Fast screening techniques may go some way towards mitigating the data risk posed by seasonal workers finds Nathan Skinner
In the run up to the busy winter season many firms, particularly retailers, may be employing temporary staff to help deal with increased demand for products and services.
As the UK casual workforce swells, reports have suggested that many organisations may be putting data at risk as they take on temporary workers over Christmas and give them the same responsibility as permanent staff.
According to research released by security firm Websense, more than 80 % of temporary staff have the same level of access to company documents as permanent staff—but without the same accountability.
The report also found that only 21 % of temporary workers had signed any type of PC or web use policy.
Brian Fenwick, director, staffvetting.com, said companies at the very least should do common security checks: ‘As a result of the seasonal surge organisations need to look for fast and accurate screening techniques. There are probably some employers that do a full screening on their full time staff but none at all on their temporary staff.’
‘There are many regulations and standards, including ISO and PCI, which require anyone who comes into contact with credit card information to undergo screening,’ he continued.
“As a result of the seasonal surge organisations need to look for fast and accurate screening techniques. There are probably some employers that do a full screening on their full time staff but none at all on their temporary staff.
Brian Fenwick, director, staffvetting.com
These codes of practice as well as the media and public demand—particularly following high profile data losses—put pressure on employers to implement security policies.
‘Strong IT and data security policies accepted, understood and supported throughout the entire organisation are a good way of mitigating these risks,’ added Fenwick.
‘I would recommend, as a minimum, that employers do an identity verification, five year address verification, credit history, bankruptcy, county court judgement and criminal record check, as well as the obvious right to work—which is mandatory. These can be done within 7/10 working days or in some cases 48 hours,’ he said.
‘But it’s a matter for the owners of the business to decide what parameters they would like to use as a minimum,’ continued Fenwick. ‘The important issue is not to let the one rogue person slip through the net.’
He added: ‘January and February may be a good time for employers to review their screening policies.’