The average consumer is not the only target for identity theft these days. Businesses also are steadily becoming a preferred target for various forms of cyber crime and are slowly realizing that they need to consider getting some type of fraud protection in order to guard their interests. According to a survey by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, nearly half of the businesses they studied globally and 88% of US companies reported that they had been victims of some type of fraud. For a business to stay alive in this turbulent economy they must not only focus on beating their competition but they also have to beat cyber criminals at their own game.
The Impact of Fraud on a Business
While the media has turned its attention full force on consumers that have become victims of fraud, the reality is that businesses are more likely to be a target than a small time consumer. They often have less fraud protection and are more likely to be held accountable for fraudulent charges than a consumer would. The impact of a business being victimized goes much further than you might expect. They are often held accountable to their banks, shareholders, insurers, credit card processors and other entities and will take longer to recover their losses because of it. While fraud is a major part of a business’ life, when things like data breaches occur, it can be detrimental to their existence and the consumers who are connected to them.
Those who are running a business have to keep their eyes open for every possible type of fraud. Businesses have always had to be concerned with internal crimes from either their employees or customers but now more than ever they have to give special attention to the prevalence of electronic crimes. As modern technology continues to make advancements, they will have to find some kind of fraud protection to shield them from third parties hacking into their systems, slamming (the act of changing their phone service without their knowledge), identity theft, and other types of electronic fraud. These crimes are often committed out of sight through electronic channels that are hard to track and difficult to discover. Data breaches are very common among businesses these days, making it very difficult to do much more than notify their customers that their personal information they’ve entrusted to them has been compromised.
How to Protect Your Business
It is difficult to prevent electronic fraud from occurring; this type of crime does not usually leave a trail that is easy to trace. Experts recommend that each business has its own anti-fraud policies in place to root out potential defects in their system where a thief may be able to get in and expose them. They can also divide responsibilities so that they can reduce the risk of fraudulent activity coming from within and conducting regular audits to monitor activity in order to root out vulnerabilities.
Experts that offer fraud protection also believe that reminding consumers that any business they entrust their personal information with is at risk of a data breach at anytime. Everyone should be regularly checking their credit reports and monitoring their identity to ensure that their personal information has not been compromised.