Are digital assassins a danger to your organization and your workforce? According to this Personnel Today article , your organization should take this threat seriously in 2023 and beyond. But what are digital assassins?
Digital assassins are dissatisfied employees who take their frustrations out on their employers through cyberattacks. A digital assassin could be a current employee who didn’t receive the promotion they were hoping for, or a former employee whose employment was terminated.
You may be asking yourself what an employer can do to identify such individuals. Employers conducting pre-employment background checks are the norm today. But employers conducting recurring background checks are rare.
In addition to missing a potential digital assassin, companies not conducting recurring background checks may miss an employee’s behavior off the job that would indicate the individual may engage in similar behavior on the job and injure a third party. This situation exposes the employer to the tort of negligent hiring. We have written a previous blog post about this tort. An employer can be held liable for injuries to third parties if the employee’s behavior was known or should have been known to the employer. This means it’s up to you to perform frequent and thorough background checks.
Period screening of employees in your workforce not only reveals the use of unacceptable substance abuse, but also unacceptable criminal behavior. It’s true that pre-employment checks can prevent digital assassins from ever being hired. However, recurrent checks also ensure your workers remain in good standing by discovering unacceptable criminal activity while working at your company.
An employer doesn’t necessarily have to screen all employees every year. Screening employees overtime can be an efficient alternative. For example, an employer could screen one-fourth of their employee population over a four-year period.
It is mentioned in Personnel Today’s article that Fortune magazine predicts 2023 to be the “year of the digital assassin.” According to writer Peter Cleverton, rescreening employees to mitigate the risks of reputational and financial damage is a useful tactic.
Unfortunately, a company’s reputation could become tarnished by the actions of just one digital assassin, so it is wise to be vigilant about the risks present. One must also take active steps to mitigate these cyberthreats. Here are a few suggestions from Personnel Today that we’ve summarized below:
Pre-employment background screening programs are an essential part of the hiring process, but an employee’s track record can change. Not all businesses take into account how damaging it could be to avoid recurrent checks.
In an employee rescreen, background checks should be tailored to their position, their job requirements, and any potential risks involved. Some businesses may need to frequently rescreen certain employees in high-risk positions, such as those with access to private data.
Differing Risk Profiles
Some businesses may be concerned about the social media activity of executives in public-facing positions. Some may be worried about workers who are being promoted to roles with a higher degree of responsibility. Everyone at your company has a different level of risk, and it’s important to keep an eye on red flags. Post-hire social media checks and rescreening prior to promotions can alleviate these concerns.
Remote Working Trends
Digital assassins may also target companies via remote work. Remote onboarding practices can make it more challenging to identify changing risks. For this reason, organizations with a remote or hybrid workforce should rescreen employees regularly for optimized risk management.
Do you want to learn more? We encourage you to read the full Personnel Today article for more information on this important topic https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/rescreening-employees/.
James P. Randisi, President of Randisi & Associates, Inc., has since 1999 been helping employers protect their clients, workforce and reputation through implementation of employment screening and drug testing programs. This post does not constitute legal advice. Randisi & Associates, Inc. is not a law firm. Always contact competent employment legal counsel. To learn more about digital assassins, Mr. Randisi can be contacted by phone at 410.494.0232 or Email: email@example.com or the website at randisiandassociates.com