The need to vet all new staff

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Tuesday July 3, 2012 at 2:31pm
Vetting of new staff within many smaller to medium sized businesses is often seen as unimportant and unnecessary. The clarion cry all too often goes ‘we know this guy or girl – no problem’.

I recently visited a company within the print industry where they had just appointed a Production Director. This individual had come from a major PLC and the MD of the company in question was delighted to have him on board.

However, when I arrived this Director’s desk had been recently cleared. When I enquired as to the circumstances behind this abrupt departure, I was handed the industry’s weekly magazine. On the front cover there was a whole page devoted to this Production Director having been involved in alleged data theft from his previous employer – a large PLC. Major amounts of vital customer data according to this article had been stolen by this individual and passed to competitors for commercial gain. Indeed an ‘out of court settlement’ of £90K had been reached. Leaving this individual severely financially strained.

If the company in question had applied a more rigorous vetting system – ideally to BS7858 the British Standard for Vetting of Security Personnel, some of these issues might have arisen prior to engagement. It certainly helped them think more clearly about their own Information Security Management needs.

Over the eighteen years I’ve spent in the compliance industry I’ve been able to assist many organisations implement structured screening and vetting programmes to the BS7858 Standard. If this one had, maybe they would have avoided the enormous embarrassment and no doubt costs involved in recruiting an unsuitable senior director.

Marcus Allen
Parker Management Consultants

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