A small business in Christchurch, New Zealand, is just the latest victim of a growing area of crime – the ‘cyber inside job’. While many organisations recognise the risk from outside attacks such as hacking and fraud, few are as well aware of the risks that arise from cyber sabotage or cyber blackmail.
This crime results from a member of staff being disciplined or sacked, or sometimes simply passed over for a promotion or bonus. People have been known to wipe the data from a whole organisation, damage computers or attempt unauthorised computer access remotely to damage the organisation they used to work for.
This happens when an individual demands money to put right something he or she has deliberately sabotaged, or threatens to disclose company data to others if financial demands aren’t met.
Cyber fraud is commonplace compared to the other two categories – it’s where a member of staff rips off their employer by saying money is needed for upgrades, hardware or software and vastly inflates the price, pocketing the difference.
Solutions to cyber crime
It’s a real dilemma for employers – they need tech-savvy employees but are often unable to assess if their budget requests are reasonable or if they are at risk of being sabotaged or blackmailed. Often the police have little interest in such ‘white collar crime’, leaving businesses out of pocket and out of luck.
At privatedetective.co.uk we know that effective CV checking and background checks into the history of a potential employee is the best safeguard. The person charged with damaging the business in Christchurch had already been convicted of two other, different, forms of fraud, information that would have led to his employers recognising the risk and not hiring him, if they’d had access to a thorough background search. While it can be a business expense that businesses try to avoid paying, the Christchurch case, which cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars, would never have happened if they’d spent a little on a thorough pre-employment screening from a competent private detective.
Virginia Snyder – veteran private detective, RIP
Most role models for private detectives are hard-bitten, hard-drinking, men but Virginia Snyder who died recently aged 96, was quite the opposite. She started as an investigative journalist and then opened her private detective agency in Miami in 1976, specialising in cold cases and overturning verdicts of those she believed to be innocent. She saved six men from receiving the death penalty, including Luis Diaz, tried and convicted as Miami’s “Bird Road Rapist” even though he didn’t fit the description of the rapist. Snyder’s crusading investigation enabled two long-lost rape kit samples relating to the Bird Road rapist to be found – the DNA did not match Diaz and he was released after 25 years in prison.
We’d like to think we’re in the Snyder model and our work, while less high profile, helps families and businesses remain safe.