Identity Guard has protected over 47 million identities over the past 20 years and has dealt with organizational data breaches of all kinds ranging from very small to over 40 million impacted people. We’ve taken a hands-on look at Identity Guard from both a consumer and a business perspective, and to say they know what they’re doing is a bit of an understatement. Let’s take a quick look at Identity Guard’s pros and cons, and then we’ll take a closer look at what they offer.
If your business’ network becomes compromised, time is not on your side. With every passing moment, the problem compounds, and the losses mount. One of the best things about Identity Guard for businesses is their dedicated breach team that will have a tailor-made solution for you up and running within minutes of being alerted to the issue.
We also love the list of protections offered to employees. As we saw when we reviewed Identity Guard for individual consumers, they do an outstanding job with the core protections of dark web scanning, financial account monitoring, and credit score alerts. But what really makes them stand out as a protection for businesses is their proactive approach to identity theft protections. By offering ID verification, antivirus programs, and keyboard encryption software, Identity Guard aims to prevent breaches from occurring in the first place.
While the employee plans aren’t exactly cheap — we still recommend giving Identity Guard serious consideration. When you consider the potential costs of not protecting your business and employees, you begin to realize that identity theft is almost priceless.
Did You Know: In an organization with 1,000 employees, this threat can carry an estimated cost of between $793,320 to $1.59 million.
There are several options available to consumers, so make sure you take a look at our Identity Guard plans and pricing guide for more information.
NortonLifeLock is one of the most well-respected names in the identity theft industry, and they’re taking their decades of expertise to the private sector with NortonLifeLock for business. Before we unpack what this looks like, though, let’s take a quick look at the service’s pros and cons.
One of the first things we noticed when we reviewed NortonLifeLock for individuals is the lengthy list of services they offer. As far as identity theft protections go, NortonLifeLock is certainly one of the most comprehensive on the market. And this posture carries over to their protections for businesses as well.
We also really appreciate the proactive stance they take in protecting business and employees alike. Rather than simply reacting to identity theft events, NortonLifeLock offers a whole host of cybersecurity protections to prevent data breaches from occurring in the first place. This shouldn’t be surprising since the service is brought to you by Symantec, the same people who have been bringing some of the most powerful antivirus software in the industry for decades.
Also worth pointing out is NortonLifeLock’s scalability — particularly for small businesses. It’s only $99.99 to protect 5 devices, so if you’re running your own LLC selling products in an online marketplace, you really have no excuse for not shoring up your identity theft protection for both yourself and your customers. As you grow, adding employees and devices you want protected, NortonLifeLock’s plan will expand with you, step by step.
Did You Know: Identity thieves seek out small businesses and merchants because they assume their cybersecurity protections will be lacking. One data breach can ruin these organizations.
The company’s extended family of products and their protections can get a little confusing, so be sure to check out our NortonLifeLock services and costs guide to get some clarity before you make a decision.
For over 40 years, IdentityForce has been protecting individuals and businesses from fraudsters, and trust us when we say these decades of experience will serve your organization well. IdentityForce is a lean and mean service that prioritizes protections where they count. Before we breakdown their offerings for businesses, let’s look at the pros and cons punch list.
Did You Know: The IRS considers identity theft protection a non-taxable, non-reportable benefit. That means as a business owner, you can write off the cost of this offering come tax season.
One thing we really appreciate about IdentityForce’s business offerings was how clear it was in presentation. There are two branches of service — data breach protections and identity theft protection as an employee benefit. They offer all the same services we saw while testing the plans for our IdentityForce analysis, but both services on the business side of things are highly scalable and customizable. It’s definitely worth contacting IdentityForce to see if they can create a bespoke solution for your organization.
We also love that IdentityForce offers support for HR departments when rolling out identity theft protection as an employee benefit. They’ll work with your company to deliver a plan to inform and educate employees about their new benefit on an ongoing basis while providing marketing support, informational resources, and collateral to really secure employee buy-in.
Selecting the right plan might be a little confusing, particularly if you’re a business owner that’s new to identity theft solutions. We recommend reading over our IdentityForce costs and services guide for some context.
Businesses are a prime target for identity thieves — particularly small- to mid-size businesses that have access to customer’s personal and payment information. These types of businesses generally don’t have robust cybersecurity protections, and as such can be low hanging fruit for fraudsters. The barriers of entry for bad actors tend to be low, and the returns are potentially much higher than simple consumer identity theft.
Did You Know: Many businesses — particularly small businesses — operate on razor-thin margins. Significant financial losses or even a hit to your reputation by way of a data breach could be your organization’s downfall.
There are two main ways your business might be vulnerable. First, criminals can obtain the identity information for your business and use it to acquire credit in that business name. (Read more about risk-factors in our complete identity theft protection guide.) There are several reasons a fraudster might do this. For one, businesses can typically apply for larger lines of credit than individuals can, and these requests typically go through less rigorous scrutiny.
Second, you may be at risk if your company collects and holds on to a significant amount of customers’ personally identifiable information like account numbers, birthdays, social security numbers, and addresses. You’re legally obligated to protect this information from data breaches, and identity thieves are constantly looking for vulnerabilities to snatch it from you.
The best identity theft solutions for businesses, like the ones mentioned above, are going to work around the clock to protect your brand and your finances. However, these features are going to vary from service to service. You really want to be on the lookout for products that offer:
Several services offer data breach monitoring that will alert you if hackers have infiltrated your network with the intention of swiping your customers’ information. We consider this to be a pretty critical feature when selecting an identity theft protection service for a business.
The majority of black markets where stolen data is traded exist in the underbelly of the internet known as the dark web. This term refers to a digital space made up of unindexed web pages that are only accessible using specific browsers and software. Identity theft protections worth their salt will scan these marketplaces for your businesses’ proprietary information and alert you if it’s showing up where it shouldn’t.
Did You Know: The Internet is divided into two sections — the surface web and the deep web. There’s nothing inherently nefarious about the deep web — that just refers to web pages that aren’t indexed by search engines. The dark web is a very small subset of the deep web and it’s where you’ll find bad actors carrying out their identity theft schemes.
While monitoring is important, you’re also going to want to shore up your defenses against cybercriminals’ main attack vectors. This means selecting a service that will alert you when suspicious emails show up, unexplained traffic hits your website, or if your WiFi network has vulnerabilities. You also might want to consider services that offer antivirus protections and a virtual private network as well.
Even if you invest in robust identity theft protections and take precautions to keep your company and your data safe, the unfortunate reality is that some enterprising criminal might get lucky and slip through your defenses.
That’s why it’s important to seek out an identity theft protection service that guarantees reimbursement and restoration should the worst come to pass. Most offer some sort of insurance — typically up to $1 million — in stolen funds reimbursement, and a few offer white-glove incident-to-resolution professional guidance to ensure the impact of an identity theft incident on your finances and reputation is minimized.
Simply put, the consequences can be dire. Loss of business income or having money stolen from a business account can leave your organization unable to fulfill payroll and tax obligations. You may be left scrambling to bridge the financial gap yourself.
And that decision could open up a new can of worms. Most business credit cards and loans require a personal guarantee on the part of one or more business owners. If you’re unable to make payments from the businesses, you might end up personally liable for the debt.
Fraudulent purchases made in the company name will more than likely be tied to your personal information, so when they are inevitably sent to collections, your personal credit will take a hit. This can lead to all sorts of problems.
You’re also likely to be slapped with heavy fines from data regulators. These fines cost large, well-known companies whose data becomes compromised hundreds of millions of dollars per year, and small- to mid-sized businesses without those resources can rarely weather the storm.
To get an idea of exactly how much we’re talking, take a look at this quick chart.
Additionally, identity thieves that fraudulently conduct business in your organization’s name can create major issues with the IRS and state tax agencies including licensing, revenue, and sales tax commissions. Unpacking these issues on your own is time-consuming and infuriating.
It can be extremely difficult for a business to survive a major identity theft incident unless precautions were taken and considerations made prior to the event. This is one of those instances where an ounce of prevention is more valuable than a ton of cure.
With this in mind, we hope this comprehensive guide to the best identity theft protection services for businesses has helped you to narrow down your options and find the right fit for your company.
A trusted cybersecurity advisor will make a world of difference in your business. Many identity theft protection services offer this feature, and it’s certainly worth using it to its full potential. Cybersecurity advising puts an expert in your corner — to strengthen your network and transform your security plan into a tangible asset.
Customers are the lifeblood of your business. That’s why customer protection tops the list of ID theft protection features. With customer protection, you can conduct business with confidence, knowing your customers’ information is protected from data breaches, cyber criminals, and the various ways it can fall into the wrong hands.
More identity theft protection services are offering value-packed business resources to their clients. These resources include everything from exclusive content, industry reports, statistical insight, and the list goes on. A treasure trove of business resources will help your company to steer clear of identity theft and fraud.
Dark web monitoring for your business has never been so critical. The underworld of the internet — the dark web — is where criminals buy, sell, and trade sensitive information. The best identity theft protection services offer this feature. And it’s the only way to know if information connected to your business ends up on the dark web.
There are chinks in the armor of any business, big or small. That’s why Risk Detection is a feature to look for when shopping for fraud protection. Risk detection consistently scans your network to identity weak links or vulnerable points of attack. No business should go without it. The stakes have never been higher.
Employee Cybersecurity Training is one of the most effective ways to shore up your defense against cyber criminals. Let’s be honest — there are a million ways a well-meaning employee can deal a fraudster a fine hand. But with training, your staff will know what tactics to look for, potentially saving your business from major losses.
Another feature for business fraud protection, data breach response offers peace of mind when it matters most. As recent history has shown, a data breach can sink a business. That’s why choosing an ID theft protection service that offers data breach response is a smart move. Your customers will thank you, not to mention your bottom line.
Incident Response Plans are all the rage for a reason. These quick and nimble response plans can be deployed at a moment’s notice. And they can cover a range of cyber crimes and data breaches. As they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So keep your business on the offense with ready-made incident response plans.
Several identity theft services for business offer employee benefits. We’re not talking 401k and a gym membership. Rather, these benefits include identity theft restoration services. In the event your employee’s information is compromised, a dedicated team works to fix it. Remember, it’s not just your customers who suffer from a data breach.
Derek Prall is a VPN and cybersecurity expert with more than seven years of experience in the industry. He has spent thousands of hours researching identity theft protection, VPNs, and other ways to keep safe online. To date, Derek has written nearly 100 comprehensive resources for SafeHome.org. As a professional journalist, he has contributed to reputable publications such as TD Magazine, New Jersey Herald, and many others. Learn more about Derek here