How to protect your company from employee and other internal threats.
Employee and other internal threats
Employees can pose very serious threats through their activities within the company they work for. Members of staff are in an ideal position to recognise the vulnerabilities within their environment.
- Insider crime can have serious effects on the reputation of any company.
Organised criminal networks may slowly and methodically infiltrate a business to fund criminal enterprises.
- They may place new employees within the company or corrupt existing employees.
Are they who they say they are?
- Identification documents such as passports may be forged, counterfeit, or they may be genuine but fraudulently obtained.
- Documentation checks can be done using employee screening and vetting companies or training of in-house staff.
- Check and Challenge references not merely read and believe them.
- Changing employment frequently may be an indicator of employee theft and fraud.
- Check and challenge reasons for leaving previous employment.
Often wrongdoers will leave their current employment prior to being discovered or on discovery the company refrains from prosecution in order to protect their reputation.
- Check references thoroughly.
- Consider prosecution where there is evidence of criminal activity.
- Don’t allow corrupt employees to transfer from one company to another.
Enhanced checks – Vetting
Senior employees and those with access to personal data, for example, call centre staff taking credit card payments or cleaners with access to secure areas, should be vetted.
- Check and challenge, consider enhanced checks for those in sensitive posts.
- Checks on existing members of staff should be carried out periodically.
- Include in employment agreements the ability to check staff.
Monitor your staff
Insider threats involve a range of activities, to the detriment of the organisation, these include:
- Petty theft and use of facilities such as photocopying and telephone.
- Use of the Internet for On-Line shopping and Social networking.
- Misuse of vehicles and other facilities.
- Abuse of expense accounts.
- Direct theft of Intellectual property - designs and patents.
- Passing on business intelligence such as marketing plans and cost structures to competitors.
- Running personal business interests, including ‘shops’ on auction web sites.
- Controlling staff for personal gain - acting as the employment agency.
Whistleblowing – identifying wrongdoing
Trustworthy staff working alongside others are in the ideal position to detect wrongdoers.
- Whistle blowing policies with clear guidelines and procedures work.
- ‘Staff suggestion’ schemes combined with whistle blowing policies are effective.
Proper vetting of staff, verification of identification documents and robust whistle blowing policies are the most effective ways to ensure your business is best placed to prevent internal fraud.
- Clear, simple policies must be in place and understood by all staff to protect everybody.
Remember - Your business is only as good as your staff.