Cyber Identity Theft: Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Business
While the prospect of cyber criminals revealing your personal information is unsettling, it’s crucial to recognise that these criminals can also exploit this data to cause severe harm to your business.
Gerry Power, the Head of Sales at specialist cyber insurance provider Emergence Insurance, notes that compromised company security often leads to the sale of stolen data on the dark web or personal information auction sites.
“One hack might make your name and email address available, which isn’t necessarily a serious loss. However, if a second attack exposes your driver’s licence and passport details, criminals could collect all the data they need to steal your identity.”
With access to 100 points of identification, cybercriminals can open bank accounts in your name and secure loans or credit cards, taking the money and leaving you to make the repayments. Even failed attempts can impact your business by harming your credit rating and impeding your access to future financing.
Rectifying these issues is often time-consuming, potentially locking you out of financial opportunities until it’s fixed. For instance, a compromised phone number and email address compelled a small business owner in Sydney to impose a six-month credit ban on her accounts, leading to lasting credit history effects.
Top 5 Cyber Security Tips
As cybercrime escalates in Australia, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) identifies identity theft as a prevalent threat during the 2021–22 fiscal year. Here’s 5 key tips to protect yourself, your family, and your business:
- Utilise Distinct, Strong Passwords
- Perform Regular Data Backups
- Enable Automated Software Updates
- Minimise Sharing of Personal Information
- Verify All Links
While these precautions can lower hacking risks, no business is entirely immune, and cyber attacks can incur substantial costs. According to the ACSC, a single cyber event inflicts an average price exceeding $39,000 on small businesses.