Is business identity theft the next battleground? 

By Henry Bagdasarian

In order to foresee business identity theft trends, we have to analyze whether business assets provide any value which may deserve the attention of global criminals and whether the assets are vulnerable enough to attract attacks. Some experts believe that due to the increasing number of sophisticated and successful cyber attacks on business targets with devastating consequences that business identity theft is the next battleground for identity risk managers

Companies spend a lot money to build and secure their brand assets over the years. I read on Forbes online that 75% of a business value is derived from its brand value. Therefore, a brand damage can result in business losses, but, what does a brand have to do with identity theft you might ask and how can it be damaged? Brand identity theft is a real multifaceted threat and the actual losses incurred from brand damage depend largely on the brand value, especially, a digital brand since it is more vulnerable, valuable, and great target for large scale attacks.

Although fraud has steadily increased overtime especially since the introduction of the Internet, technology is neither fully culpable for the increasing crime nor our savior from identity theft. First, criminals use recognized brands to get loans and extract information from loyal customers. Although technology is useful for efficiently managing business operations and monitoring account activities to detect fraud, human error and contribution to rising fraud should not be underestimated.

And second, even though technology advancement has improved our lives, it has also enabled large scale criminal acts. Globally recognized brand name websites, digital intellectual properties, and mobile apps are attacked constantly from all corners of our planet. Criminals introduce malware in a variety of ways to install spyware such as key loggers to capture a computer user’s keyboard strokes, or, use stolen logos, as well as fake ads, websites and online forms to steal personal information from consumers who unknowingly share information with criminal because they trust the brand.

Businesses have to consider the takeover of their corporate identities a serious threat. If a business cares about the future and value of its brand investment, it must secure its systems and monitor its brands to detect abuse. As soon as brand abuse is detected, all available resources must be deployed and options considered to protect the brand and limit business losses which may unfortunately be permanent in some cases. Lastly, business identity theft insurance is also necessary to recover some losses from damaged business brand in case companies become victims in the growing identity theft battleground.

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