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Business And Brand Identity Theft

 

Business success has its good sides, and we cannot deny the ugly realities that accompany it. A successful business or person is at high risk of identity theft by imposters aware of the possibility of deceiving or misleading unsuspecting people for financial gains. According to PwC, in the last two years, about 51% of companies worldwide have experienced fraud in one way or another, which explains why many social media accounts with nefarious agendas are impersonating big companies and people. Nonetheless, understanding proper password management and policies, among other things, can save an organization from the nightmare of trying to chase an imposter, closing down accounts, and repairing the brand reputation that might follow imposters’ activities.

BUSINESS AND IDENTITY THEFT

In general, identity theft can be described as the deliberate act of impersonating a brand or individual for malicious purposes, which in most cases is fraudulent. Brand impersonation or identity theft victims could lose their reputation or sometimes suffer legal consequences for crimes not committed. The need for business identity theft protection is crucial.

Data Breaches are renowned for being one of the causes of Business Identity Theft that makes users’ and organizations’ credentials openly available for various levels of threat actors and impersonators to buy or get for free on forums and the dark web. Business and individual leaked credentials are also used to get more information about the victim, attack, or impersonate access to classified assets. A successful attack by an imposter can put an organization at risk.

BUSINESS IDENTITY THEFT METHODS

  • Cloned Website And Phishing Attack

Imposters can dedicate time and resources to building a website with the same functionality and user interface as an organization and redirect victims to the cloned website that would spark little to no suspicion. Cloning an organization’s website is an incomplete puzzle without the imposter finding a way to direct people to it. In most cases, this is where phishing attack kicks in. An imposter can get an organization’s email policy and structure through a phishing attack and can be used to gain initial access if successful.

  • Brand And Business Names Registrations

Because some businesses are established with little expectation of becoming a global brand, they sometimes don’t buy domains or register social media pages with unique names representing the brand. However, some imposters play a long-term game of registering and trademarking other businesses’ brand names by buying domain names in anticipation of the owner’s attempt to do proper registrations or creating a website with the brand names. When this time comes, the imposter will seek to milk the business owner before legally releasing the brand identity (name, logo, etc.).

PREVENTING IDENTITY THEFT

  • Data Security

Data security is essential to every business, ensuring data are kept securely at rest and in transit at all times, which can also include keeping clean backups in various locations in the advent of a ransomware attack. Data security is not limited to digital information, but physical documents containing sensitive information should also be kept safe and secured until they’re no longer required.

  • Cyber Awareness And End-User Training

A single click on a malicious link in a phishing mail by any staff could put an organization at a cybersecurity incident. Training staff about the potential damage phishing attacks can cost an organization and how to avoid them is essential.

  • Regular Patch Management And Security Update

Threat actors are known to take advantage of unpatched vulnerabilities in organization assets. Therefore, keeping all devices up to date and on the latest patch will significantly reduce the attack surface and the tendencies of an attack.

  • Early Brand And Business Name Registration

Every business has growth potential. Therefore, it is essential to register business domains and social media pages early, which puts an organization ahead of an imposter that might want to register impersonating pages for atrocious motives.

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