As we enter the new year, our clients are as concerned as ever about the security of their personal information. What many business owners fail to realize, however, is that theft of their personal information can lead to headaches for their businesses as well.
Think about the information required to open new business accounts - the accounts of many small and mid-sized businesses are tied inextricably to the personal information of the business owners. Once an owner’s personal information is compromised, hackers can use that information to gain access not only to the owner’s personal accounts but also to his or her business accounts. If you think only financial accounts are at risk, think again. Hackers can use this information to steal your business’s domain name and phone numbers, giving them access to your company’s e-mails, shutting down your website, and leading customers trying to reach your company straight into the hackers’ arms. Hackers can then use this access to impersonate your business, defrauding customers and setting up accounts in your business’s name.
This scenario doesn’t just put you and your business at risk. It puts your customers at risk and can destroy the goodwill that your business has worked hard to build.
Though smaller businesses may think they are less at risk than larger companies, the truth is that hackers often target smaller companies because they know their security may not be as rigorous. Even just a couple of weeks without access to e-mail and its website can be devastating to a business. In addition to taking steps to keep their personal information safe, business owners can protect their businesses’ identities by:
using strong passwords;
frequently changing those passwords;
restricting employee access to accounts and business information;
and developing a data storage and retention plan that protects sensitive information.
The best way to protect your business is to work with a trusted adviser to develop a security plan tailored to your business before an attack occurs. Contact us today to get started on your plan!