Most everyone knows someone who has been the victim of identity theft. Millions of people have had their identities used by criminals in order to obtain credit cards or loans. These are instances of what is known as individual identity theft. There is another type of identity theft that is growing at a rapid pace. This type of identity theft involves businesses.
Business identity theft increased by almost 50 percent in the year 2017 according to a report that was recently issued by the firm Dun & Bradstreet. According to the report, the main type of business identity theft involves hackers breaking in to a business’ database and stealing that business’ client list. Those who obtain client lists are then able to try and market to that company’s customers posing as the business itself.
Another type of business identity theft that is growing rapidly involves the stealing of company trade secrets or secret formulas for its products. This allows the criminals to make products and try to falsely sell them in the company’s name.
According to the FBI, business identity theft is very costly. In one particular case, the FBI reported that one business alone lost nearly $1 billion. On top of that, the company had to lay off many employees because its bottom line was hit so hard by the identity theft.
There are ways that businesses can work to combat identity theft. One way is to increase the security on company databases. It is also important that a business protect itself from its identity being stolen by an insider.
Insiders stealing the identity from a business is very common. A business can protect itself by restricting data to only those who really need to know certain types of sensitive information. When a person leaves a company, that person’s access to company databases and documents should be immediately terminated.