Imagine you’ve just finished building your dream house, and it’s breathtaking. From the high-end appliances and custom kitchen to the carefully curated furnishings, you’ve spared no expense ensuring every inch of your property perfectly reflects your unique tastes. Now, after years of hard work, you’re ready to enjoy your luxurious abode.

But when a contractor arrives to install your smoke detectors, you turn them away. “I don’t need smoke detectors,” you say. “I’ve got great insurance.”

It sounds ridiculous, but this is precisely what you’re doing when you invest in an identity theft protection service for employees without digital identity protection. Sure, you’ll have plenty of help when it comes to cleaning up after a problem, but wouldn’t it be better to be notified the second your credentials have been compromised — before you potentially lose everything?

Anyone who’s been a victim of cybercrime knows it’s a lot easier to recover from an attempted breach than to rebuild after a security disaster. Yet, many companies are still failing to provide themselves and their employees the comprehensive protection they need.

If you’re still not entirely convinced, here are three reasons identity theft protection without digital identity protection is a poor investment.

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It Offers Limited-to-No Prevention

If your organization is like most, you put a lot of time and resources into protecting your most valuable assets. Because you understand cybercrime is becoming more prevalent and sophisticated, you’ve invested in firewalls, antivirus software, and high-quality endpoint protection. 

But none of this will do any good when your employees represent your biggest security risk — and they already have access to your network. If you’re not protecting your workforce, then all of those other investments are essentially worthless.

Identity theft protection can help bolster your organization’s security by guarding your employees’ data even outside of work –– but only if it includes a digital identity protection component. This way, they’ll be notified as soon as their sensitive information is compromised (like, for example, if a username and password combination is exposed) before that data is used to wreak havoc via their personal and professional accounts. Without this service, though, all you’ll have is help cleaning up after the damage is done.

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It Leaves Employees Vulnerable to Account Takeover

Cybercriminals know the easiest ways to get their hands on your organization’s most valuable data isn’t by hacking into your network — it’s by exploiting employees’ security vulnerabilities. That’s why criminals often target employees with a high level of security clearance or direct access to the most sensitive data, such as those in the legal department, HR, or finance.

And it takes a surprisingly small amount of information to get started. Little by little, criminals can gather all the intel they need to successfully impersonate someone online (or sell this data on the dark web so others can join in on the chaos). Unfortunately, once a hacker successfully takes over an employee’s account, there’s little recourse.

And that’s where digital identity protection comes into play. By monitoring activity across the dark web, a reliable service will notify employees and the security team as soon as their credentials are spotted. This way, they can take corrective action before that compromised data leads to an account takeover.

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It Could Cost Your Company Dearly

The average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million, according to data shared by Forbes, and we expect this number to continue growing throughout 2021. In fact, by 2025, experts anticipate cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 trillion per year. At best, a large-scale breach will put a sizeable dent in your annual profits. At worst, it’ll ruin your business forever. Is that a risk you’re willing to take?

While protecting employees’ digital identities represents another line item in your security budget, consider the alternative: spending millions to recover your data — not to mention the money you stand to lose from potential downtime and reputational damage.  

As the old cliché says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this case, early detection of breached data could save your entire organization millions of dollars and countless headaches.

Like a house fire, when it comes to digital identity fraud, time is of the essence. Most instances of account takeover happen within hours or days after credentials are compromised, so early detection is critical to preventing significant loss. And while identity theft protection is useful, digital identity protection is essential to mitigating employees’ risk and keeping your company safe.

 

Featured Photo by benjamin lehman on Unsplash