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Reducing IT Security Risk: Know Who You Are Hiring

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Jun 14, 2013



The presence of an IT security risk is part of today's modern business environment.  There are numerous types of background checks performed on new job applicants.  These applicants may arise from various backgrounds, countries and locations. In addition, your company's human resource professional is often hiring candidates for positions across multiple departments, including: Accounting, Customer Service, Sales, and Information technology (IT). The latter is one area of responsibility (AOR) that should not be overlooked when conducting pre-employment history verifications and background screening. The reason? Given the plethora of sensitive data and trade secret information IT professionals may have access to,     

IT Security RisksInformation Technology, National Security and the Private Sector

Current news speaks about Edward Snowden and the private contractor  that employed him .  Snowden probably passed his background check, but what type of check was administered remains a prominent question for many.  IT employment or information technology employment is a part of any current company's business and security needs.  There are several recommendations that will assist in preventing future breaks in a company's security operations:

1.  Background screenings are recommended for all new employees and for those employees who are working for IT support vendors. 

2.  Cloud based data hosting has brought with it new challenges for your company.  This type of vendor requires various technology workers that may have access to your data. Subsequently, you should ensure all employees with access to your servers have been cleared through a series of stringent background investigations that meet your standards.

3.  Employment screening is becoming essential with the advent of today's information age.  Continued screening and annual checks should be essential for your company and its employees. However under the FCRA, you must obtain written consent to do so. Download a sample employee consent form for here.  

Your business or vendor contract usually will need various employees or subcontractors.  These applicants may be required to study and analyze your business data.  A plan and check list for each potential employee are becoming essential.    The check phase for each new applicant may include reviewing and evaluating the security and character ability of each potential employee or subcontractor.  

Confidentiality and integrity are two of the more important characteristics that your new employee should have.  Availability is important, but there are other factors that should be tested as well.  Integrity may be measured using various modern instruments.  Your business continuity may depend on the intrinsic value of each of your employees and new hires.  A competitive edge is important in today's market.  A solid image is critical, and there should be legal compliance for your industry standards.  A background check for each of your new hires may be essential.  A weak link may cause various other problems that can not be foreseen.

A background check means different and individualized methods for each company.  Your business may need to investigate certain types of information in order to determine the right mix of employees and/or contractors.  Background checks may involve several of the following searches for personal data:

1.  Employment History Verifications are frequently used to assist in a reference check.  Your business may depend on various letters that may be written on behalf of the applicant.  Telephone calls to past employers often can assist you in screening out a hazardous employee.

2.  Credit checks may be used for select positions. If the employee will have access to credit card information or other financial data,  your business may find that the way an employee has paid past bills is important for the overall well being of the company. 

3.  Criminal background checks (at varying levels) are those that help determine the valuation of a certain type of candidate. There are different levels / types of criminal background checks, including Federal, State, County, International and Database searches. Click below to see the differences: 

Your business or personnel department often uses various background data to assist in determining the right fit and mix of employees.  The current issue surrounding the Edward Snowden case has brought many of these background elements into a different light. 


Topics: Employment Background Screening, FCRA Compliance