Your company has insurance to protect your buildings, accountants to protect your money, and attorneys to protect your products and services. But, are you protecting your most valuable asset – your employees – from the slew of threats in the digital age? If not, you’re making a big mistake, because when you protect your employees, you’re also protecting your company.

A Brave, New (and Dangerous) World 

The world has become, in many ways, a perilous place. This is especially true when it comes to the rise of identity thieves, who work day and night to steal your employees’ data. Look no further than the recent data breach at Equifax, which saw 143 million Americans have their personal data stolen. Social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, all taken in the blink of an eye.

This isn’t an isolated case. In fact, 2017 is on track to have the most data breaches in recorded history, and in June, had already experienced more violations than the entirety of 2015. So, it should come as no surprise that Americans are becoming panicked. In fact, a recent study found that Americans now rate criminal hacking as the #1 threat to their health, safety, and prosperity.

An Employer’s Role in The Problem

With so many high-profile data breaches, you’re likely aware of the risks posed by identity theft. But, do you know where many cases of identity theft originate? The workplace. That’s right, up to 50% of identity theft begins at an employee’s place of business.

There’s good reason for this. Think about all of the personal data your organization is required to obtain and store on each employee – Social Security numbers, addresses, birth dates, in some cases, credit reports. The list goes on. Further exacerbating the problem, many employees and managers have access to these digital records.

How It Costs Your Company

When employees become victims of identity theft, it has a significant impact on your business – regarding both productivity and profitability. 40 percent of companies which received identity theft-related attacks report that their employees’ workplace actions were significantly affected. When you factor in that victims of “New Accounts” fraud report criminals used their information to collect over $10,000 worth of goods and services – and that it costs around $1,500 out-of-pocket to resolve these issues – it becomes pretty clear how they wind up being so distracted. 

In addition to being distracted while on the clock, employees also spend a lot more time off the clock. On average, it takes around 200 hours and six months to resolve the problems caused by identity theft, but in some cases, it can take years.

When you combine the distraction and missed work, employees tend to become disengaged, and this means big problems for your company. Disengaged employees lead to 20% lower sales, 17% less productivity, and 21% lower profitability, just to name a few.

Becoming Part of the Solution

Luckily, there is some good news to report. Identity theft may be on the rise, but so are companies who value their employees and understand the risks they face in today’s digital world. That’s why we see more and more companies offering identity protection services to their employees. In fact, Willis Towers Watson forecasts that 70 percent of employers will be offering their employees some form of Identity Protection by the end of 2018. That’s great news for your employees, your company, and the whole world.

If you’d like to learn more about the impact identity theft can have on your organization, check out our FREE guide, “Why Companies Should Care When Employees Have Their Identities Stolen.” It’s filled with in-depth statistics that outline the state of Identity Theft today, what it means to your employees, and how it impacts your bottom line.