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Reference Checking: The Relationship Between VOE and CyberSecurity

Secure employment verification is a vital function in the marketplace today. Not only is secure employment verification essential for employers and human resource professionals, but it’s also vital for government agencies and financial institutions. With identity fraud and falsified employment records rising and being used for various kinds of theft, it’s apparent that cybersecurity is essential in employment verification and reference checking.

In this article, we’ll examine why verification of employment (VOE) is crucial, what role cybersecurity has to play in VOE systems, and why robust security in the VOE process is essential to protect everyone from graft and fraud.

Why is Verification of Employment Important? 

Verification of employment is crucial for employees, financial institutions, and government agencies for the following reasons:

  • Verification of Employment is essential for employees to both apply for new jobs as well as to be able to collect government benefits and apply for various kinds of loan financing, usually for cars and homes. Verification of employment is also essential for small business owners who need to not only verify assets on hand but also show that they have had historically verifiable streams of income via previous employers. This reference check process is essential for creating a KYC (Know Your Customers) profile and work history. Vague answers are risky answers and solid information is essential when conducting reference checks.
  • Verification of employment is also essential for banks and other lending institutions because they are on the other side of a loan transaction. Fake employment information can result in lending out of money to people who never intend to pay it back. Robust VOE systems reduce risk and bring down the cost of lending to everyone. Simply put, background checks reduce risk.
  • Finally, verification of employment is essential for various government agencies. From Unemployment verification, qualification for FNMA and GNMA loans and SBA loans are all essential for government agencies to carry out these vital programs. Identity theft is as much a threat when dealing with unemployment insurance as with anything else.

Reference Checking For Your Company Or Agency

Being able to check references is important for the government, businesses, and individuals alike. As said before, this is especially important for the prevention of various types of fraud and financial projections. For example, if you’re a financial institution, you’ll need to construct a financial profile for applicants who come to you for home loans, lines of credit for business, and other needs.

Verifiable income history is essential in order to create a risk profile for an applicant. Since it’s no longer possible in many cases for an applicant to come into a branch and meet a bank manager face to face, the cybersecurity aspect of loan applications and KYC (Know Your Customer) is becoming more important by the day. Our globalized economy makes bank fraud globalized as well. Verification Of Employment is an important step in the KYC process, and directly affects a bank’s bottom line.

So Where Does Cyber Security Come In?

The old method of confirmation of employment history by mail or fax isn’t practical in today’s works. This means that any kind of reference check needs to be carried out online.

Just like everything else that has gone digital, electronic verification of employment is the future. It is quick and theoretically reliable– but just like online banking and other sensitive areas, electronic employment verification is highly susceptible to cyber security threats. As technology continues to advance, ill-meaning people seek to steal sensitive information. Be it a hiring process, a loan application or confirming a job title, a solid, confirmable background check is essential.

This is also essential for government agencies, as well. Secure Verification of Employment systems is critical in eliminating waste and fraud in the application process for various kinds of government benefits. The capture of government benefits by fraudsters who use false employment information robs those same benefits from people who really need them. Secure verification of employment systems protects working and saves governments money.

Quentelle is the Gold Standard in VOE and Reference Checking Verification

When you use Quentelle, you can save time and reduce administrative costs by automating your verification of employment using our VeriSafeJobs technology. We put a strong focus on your data’s security and privacy and are compliant with all CCPA, FCRA requirements, and other data and privacy laws.

Do you have questions about navigating the world of employment verification and cybersecurity in this world of growing online threats? Reach out to us. We’d be happy to answer your questions about cybersecurity and employment verification.

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Action: What Can You Do to Prevent Cyber Threats?

Despite the constant threat of a network security breach, far too many small business owners are ill-prepared to withstand the damage that a cyberattack brings. A staggering 43% of SMBs have no plan whatsoever to defend against or mitigate the effects of a security breach. Even worse, 60% of SMB owners do not acknowledge the risks in the first place. 

Fortunately, there are a number of small-scale interventions you can take to help protect your assets. 

Set Up Appropriate Employee Access

Not every employee needs access to every element of your network. Setting up user-defined roles can pay dividends in the long run. Take the time to make sure each employee has access to the systems they need in order to do their job, but restrict access to functions that fall outside their job role. This can help to mitigate human error. 

Perform Regular Software Updates

We’ve all been subject to mandatory, automatic updates on our personal computers. Many people choose to turn off or delay those updates when it comes to their personal, home computer system. Those updates are essential for system security purposes, however, and they are doubly important in a professional capacity. They can help bolster system security against the ever-evolving world of malware. 

Encrypt Sensitive Data

Never leave critical customer information or financials out in the open. Using an encryption method can help prevent potentially bad actors from utilizing your information should they get ahold of it. This is especially important if you are sending information across networks to clients, vendors, or other business partners. 

Employ Email Filters

Phishing scams derive their power from convincing your employees that malicious emails are from a trusted source. On the surface, emails like this may look like they are from a known source when there may be subtle, telltale signs that they are not. An email filter can help catch fallacious pieces of mail, helping to eliminate employee error from the equation. 

Educate Your Staff

They say that the best defense is an offense. The most surefire way to mitigate the risk of cyberattacks is to diligently train your staff in best practices. Employee awareness can go a long way in keeping your company safe from hackers and malware. 

Enlist an Enterprise Solution  

Cybersecurity threats are unfortunately common and incredibly varied in their method of attack. The average small business is extremely susceptible to attacks. Sometimes a small business owner can make all the right moves, employ industry best practices, and engage in proactive employee education and still incur a costly and damaging digital attack. Sometimes the only choice is to recruit a professional partner to help implement an enterprise security solution. Quentelle can help your small business set up security monitoring, network security, and email protection. Please contact us today to find out more about our services. 

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Website Hacker using computer in dark room

Awareness: Protecting Your Business From Cyberattacks

You may think that it can’t happen to you. You’re just a small business owner; what could you possibly have that would entice a hacker? A lot as it turns out.  Did you know that more than 43% of all cyberattacks are aimed at small to medium-sized businesses? In fact, Forbes even puts that number as high as 58%. The average small business owner cannot afford to turn a blind eye toward digital threats. They have just as big a stake as larger, more well-protected companies. 

SMB Cybersecurity: Some Alarming Stats

It’s not just the frequency of attacks aimed at the SMB sector, it’s the disastrous and long-lasting damage that they cause. 60% of businesses unfortunate enough to get caught in an online breach close within a half a year. That’s because the average cost of a successful cyber attack on a small business is $200,000, although that number can range into the millions based on the nature of the business as well as their market. 

It’s a problem that isn’t going to go away anytime soon. During the past year, filled with a near-continuous stream of turbulent ups and downs, cyber crimes against small businesses increased a staggering 424%. Small business owners need to prepare themselves for the reality of a breach, but the disheartening truth is 47% of all SMBs have no idea that they even need to be concerned about a cyberattack. 

Education and awareness are the keys to protecting your company and its assets. 

Types of Cyberattacks

What constitutes a cyberattack exactly? Perhaps SMB owners refuse to acknowledge the presence of digital dangers because the terminology is so vague. Your SMB is vulnerable to an incredibly-wide range of attacks. 

Malware

By far the most common type of cyberattack comes in the form of malware. Malware literally means bad software, and is a catch-all term for malicious code and software that worms its way into your company’s network. Malware includes:

  • Ransomware
  • Computer viruses 
  • Spyware

Malware is designed to obtain sensitive data from your company’s systems or hijack an aspect of your network. For example, ransomware will encrypt important data, requiring that you pay a fee to regain access. 

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams usually use email as their avenue of attack. This scheme involves fooling the recipient into believing that the email comes from a familiar, reputable source. Phishing emails use perceived familiarity to get the recipient to divulge sensitive info such as passwords, login credentials, and financial information. 

DDoS Attacks 

In recent years, a new type of cyber attack has surfaced: the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack involves an abnormally-high number of network requests being sent to a central server from multiple points of origin. The goal is to overwhelm the server and crash the network, disrupting your business’s ability to operate, resulting in lost revenue. 

SQL Injection

For a skilled hacker, an SQL (Structured Query Language) is an incredibly easy exploit to pull off. This type of attack involves sending a malicious piece of code —sometimes through a pathway as simple as an internet search query— that gives the hacker access to read, update, and delete sensitive data on a network. While the coding necessary to achieve this is complex, the avenue of exposure is fairly straightforward. 

Employees as a Liability 

Regardless of the cyberattack’s method, it’s important to keep a critical eye on your employees. The unfortunate truth is that 52% of data breaches come as a result of employee error. Malware and phishing scams are by far the most common types of attacks. 

Phishing scams are the equivalent of a digital conman; they use familiarity and manufactured reputability to entice employees to click harmful links or download damaging attachments. Through gullible employees, hackers are able to steal sensitive data or insert malicious software into your system. 

In order to combat the legion of scams circulating the internet, it’s necessary to view your employees as a digital liability —at least where cybersecurity is involved. If you start with that basic mindset, you can easily take remedial and proactive measures to protect your company’s assets.   

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