WASHINGTON, June 6, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Cybersecurity Society (NCSS), a national nonprofit created to address small business cybersecurity, released a study today – "Business Identity Theft in the U.S." The study was funded through a grant provided by the Identity Theft Resource Center and the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime.
The study describes the types of business identity theft, how the crime is perpetrated, and identifies areas for improvement in the national system of identity protection.
"Small business identity theft – stealing a business's identity to commit fraud, is big business for identity thieves," said Mary Ellen Seale, CEO of the NCSS. Just like individuals, businesses may have their identities stolen and their sensitive information used to open credit card accounts, file fraudulent tax returns or compromise their online identity. While some business identity data can be found in paper records, the majority of data stolen or compromised resides in online systems. Business identity data is public data that various online search engines can easily access. Criminals are changing business records to their advantage. Unfortunately, many businesses neither are aware of this threat nor take prudent measures to protect their business identity.
Recommendations going forward include:
Creating a national business identity task force,
Educational outreach to the business community,
Access control improvements,
Improvement in victim resources,
Better visibility into the credit file to track status,
Business guides to protect identity data.
As the Internet Crime Complaint Center reports identity theft as the seventh largest crime in the U.S. based upon the number of victims, now more than ever attention needs to be directed to correcting the system vulnerabilities that criminals are using to exploit. The NCSS is actively seeking coalition partners who can assist in reaching the business community, participate in solution development and assist victims. For additional information on the coalition, please contact the NCSS.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL CYBERSECURITY SOCIETY The National Cybersecurity Society is committed to improving the online safety and security of the small business community through education, awareness, and advocacy. As a 501(3)(c) organization, the NCSS uses funds from charitable donations and grants to develop educational materials, webinars, weekly cyber tips, videos and conferences. The organization's goal is to enable and empower small and medium businesses to obtain cybersecurity services, assist them in understanding their cyber risk, and advise on the type of protection needed.