HR professionals face an ever-growing challenge: data protection and preventing insider threats. The rise of remote and global work environments makes this even more important. Background checks are a powerful tool for insider threat prevention; equipping you with credible insights to identify potential risks and mitigate them effectively for both potential and existing employees.
In this post, we’ll look at the vital role background checks play in preventing insider threats, especially in a global and remote working world.
Insider threats refer to the risk that an organisation's security, confidentiality, and integrity faces from individuals who have authorised access to sensitive information or systems. These threats arise when insiders, such as employees, contractors, or partners, use their positions to intentionally or inadvertently cause harm through unauthorised disclosures, data breaches, sabotage, or fraud.
According to the 2023 Insider Threat Report, 74% of organisations reported an increase in insider threats. This growing trend highlights the importance of protecting sensitive information and preventing such threats.
Background checks are one of the top 10 ways to prevent insider threats. They serve as a crucial tool in protecting sensitive information and provide you with insights that help evaluate an employee's trustworthiness, integrity, and potential risks.
Background checks examine an individual's past behaviours and associations, including their criminal history, employment records, and financial activities. By identifying any red flags or patterns of misconduct, you can assess the potential risk they may pose to sensitive information.
Verifying educational qualifications, professional licences, and employment history helps establish the individual's expertise and integrity. This evaluation aids in verifying the accuracy of the information and helps to determine whether the candidate is trusted with handling sensitive information without compromising confidentiality.
Rescreening background checks during employment validates the ongoing suitability of employees. It ensures that individuals remain trusted to handle sensitive data and helps to decrease associated risks. There are a number of reasons why it is important to rescreen employees for background checks. These include:
Preventing insider threats is increasingly important, especially in regulated industries such as financial services, government and defence, education, transportation, and healthcare. These industries operate under specific regulations and compliance requirements such as the FCA and CQC to protect sensitive information. Failing to prevent insider threats may have significant consequences, such as financial loss, compromised data security, reputational damage, and non-compliance with regulatory standards.
Incorporating background checks as part of the hiring process and throughout employment sends a strong message about an organisation's commitment to security. It establishes a culture where employees understand the importance of protecting sensitive information and fosters an environment where security is prioritised.
Protecting sensitive information is critical for any organisation. Follow these best practices to implement an insider threat programme in a way that feels collaborative rather than punitive:
Protecting sensitive information and maintaining a positive culture go hand-in-hand. Develop policies collaboratively, support employees, and emphasise shared values to build an insider threat programme that everyone strengthens.
Today’s global working world opens a wealth of opportunities for businesses. However, it’s good to keep in mind that with increased opportunities comes increased risk.
The ability to hire globally puts businesses in the fortunate position to have access to incredible talent worldwide, with a wealth of skills. You are not restricted to local talent and can increase diversity in the workplace to supercharge your business. However, the rise of hybrid office environments is said to be one of the top contributors to the risk of insider threats, according to the 2023 Insider Threat Report. Because of this, it’s important to remain vigilant with online security and data protection when hiring globally. You can decrease the risk of security threats by implementing top security measures such as strong authentication, a detailed security policy, and comprehensive background screening.
Conducting rigorous, ongoing background checks on every employee is essential for insider threat prevention, but the process is time-intensive if managed manually. Instead, leverage third party solutions that automate and simplify screening:
Automating background checks through a third party platform saves security teams countless hours. It also enables organisation-wide consistency and auditing. Employees understand checks are a standard process rather than a sign of individual suspicion. Streamlining this critical defence against insider threats protects the organisation while supporting culture.
With Zinc you can conduct 12 background checks that provide valuable insights into an individual's past, character, and potential motivations. You can use this information to make informed decisions when it comes to hiring, retaining, and monitoring employees. By leveraging the insights gained through background checks, organisations reduce the likelihood of insider threats and promote a secure and trusted environment.
Background checks are a vital tool in the prevention of insider threats. They help guarantee you hire the right people for the team and ensure existing employees remain compliant throughout their time at the company.
As insider threats rise and global, remote working become more prevalent, the need for comprehensive background checks in the workplace is crucial. By leveraging platforms like Zinc, you can easily rescreen employees to enhance your data protection measures, maintain transparency, and safeguard against the risks posed by insider threats.