners and employees.
2. Review online security arrangements; a firewall and wireless encryption are simple steps.
3. Review all your information, not just paper-based.
4. Classify the data, e.g. general, sensitive and confidential.
5. Define how each classification should be stored, accessed and destroyed.
6. Never allow company information (even seemingly innocuous things like company letterheads) to be thrown in the bin.