How to Protect Your IT Department From Hackers

When you think about the hackers that threaten your company data, you probably think about dark rooms across the ocean where faceless, hooded figures are hacking away on the dark web. Outside threats are very real, to be sure, but it is also possible for hackers to slip right through your front door. Therefore, IT leaders must also think about ways to protect their organization against an internal hacker.

The Personality Traits of Potential Hackers

According to Network World, hackers tend to be narcissistic, they often display an exaggerated sense of entitlement and they tend to be obsessed with gaining power and recognition. Experts agree that when the ego of a hacker is not continually fed on the job, they will feel justified in taking revenge on company systems. Hackers often develop a sense of ownership over the systems they work with, and often believe the organization is not “worthy” of the data it holds.

That being said, it would be unwise to paint hackers with a broad brush. Not everyone with a big ego is a hacker, and not all hackers display these traits. Hiring managers must be vigilant throughout the candidate screening process in order to be sure they are hiring ethical and trustworthy.

Uncovering Potentially Unethical IT Candidates

If you want to protect your IT department from hackers, use these strategies to uncover potential bad actors when interviewing candidates:

  • Ask candidates to describe a tough situation they faced on the job from an ethical perspective. Pay close attention to the way they reason through a problem in terms of ethics.
  • Present a hypothetical scenario wherein a highly skilled employee is treated poorly by a supervisor. Ask them to describe how that employee might feel and what actions they might take as a result. Take note of candidates who seem to believe that any type of retaliatory behavior, however minor, would be justified.
  • Ask candidates to describe how your company’s customers might feel if their personal data was stolen. If a candidate shows a lack of empathy for the victims, take it as a red flag.

Trust, But Verify

When you’ve reached the point in your candidate search when you’re ready to start checking references, it pays to go the extra mile with every IT employee. Address ethics specifically on every call, and if you are unable to reach a reference, ask the candidate to supply more.

Finally, always conduct a criminal background check. These checks are worth every penny if it uncovers a candidate who has been arrested or even prosecuted for unethical behavior in the past.

Are You Ready to Strengthen Your IT Hiring Process?

Strengthening the IT hiring process to guard your company against internal hackers isn’t always easy. It takes a great deal of time, energy and resources. However, there is simple a way to connect with top talent who exhibit the highest ethical standards. When you partner with the IT talent acquisition experts at Talon, you can decrease your time-to-hire while increasing the quality of your candidate matches. If you are ready to learn more and hear about our track record, contact our team today.


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