Business Credit Protection
How are you being alerted to potential warning signs of fraudulent activity in your business?
Are you being notified when there is suspicious activity or changes to your business credit scores and ratings?
How much can your business afford to lose?
In today’s post let’s talk about a serious threat facing businesses of all sizes; business identity theft. “What is particularly disturbing about this trend is the significant dollar amounts involved. It’s not unusual for the losses to be in the mid-six figures by the time the criminal activity is detected” says Robert Strezze, Senior Risk Analyst for Dun & Bradstreet.
I’m sure you’re well aware of the hundreds of millions of records stolen from all the hacks, leaks and big data breaches of 2014. The scary fact is fraudsters are obtaining information about businesses and assuming their business identities so they can steal company assets, business credit information and client data.
S0me of the causes of external data loss is by malware, email attacks and phishing scams. According to an article on Mashable, identity thieves steal about $1 billion every year from small and medium-sized businesses. In fact, 72% of small business owners that go through a major data loss go out of business within 2 years.
Theses business identity thieves may be third-parties, employees, competitors and even suppliers. Today, they are using more advanced techniques to steal a company’s identity and no company is immune to this growing threat. Even the largest companies are vulnerable as we have seen recently in the news.
“In 84% of business identity theft cases, money is stolen before the fraud is detected by the bank.” according to the Ponemon Institute. For companies of all sizes, preventing fraud is better than dealing with the harsh consequences afterwards.
So what can you do to protect your business?
I can sum it up in three words; Business Credit Protection
Protecting Your Business Credit
Here are four tips to protect your business identity that may save you thousands of dollars by warding off fraudsters:
1) Shred It – Shred everything on a consistent basis by using a micro-cut shredder or partner with a shredding company. When you throw away documents with account numbers and other sensitive information you’re throwing away your identity so you better protect it by shredding it.
2) Monitor It – Monitor your business credit reports for any changes to your company’s scores and ratings. Business Shield™ by Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp alerts you to suspicious activity and warns you of legal changes that may affect your company, which may be the result of fraud.
3) Secure It – Develop policies and procedures that demand secure document storage. Also, keep your online information secure by putting in as many safeguards in place as possible. Establish a cyber-security policy, keep your user names and passwords safe, limit access to sensitive data and use encryption software. According to Security Tracker, 70% of small business owners don’t have a cyber-security policy in place.
4) Plan for It – In the event that your company faces a data breach everyone in the company needs to know what to do. Have a bullet point response action plan in place and put it where it can be used if an incident occurs.
Now there are many other basic security practices that small business owners tend to overlook such as having lockable cabinets, regularly changing passwords, providing security awareness training for employees and using a micro-cut shredder to name a few.
The reality is cyber-attacks are here to stay and industry experts are predicting larger spikes in the years to come. Infection of company computers as well as company systems by viruses, Trojans, and malicious software can allow thieves to gain access to your company bank accounts, causing fast and potentially damaging financial losses to your business.
Is your business at risk? Did you know cybercriminals are targeting small and medium sized companies as a way to infiltrate larger businesses? Although many small business owners may not believe they’re at risk, they actually face the same threat as the next business. The good news is securing your business identity doesn’t require a big budget.
It’s crucial to integrate a business credit protection strategy immediately to help reduce your company’s risk of becoming their next victim. Get started now; prevention is the best protection.
Looking to build & protect your business credit? Become a member of my Business Credit Insiders Circle and gain access to a proven step-by-step business credit building system. A system that provides you access to vendor lines of credit, fleet cards, business credit cards with and without a PG, funding sources and lenders that report to all the major business credit bureaus. Submit your name and email below for details and receive a free business credit building audio seminar ($597 value) =>
To Your Success In Business and in Life!
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About the author
Marco Carbajo is a business credit expert, author, speaker, and founder of the Business Credit Insiders Circle. He is a business credit blogger for Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp, the SBA.gov Community, About.com and All Business.com. His articles and blog; Business Credit Blogger.com, have been featured in ‘Fox Small Business’,’American Express Small Business’, ‘Business Week’, ‘The Washington Post’, ‘The New York Times’, ‘The San Francisco Tribune’,‘Alltop’, and ‘Entrepreneur Connect’.