Preventing Corporate Identity Theft – Yes, It Could Happen to You
A Michigan manufacturing company lost $5.2 million after the CEO’s computer became infected by malware.
An escrow company in California shuttered after a controller’s computer became infected and the company lost $1.5 million. A fuel distributor in North Carolina experienced multiple fraudulent transactions and lost $800,000 in just five days.
The culprit? A digital cancer known as corporate identity theft. Identity theft certainly isn’t a new threat for businesses, but the ways businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable and being attacked continue to evolve. Corporate identity theft can jeopardize a company’s credit profile, use your customers to create fraudulent charges, and tarnish your brand.
It’s difficult for companies to bounce back from a data attack in the public’s eye.
As businesses wise up and efforts continue to crack down on identity theft, thieves rebel against these new technological protections. They must work harder to crack new systems and safety nets to continue their lives of thievery – and will take every shot possible to get what they came for.
How to Combat Corporate Identity Theft on the Digital Battlefield
Data security is a serious matter. According to the 2017 Poneman Cost of a Data Breach Study, the global average cost of a data breach is $3.62 million. If your company experienced a data breach and it resulted in a corporate identity hijacking, could you afford to stay in business?
Knowing your vulnerabilities is the first step to protecting your company from identity theft. But you shouldn’t stop there. Not all data protection services are created equal, and it’s important you understand what to look for when ensuring the security of your company and its employees.
Some companies choose computers that come pre-equipped with protection and security features, like Microsoft RDS. For example, the Windows Defender Remote Credential Guard doesn’t send your credentials over the internet when connecting to a device remotely. This keeps usernames and passwords secure if a device were to become compromised.
But even Microsoft acknowledges that this robust protection service isn’t completely foolproof. It does not protect against Pass the Hash attacks, plus attackers can hack a session if it is currently in progress.
Bottom line: if you’re relying on built-in protection services alone, your data security puzzle will largely remain incomplete.
These advanced security features, that come standard with TruGrid, are the real guard dogs against corporate identity theft:
Built-In Two-Factor Authentication
There are generally three recognized types of authentication: something you know (e.g. a password), something you are (like a fingerprint or face scan), and something you have (e.g. an email address or cell phone). A two-factor authentication (2FA) uses two of these three types to identify users.
You’ve likely experienced 2FA before: when a website texts or emails you a code to enter, you’re performing an extra step of authentication.
There are tons of third-party apps available that help you set up 2FA on your devices. The problem with many of these apps is that they don’t always work with every interface. For example, you might have 2FA set up on each employee’s computer but the apps they use may require their own form of 2FA.
This lack of consistency is a strong reminder that securing yourself isn’t easy. Hackers depend on your lax attitude toward security because it makes it easier for them to succeed. 2FA takes a little longer to log in, but it can be well worth it in the big picture.
Active Directory Anti-Hacking Feature
Active Directory is a crucial piece of your data protection strategy. The Active Directory keeps track of everything on a Windows domain network: user information, hardware, and apps. It stores a complex network of data, including the objects another object is authorized to utilize.
If the wrong person gained access to it, sensitive information about a company and their network could be compromised. Objects in the Active Directory can be breached, at which point hackers can infiltrate other vulnerable items in the Active Directory to cause extensive damage. The hackers can also continue to gain escalated credentials to further their infiltration.
As a rule, companies usually only grant access to Active Directories to authorized personnel. This access is important to maintain a company’s network, which is why it can’t be completely shuttered. The goal is to make it worthless to hackers with ill intentions.
Some companies have started placing fake objects within the directory that look real to throw off hackers. It has no effect on your users because they won’t be able to see them, but it does create another layer of complexity for those inside the system who shouldn’t be there. And when they try to access a fake object, companies can be alerted immediately.
Firewalls, Data Centers, and Offices Obscured
Firewalls have a purpose in network security, but they aren’t the robust, stand-alone solution most people think they are. Hackers can slip past them via infected devices, USB sticks, or when employees log into the network remotely. They can also be exposed to port scanning or DDoS attacks.
Identity thieves may start by hacking individual devices, then sneak into your company’s network or that of your partnering data centers. It’s important to obscure the connections to the various components of your network so that hackers can’t infiltrate beyond the area they hack.
Identity Management Risk Monitoring
One of the biggest favors you can do for your company is to invest in identity management risk monitoring. This service notifies you of any suspicious activity and works around the clock to protect your company. Identity risk management monitoring comes standard with TruGrid paid licenses, and is just one of our advanced security features.
Why Corporate Identify Theft Can’t Be Ignored
If your business became the target of corporate identity theft, could you afford to stay in business?
No one wants to believe their business is susceptible to a cyberattack. Yet many companies operate under the delusion that data breaches only happen to large companies worth billions of dollars.
But truth be told, corporate identity theft is more common than many realize. And because of this, it’s a threat that all businesses can be at risk for, and no one should ignore it.
How much of a risk does corporate identity theft pose for your business?
Know for sure: Use TruGrid’s easy-to-use tool to generate a risk report. It is quick, it is thorough, and most importantly, it can help you recognize vulnerabilities you never knew existed. With TruGrid you receive not just a ONE-TIME report but ongoing risk-monitoring too when you sign up for a paid license.
Get your risk report today and start promoting safer workplace experiences for all.