The cloud may well be one of the biggest advances in computing since the invention of the first operating systems. Moving our software and data out of hard-to-access servers and onto the internet, where it is accessible from anywhere on the planet, has truly freed us from our offices.
Executives can work more freely from anywhere on the globe, the cloud has really made telecommuting a reality for more people than ever before, and it’s the ultimate tool for the traveling salesperson.
Unfortunately, because it is so accessible from anywhere on the planet, with just a few clicks, you also need to be very careful of your data security and to whom you grant access. Anyone with the ability to log into your cloud service has the digital equivalent of the keys to the safe, and you need to be sure that they can be trusted with them.
What Sort of Background Checks Do You Need?
Think about the types of things you keep on your various cloud services: financial information, data sheets, product designs, sales information, client lists and so on. If any of those things were stolen from your office, it would be a crisis of monumental proportions. The same goes for the digital versions, except that it’s harder to tell when they’ve been stolen!
You need to ensure that the people who do have access to these resources are above reproach, and to do that, there are a few things you will want to check and verify:
- A full criminal background check.
- Previous employment and reference checks.
- Personal or professional character checks.
You will want to verify that the person being checked has never committed any data security breaches before, that they are of good character, and that they don’t have any big red flags in their employment history.
Even with a full background check, however, you can never be absolutely sure, and your data access policies should always be granular, and regularly reviewed. Just because your information is safe today doesn’t mean it’s safe forever.
When Should You Conduct These Checks?
Ideally, you would probably conduct these sorts of criminal background checks every time anyone is hired or promoted to a position where they would have access to enough of your cloud based information to be a data security risk.
Performing security and background checks on employees is not really a onetime event. It should be a part of the process every time there are major changes to responsibility, access, or other employment conditions.
The Risks of Foregoing Checks
Foregoing background checks before granting access to confidential or proprietary information on the cloud, or anywhere else for that matter, could be catastrophic. It might never become an issue, but all it takes is one serious data breach for your company to be in big trouble.
Malicious or criminally minded employees could export client lists for personal use or to take with them to new employers. They could alter or delete pricing information, or share confidential product information with competitors. In fact, all it takes is one serious data breach to jeopardize your entire business.
Background and security checks are critical to ensuring that the people you entrust with your data security are worthy, and to preserve the integrity of your information.