Every day, businesses face many potential threats, both seen and unseen. From the retail store trying to guard against shoplifting to the healthcare provider trying to protect patient privacy, organizations must take many steps to protect themselves from potential bad actors. Even when bringing new people into the business, employers must take care to avoid making risky hires that could expose the company to future liability, or even put others in danger.
While most businesses think of the safeguards in the hiring process to prevent an employee from harming other workers, the public, or the company's assets, they offer protection in other areas, too. Consider the importance of cybersecurity today—with so much information contained in commercial computer systems, the wrong person with the right access can damage a business.
From stealing money directly to misusing company information or exposing confidential data to paying third parties, overlooking these risks could be an expensive mistake. Incorporating a criminal background check into your hiring process can also help put up important guardrails in the digital arena.
Making Hiring a Part of Your Cybersecurity Defenses
While you're unlikely to uncover direct evidence of past cybercrimes when you background check a new job applicant, you may spot warning signs instead. Many cybercrimes that take place inside businesses are crimes of opportunity, such as an employee gaining access to a sensitive system when they do not have authorization.
By doing a background check, you can identify potential red flags, such as past trouble with the law due to financial crimes. Including other tools in the process, such as a credit check, can help you identify individuals who may pose a greater risk when presented with potential opportunities to compromise company computer systems. By thinking beyond the primary threats and ensuring you take a broad view on the suitability of any applicant, it's possible to better protect the business.
Going Beyond the Hiring Process
Protecting your business from internal cybersecurity threats should go beyond the hiring process and include any onboarding you undertake for third-party vendors, independent contractors, or temporary hires. Any time you may need to allow someone else to access your systems or data for business purposes, consider exploring establishing background check requirements ahead of time. You may not be able to fully control who works for one of your vendors, but when you choose a contractor to bring aboard, the best background check process should include these individuals.
Protecting Your Business from All Angles
Today's threat environment demands robust protections against cybercrime, not just from outside the business but also from within. The greatest threat to your digital security might not be a random ransomware attack or a leak of personal information, but instead an individual employee with the motive and opportunity. By identifying risk factors through background checks, you can increase confidence in the safety of your staffing practices.
About Michael Klazema The author
Michael Klazema is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based backgroundchecks.com with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments