"Identity theft is a form of fraud that steals someone else's personal information to access private resources such as medical records or bank accounts, and often leads to expensive consequences for its victims."
American research estimates that 1 in every 10 consumers has been a victim of identity theft and that the average loss suffered by a victim is equivalent to three months' salary.
Possibly the most fertile hunting ground for identity thieves is a company's payroll data files. Think about it: payroll databases contain almost all of the personal information that you'd ever need to know about an individual if you had any intention of 'stealing an identity' and assuming the identity of an unsuspecting victim. Names, ID numbers, physical addresses, taxation numbers, bank account details and medical aid numbers are all akin to 'manna from heaven' for identity thieves.
How safe is your clients' payroll data?
Have you ensured that every client network is protected by internet security software? Hacking computer networks and databases is one of the most common methods of stealing identities. IT security may be compromised and expose confidential data to attacks from external hackers, but remember that data integrity weaknesses can also be exploited from within. Redundant and portable IT equipment such as flash drives allow dishonest or disgruntled employees to easily copy confidential files and transfer them to people with dishonest intentions.
Internet security software is an essential component of any corporate network.
Whilst straightforward anti-virus software may protect a network to an extent, traditional on premise anti-virus software solutions have serious IT security limitations that may expose corporate networks to external attacks. It's a lot more effective to commission cloud console based internet security solutions that ensure that all network activity is checked against an up to date internet hosted database of all known viruses and malware - not just the most recently discovered malware that has been downloaded in the current anti-virus pattern update file.
Effective internet security software encompasses facilities for device control as well as website filtering.
Device control functionality allows network managers to 'lock-down' corporate devices and thus prevents unauthorised personnel from copying data to portable devices and taking the data off-site. Web-filtering capabilities further safeguard corporate networks by blocking access to websites and website categories that may surreptitiously implant software agents, designed to access and corrupt or compromise data, in a network.
Why is 'cloud-based' IT security software essential?
The ubiquitous use of mobile computing devices has established a fast growing breed of mobile workers who are clearly often not 'tethered' to the office network. Cloud or internet hosted IT security solutions make it possible to apply the same security and confidentiality rules to all corporate devices wherever they are. This ensures that, for example, if the payroll administrator is updating payroll records at home at night, her corporate device is as safe from attack as it would be if she was working in a corporate office.