The enormity of the Equifax® data breach has left a wake of fear and frustration among businesses and consumers alike. Names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and other information were among the types of data stolen from an estimated 143 million American consumers earlier this year.
To make matters worse, Deloitte and Sonic have also recently announced data breaches. It is safe to assume that the majority of your consumers have had their information stolen from one or a number of these breaches.
Below are a number of steps you should take to better protect your business and consumers from potential fraud exposures in the wake of these massive data breaches.
Risk mitigation measures to protect your business:
Take swift measures to defuse the impact of an attack if you identify an uptick in identity fraud.
When authenticating an account user, require personal information (i.e. high school crush, best friend from childhood, pet’s name) along with identifying information for access to the account to help prevent the identity theft of your consumers:
Require that the account holders have a password or passcode to access their account.
Use multi-factor authentication:
Who you are: Inherence factors, such as biometric methods
What you have: Possession factors, such as ATM card numbers
What you know: Knowledge factors, such as password, pin or secret question
Don’t just rely on SSNs, birth dates, home addresses or driver’s license numbers for granting account access.
Adopt advanced tools, like biometric authentication, for verifying the identity of accountholders.
Verify you have up-to-date contact information for all of your members’ accounts, including consumer cards and online accounts.
Set up a website with information regarding how you plan to communicate with your account holders about updates related to the Equifax cybersecurity breach.