Background screening survey: COVID-19 is impacting HR

An overwhelming number of COVID-19 background screening survey respondents said that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting human resources at their company. There are also concerns about fraud, and the protection of confidential information as a large percentage of the workforce has gone virtual in work-from-home (WFH) arrangements. CRI® conducted the survey to measure the pulse of human resources during a challenging time in business worldwide. The largest number (38 per cent) of survey participants were human resources professionals, but respondents also included managers (19 per cent), executives, directors, administrators (27 per cent) and other roles.

Survey results

Questions ranged from the impact of COVID-19 on the workforce to issues surrounding fraud and data protection. Most respondents said they are having to approach human resources issues in new ways with the changed landscape of conducting business during a pandemic. The following are a few of the major takeaways from the survey:

  • Few in the HR world are untouched by COVID-19: More than 88 per cent of respondents said that the pandemic is having an impact on their HR operations, and 65 per cent are considering new ways to retain employees during the crisis.
  • While there have been layoffs, some companies are hiring during the pandemic: 57 per cent of respondents said they are either currently hiring, or planning to hire, new employees under a work-from-home arrangement. This makes employee background screening a crucial issue that cannot be put on hold during COVID-19.
  • They’ve developed ways to ensure that work-from-home policies are being followed: Organisations do this through “observations from supervisors, response rate, time consumption in assignment completion” and “by having frequent video calls on Zoom,” among other methods.
  • Employee background screening is lacking: When asked if all of the employees who are authorised to access sensitive information (e.g., IT department) have been screened from criminal, media, employment history perspective prior to any work-from-home arrangement, 54 per cent answered that they were not.
  • On the other hand, most companies do conduct background screening of some type: In fact, 85 per cent do so, which is important because many companies have learned that trust can be misplaced. While an overwhelming 92 per cent said they trust their employees with confidential data, background screening can help verify that your employees aren’t hiding anything in their backgrounds that might put your company at risk.
  • Companies understand the fraud risk factor during the pandemic: Nearly 77 per cent of HR professionals accept that there is a risk that employees can initiate fraudulent activity because of the work-from-home arrangement.
  • They identified the most critical background checks for employees: These include employment verification, identity checks, reference checks, education verification and criminal background screening.

  • Getting the best employees is their highest motivation: When asked what the most important factors are for conducting background screening, the top responses were to improve quality of hires (73 per cent), protecting employees, customers (54 per cent), mandated by law/regulations (38 per cent) and protect company reputation (also 38 per cent).
  • HR challenges persist in conducting background screening: The biggest hurdle, according to respondents, is the length of time to get results (69 per cent). Other top challenges include data accuracy (46 per cent) and cost (38 per cent). This is why finding a provider that can deliver quality checks in the shortest timeframe and reasonable cost possible is of the utmost importance for companies dealing with background screening uncertainty during the pandemic (and beyond).

Most organisations represented in the survey were privately held, but the participants also included publicly-held companies and nonprofits. They ranged from under 100 employees to 5,000 or more. The survey provides valuable information for companies, employees, and human resources professionals and teams who serve them. It also sheds light on the critical need for increased employee background screening and data protection during a tumultuous time.

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Your opinion matters! Participate in the background screening survey now and let us know how COVID-19 and WFH have affected your business.

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COVID-19 background screening guide

CRI® has developed EmploySmart™, a robust pre-employment background screening service to address the concerns and issues discussed in the survey. While businesses have changed and adapted during COVID-19, the risks posed to companies remain – and in some cases, are increased. Fraudsters are opportunists who take advantage of vulnerabilities, and a time of crisis presents many changes and deviations from usual business practices.

The rise in recruitment fraud is creating a number of challenges – last year it cost £23 Billion just in the UK. The COVID-19 is set to cost even more. And what is particularly worrying for any HR professional is that fraud in recruitment regularly sees genuine businesses used to add legitimacy to illegal behaviour. CRI® developed the complementary COVID-19 Background screening guide. Taken as a whole, this ebook is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and companies looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to effectively stay ahead of COVID-19.

Read more on how to manage the hiring risks during COVID-19. Read the answers to the following questions:

  • How to turn the tide’ on coronavirus crisis?;
  • COVID-19 Action point checklist;
  • Background Screening: Essential Checks;
  • 6 steps for good practice in connection with COVID-19;
  • 11 Steps to Reduce Personnel Costs;
  • COVID-19 General advice;
  • How to remove any danger to your business during COVID-19;
  • … and more!

Download your “Employee Screening during COVID-19: everything you need to know and more!” FREE ebook here! Stay protected during COVID-19 so that when the crisis passes, your company is whole and in a position to thrive, while mitigating any risks that might occur. This eBook is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and companies looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to effectively stay ahead of COVID-19.

Ethics & Compliance Hotline

We would like to introduce a new Ethics & Compliance Hotline. This hotline is available to all employees, as well as clients, contractors, vendors and others in a business relationship with CRI® and ABAC® Group. If you find yourself in an ethical dilemma or suspect inappropriate or illegal conduct, and you feel uncomfortable reporting through normal channels of communication, or wish to raise the issue anonymously, use CRI® Group’s Compliance Hotline in below mentioned ways or provide us with your complaint online on the form below.

REPORT HERE!

Ethics and Compliance Hotline is an anonymous reporting mechanism that facilitates reporting of possible illegal, unethical, or improper conduct when the normal channels of communication have proven ineffective, or are impractical under the circumstances. The Compliance Hotline is a secure and confidential reporting channel managed by an independent provider. When reporting a concern in good faith, you will be protected by CRI® Group’s Non-Retaliation Policy. At CRI®, we are committed to having an open dialogue on ethical dilemmas regardless. Speak up – report any illegal, unethical, or improper behaviour.

READ MORE!

About CRI® Group

Based in London, CRI® works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

9 ways COVID-19 impacted background checks

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted business as we know it. How is the crisis still affecting your organization? Are you still experiencing a temporary decline in hiring, or does hiring seem to be non-stop? No matter your industry, the hiring environment has changed because of COVID, probably forever. Workforces are still restricted mainly in the way they can work, and many are still in some form of lockdown or self-isolation. This poses a lot of challenges when it comes to recruitment, such as:

1. Navigating the new realm of virtual recruitment;

2. High demand for recruitment in specific sectors (e.g. pharmaceuticals, retail supermarkets, delivery companies, transportation, retail banks, healthcare);

3. Accommodating for existing staff working from home;

4. The need to hire employees (in high demand) with a specific skill set (e.g. digital marketing, IT teams, customer service);

5. The overwhelming amount of applicants without the right qualifications due to industries struggling;

6. Delayed hiring processes;

7. The need to expand candidate reach because of the lack of appropriate applicants;

8. Losing applicants to competitors;

9. Considering the long-term and short-term economic impact of hiring during the uncertainty of the pandemic.

The number one challenge companies will face as they restart hiring is that their people and financial resources may be dramatically limited. They’ll have to think about efficiencies in the way they hire and the people they bring on.When they post positions, they’re going to be flooded by applicants. How will a limited HR staff sort through 400 online applications to find the best two?

Companies are faced with the difficult task of hiring quickly and economically whilst managing the day to day risks and challenges. And the situation is changing at an hourly rate. Businesses have to adapt rapidly to survive, i.e. cutting steps in their hiring process, and no one knows how this will play out. However, there are ways you can mitigate the impact, learn how with this FREE ebook. Taken as a whole, this ebook is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and company looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to stay ahead of COVID-19 effectively.

Read more

Regardless of the industry, you work in, and the likelihood is that your normal hiring processes and background checks would have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic forever.

Key Impacts of COVID-19

Lockdown drastically reduced the data sources needed to carry out checks for incoming employees, and many vital workers would have been affected by this. As the lockdown restrictions are being lifted, sources are slowly becoming available, but the uncertainty of a second wave could put them under threat again. The economic impact of Covid-19 resulted in many employees being furloughed. This would have also restricted the availability of accessing data sources.

Did you know that 1 in 3 furloughed UK employees was pressured to work? Read more about furlough fraud and how it looks like.

Employsmart™: background checks during COVID-19 and more

As a background screening provider, CRI® Group can support you by proactively monitoring the data sources and working with them to understand when and how to carry out verification requests. By working with a background screening partner, we can tailor your screening needs to the challenging times we’re facing. EmploySmart™ is CRI® Group’s robust pre-employment background screening service that helps companies of any size and industry avoid negligent hiring liabilities. We know you have lots of questions. We compiled a FAQ ebook, read now or download your FREE ebook.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s imperative to ensure a safe work environment for all of your employees. EmploySmart™ can be tailored to meet the requirements of each specific position within your company. As a leading worldwide provider of specialised local and international employment background screening, CRI® Group’s services are second-to-none in providing risk mitigation and peace of mind in the hiring process.

Learn more about how EmploySmart™ can help your company stay protected during these strange and uncertain times. Contact CRI® Group today.

Who is CRI® Group?

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider.

We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body that provides education and certification services for individuals and organisations on a wide range of disciplines and ISO standards, including ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management- GuidelinesISO 37000:2021 Governance of OrganisationsISO 37002:2021 Whistleblowing Management System, ISO 37301:2021 (formerly ISO 19600) Compliance Management systemAnti-Money Laundering (AML) and ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems.

 

Responsible management and CEOs

As of 13 August 2020, COVID-19 has affected more than million people globally, including 744,385 deaths, reported to WHO. The virus has also had severe economic implications, leaving organisations facing a unique set of new challenges that can only be summed up in one word: uncertainty. And the only way to navigate these uncertain times is through leadership. This is critical right now, as COVID-19 has magnified societal vulnerabilities. Good leaders can and should lead society into a new “normal”. However when Harvard economist Greg Mankiw argued in a New York Times opinion piece that CEOs are qualified to make profits, not lead society this is somewhat inadequate to the times we live in now. Furthermore, Doug Sundheim, contributor at Forbes, has argued in his article “CEOs Have A Responsibility To Help Lead Society” that Greg’sc arguments just simply do not fit today’s business models. This “shareholder-first business model” originated from 1970, however 50 years on a lot has changed and at a time when over 70% of the largest entities on earth are corporations, not nations, Mankiw’s view is troubling. 

The sheer number of corporations around the world should make us understand that business impacts societies on a global scale; therefore, business leaders have the responsibility to at least consider those societies and how they impact them. The singular management goal of CEOs is no longer about maximizing returns to shareholders, but to support society as business has grown more interconnected and complex. Today, business and society are weaved together in an intricate way, both depending on the other for stability and success. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has also changed businesses and created a surge in the number of positive collaborations between companies, institutions and governments. Our article “COVID-19 prompted innovative leadership” reflects how Mankiw fails to grasp the world in which CEOs are now in fact leading communities and helping societies.

Mankiw asks the reader to imagine having to make an executive decision and how effective and simplier it is when your only priority is profits, and not the wider set of stakeholders – i.e., employees, suppliers, communities, and shareholders. Mankiw defends the idea that corporate management’s mandate should be the narrow self-interest of achieving greater profits for shareholders, not broad social welfare. He goes on to list several additional hypothetical questions. A social-driven leader would have to consider:

  • How do you weigh those losses against the gains to the would-be workers at the new plant?
  • How much will the closure of the old plant hurt its workers and their community?
  • Does it matter whether the new plant is in South Carolina, providing jobs for American workers, or in Mexico, providing jobs for Mexican workers?
  • How should you weigh the benefit of electric cars in mitigating climate change? 
  • How should you balance these concerns against the interests of shareholders, who entrusted you to invest their savings?

However, the above questions are now part of the many new demands from consumers, talent and governments. 

Consumers have changed; they are no longer only interested in the end product. Consumers are demanding more from companies for their buy-in. And every corporate leader has to include some version of the above questions in their considerations if they want to succeed. Top CEOs say social responsibility should be prioritised over profits proving that social responsibility planning; it’s officially basic business planning. Last year the bosses of 181 Leading US’s biggest companies dropped the shareholder-first principle – they changed the official definition of “the purpose of a corporation” (from making the most money possible for shareholders) to “improving our society.”

Most successful CEOs and corporate leaders have profit in mind, and they always will; but they are also considering the needs of a variety of stakeholders, including the communities they impact. In this day and age, CEOs and corporate leaders are rising up to social expectations and are balancing the demands of multiple stakeholders.

Mankiw questioned CEOs’ and corporate leaders’ ability to be broadly competent social planners.  Paul Polman (former Unilever CEO) talks about creating collective courage. He rightly argues that it’s difficult for one industry player to impact an issue like reducing greenhouse gases because of the loss of competitiveness. However, if 20% of industry players come together, they can begin tipping the scales.  It’s starting to happen. In this way, by unifying their efforts, corporations, governmental agencies, and NGOs can partner to lead society.

CEOs and other leaders now find themselves in a changed world … they can and should play a variety of leadership roles that move beyond narrow profit maximization. This is a social responsibility, not broad social planning. Short-term earnings no longer feature in the top of the mission statement for most successful companies. We’re starting to find our way back to a more balanced view, and we need CEOs’ leadership in the process.

Mankiw admits that the world needs people to look out for the broad well-being of society – elected leaders who are competent and trustworthy – but those people are not CEOs. However, Mankiw fails to acknowledge just how much influence CEOs and corporate leaders have over our elected officials and the legislative process. Today, large corporations and their associations outspend labour and public interest groups 34 to 1 on lobbying efforts in the US.

In today’s high-risk environment, businesses have to pay attention to their social and environmental roles not only due to demand, but out of responsibility for the damage they (can) cause. For example, companies that contribute to, but then deny, climate change – the attorneys general of several American states launched investigations into ExxonMobil and whether they had committed fraud by sowing doubts about climate change – even as its own scientists knew it was taking place to firms involved in botched Grenfell Tower revamp refusing to accept responsibility for tragedy. Then there is Chamath Palihapitiya, former Facebook executive, who expressed regret for his part in building tools that destroy ‘the social fabric of how society works’. Companies are responsible for causing great damage on a human scale. We have to hold companies, CEOs and brands accountable for their destructive impact in today’s society; while they have a responsibility to support and help lead society.

CEOs and corporate leaders are exerting immense influence behind the scenes; therefore, qualified CEOs and corporate leaders should step up and help lead on the thorny economic issues of the day. However, with great power comes great social responsibility. Not all of the corporate leaders are equipped to lead societies; therefore, they should take a significant weight off the scale. Contrary to what Mankiw and others of his mindset might think, we must continue to demand more from our corporations, their boards, and their CEOs and leaders. Corporate leaders can make a unique and lasting positive impact, too.

About us…

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS102000:2013 and BS7858:2019 Certifications is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

 

MEET THE CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI® Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations. Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center – QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguard businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI® Group Chief Executive Officer

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

COVID-19 Prompted Innovative Leadership

As of 3 September 2021, COVID-19 has affected more than million people globally, including 218,580,734 deaths, reported to WHO. The virus has also had severe economic implications, leaving organisations facing a unique set of new challenges that can only be summed up in one word: uncertainty. And the only way to navigate these uncertain times is through effective leadership. Good leaders can deliver on their mission in innovative ways while envisioning a new “normal”. This is critical right now, as COVID-19 has magnified not only societal vulnerabilities but vulnerabilities in business, as well.

Navigating the complexities of the unforeseen COVID-19 crisis has left many businesses struggling. Crisis often fuels innovation, however, and most organizations are stepping up with unique contributions and excellent leadership at a time when it is needed most. Leaders at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic – epidemiologists, data and behavioral scientists, academics, engineers, military logisticians and businesses – are collaborating (probably for the first time) to solve seemingly intractable problems.

These leaders are driving innovation with therapeutic, economic, and community-based solutions that are having a significant impact on the global pandemic. From the creation of multi-million global relief funds to shepherding vaccine development and treatments; from payment deferrals for people and businesses facing financial hardships to digital/telehealth solutions such as Beneficial Business Exchange (a self-service virtual community that matches urgent needs with critical resources); from solving supply chain challenges to creating innovative new products; leaders are adapting and making decisions to help their organizations weather the storm and survive the crisis.

For example, with ventilators in short supply (a critical need during the pandemic), Mercedes stepped up by collaborating with the University College London and clinicians at University College London Hospital to develop the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) ventilator. In South Korea, health authorities, vice-Health Minister Kim Gang-lip, businesses and students joined forces at an early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. With their combined technological expertise and creative thinking skills, they produced a drive-through COVID-19 test; a body steriliser that sprays people as they enter halls; and a health tracker app for overseas visitors. These and other innovative solutions have shown how collaboration between leaders is beneficial.

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven technological innovation. With more people working from home, internet and online services have been stretched to the limit. Behind strong leaders at Apple, Google, Amazon and other leading tech giants, companies have responded to fill needs in this new online framework. Web meetings, online shopping and other technological aspects driven by COVID-19 have forced quick adaptation and innovation to meet consumers’ needs and, in some cases, keep the economy going.

The reality is that leaders who push innovation during this crisis are setting their organizations up for better success once the crisis has passed. In fact, history suggests that companies that invest in innovation through a crisis outperform peers during the recovery. This finding came to light during the SARS outbreak and the 2009 financial crisis, among others. Statistics show that companies that maintained a focus on innovation during the 2009 crisis subsequently outperformed the market average by over 30 percent after the crisis resolved. This demonstrated a far-sighted approach with significant benefits beyond just a company’s survival.

Leaders and CEOs have creatively solved problems and inspired others by taking action and making decisions that might typically take months to emerge from the typical treacle of bureaucracy. However, good innovative leadership will continue to emerge, transform and discover new ways to tackle COVID-19 challenges. Resilient leaders can see a crisis as an opportunity to elevate and define their corporate culture; resilient leaders can find clarity by testing every decision against touchstones. Their companies, and the communities and people they serve, are counting on them.

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About us…

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS102000:2013 and BS7858:2019 Certifications is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

MEET THE CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI® Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organizations. Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center – QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguard businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI® Group Chief Executive Officer

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

7 Traits of a Resilient Leader

Every successful leader has encountered a challenging scenario at some point in their career. The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, however, has forced leaders to face unforeseen new challenges. With the pandemic’s colossal impact on operations, workforces, profits and supply chains across the globe, all eyes are on leadership to guide their businesses through this crisis. Resilient Leader

Resilient leaders are generally seen as more effective, making them an asset to any business; but what is resilience and how can it be applied to your management skills?

What is Resilience?

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; it is a further evolution of stress management. This makes it a “no brainer” as to why resilience is such a popular concept in today’s business environment. Many businesses are pushing the concept of resilience as a way of helping workers better cope with the stresses and strains of the modern-day office and unlock their performance potential.

In this article, we look at seven essential qualities that characterise resilient leaders, and how to increase your resilience. In general, resilient leaders:

  1. Show empathy
  2. Are adaptable and able to improvise
  3. Are self-aware and open to feedback
  4. Take calculated risks
  5. Keep a positive attitude
  6. Develop others
  7. Communicate effectively

1. Resilient Leaders Show Empathy

COVID-19 has generated one of the greatest challenges and, simultaneously, one of the greatest opportunities for resilient leaders – at all levels. According to a Gallup U.S poll, six in 10 people are “very” or “somewhat worried” that they or a family member will be exposed to COVID-19 (Gallup, 2020). During this crisis, emotional management is even more crucial than ever. According to studies carried out by Development Dimensions International (DDI), empathy is the most critical leadership skill. Leaders who display compassion, authenticity and vulnerability – and are capable of apologising when they’re wrong and handle criticism without blame – create strong emotional bonds with their teams (DDI, 2020).

The most resilient (and effective) leaders can demonstrate empathy and a high level of emotional intelligence. When your team feels understood, they feel more motivated and more confident to contribute cultivating stronger conversations, ideas and debate. As Mark Cuban shared in a recent interview: “How you treat your employees today will have more impact on your brand in future years than any amount of advertising, any amount of anything you literally could do” (Just Capital, 2020).

2. Resilient Leaders Are Adaptable

With COVID-19 infecting approximately 311,641 people in the UK alone, health officials suggested using hand sanitiser as the easiest way to prevent the spread of the disease. Consequently, these announcements led to panic buying (Euronews, 2020). In this type of situation, a resilient leader should be able to visualise this action as an opportunity – for example, dozens of spirit manufacturers across the UK started to produce hand sanitisers (i.e. BrewDog and Leith Gin). This is a classic example of an instant attitude adjustment – looking at what they can do as opposed to what they can’t (Telegraph, 2020).

When faced with change, resilient leaders can focus on the things within their business that they can still control. Whether impacted by new technologies, environmental challenges or even ethical dilemmas, the modern business landscape is always changing. A resilient leader needs to be flexible and adaptable to succeed. Is flexibility part of your leadership style?

3. Resilient Leaders Are Self-Aware and Coachable

According to Health Care Business Today, self-awareness and coachability are “The Two Most Important Leadership Traits” (Health Care Business Today, 2019). We think so, too. Resilient leaders are self-aware, confident, and most of all, able to recognise their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. Resilient leaders are open to feedback, ask for feedback and are always demonstrating a real effort to improve.

4. Resilient Leaders Take Calculated Risks

Successful leaders earned their success through taking calculated risks. When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launched AmazonFresh, he was scrutinised by others because he didn’t choose a successful delivery or supermarket executive to run the venture. Instead, Bezos selected a team that had previously run a web-based food delivery service in the ‘90s (which collapsed after two years in business). Why? Bezos knew that the team had learned from their failure, which made them the perfect choice to succeed with a new project.

Resilient leaders like Bezos take calculated risks while accepting that failure is a by-product of innovation and success. They learn to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, and flourish as the world changes around them.

5. Resilient Leaders Can Keep a Positive Mindset

The impact of COVID-19 is tough to manage. It is vital to have a positive mindset that can influence fellow professionals and raise team morale while maintaining business momentum.

Under the challenging circumstances posed by the COVID-19 crisis, a resilient leader needs to be enthusiastic, offer praise for success, and give credit when it’s due. American psychologist Carol Dweck has stated in her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” that “a change of mindset must happen before other positive transformation can occur.”

Resiliency is needed when we encounter failure. As a resilient leader, you shouldn’t view failure as final, but as a necessary step to move further along your journey.

6. Resilient Leaders Develop Others

The most resilient leaders are concerned about the development of their teams. Developing others helps everyone to learn from their mistakes. We continue to find that leaders who want and accept honest feedback for themselves are more likely to give productive feedback and coaching to others.

7. Resilient Leaders Communicate Effectively

Effective communication helps teams understand changes, expectations and new directions. This understanding is the key to the success of any team. The most resilient and best leaders always communicate their intentions effectively to others and are willing to help their teams understand a new strategy or direction.

The COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be the ultimate test for business leadership. In times of crisis, only certain individuals can adapt and stand tall amongst the crowd. When it comes to leaders, being able to implement resilience tools and strategies will not only make you a better leader but help the company overall.

 

Who is CRI Group?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

COVID19 increases identity theft cases: 7 steps to lessen your risk

What does an embezzler spend their money on? In the case of a New York man’s alleged fraud, just about everything, apparently. According to IDentutyUSA identity theft is on the rise during COVID-19 pandemic. Experts predict that one out of every four people in the United States will be a victim of this growing crime trend as more people work from home because of COVID-19.  While data from Experian and the National Hunter Fraud Prevention Service shows that fraud rate rises 33% during Covid-19 lockdown. As many as 1 in 10 people are now victims of identity fraud annually, with 21% of these individuals having been victimized multiple times.

When fraud investigators are asked what is the biggest fraud risk to the public at large, identity theft is usually at or near the top of the list. In today’s technologically connected world, criminals can get personal identifying information on countless unsuspecting individuals with just a few keystrokes.

At CRI® Group, our experts have investigated their fair share of identity theft cases, and while they can be very damaging, there is good news – many could have been avoided (and can be avoided in the future) with some proper due diligence. With that in mind, here are some important tips to help lessen the chances of becoming a victim of this insidious fraud:

1. (If/When out) Be careful using public wifi

When using the wifi at a coffee shop, Internet café or any other public place, don’t access bank account information or other sensitive information. Your data is vulnerable to those looking to steal it.

2. Update your passwords regularly

Change your passwords and vary them among different accounts. Password managers like LastPass can help you keep track of them.

3. Don’t become a victim of phishing

Be very skeptical of unsolicited emails or website pop-ups that pose as legitimate sites (like those pretending to be a bank, a delivery service, or the IRS, for example) and ask you for personal identifying information, or financial particulars. Don’t follow links or click on attachments for any of these unconfirmed emails or sites.

4. Consider going paperless

Identity thieves can still get your information the old-fashioned way: by intercepting your mail, going through your trash or finding other ways to get bills, invoices or receipts. Shred documents that you do have and don’t need, and opt to go paperless (requesting electronic documents only) as often as possible.

5. Check your bank and credit card statements

If someone is using your existing accounts, you’ll want to know as quickly as possible so that your bank can be alerted and take the proper measures.

6. Watch for fraud alerts

Most banks will now proactively alert their customers when they see suspicious transactions. If this is an optional service, opt-in – it’s better to be safe than sorry. Then you can confirm whether the transaction is actually fraudulent or not.

7. Monitor your credit history

Credit reports can help you know if any new lines of credit have been fraudulently opened in your name. Services include Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Callcredit, and in the U.S., you are able to receive your credit report once a year at no charge.

Identity theft is a serious problem, and it’s not going away anytime soon. But it’s good to know that there are some common-sense precautions we can all take to lessen our chances of having our information stolen.

If you do become the victim of ID theft, or believe your information may have been compromised, there are resources to help you deal with the crisis.

In the U.S., you can visit IdentityTheft.gov. This official U.S. government website invites users to report if they have been victims of identity theft. Based on the information they provide, victims are assisted with a personalised recovery plan, and can receive step-by-step instructions on how to proceed and navigate the sometimes murky and complicated world of untangling identity theft.

In the UK, ActionFraud National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre provides tips, advice and a reporting system as your first point of contact if you have been a victim of fraud.

Many other countries and jurisdictions provide similar services. If you are a victim of identity theft, rest assured you are not alone. It is one of the most common frauds around the world, but with a little preventative action, we can lessen its incidence and its impact.

Identity theft is a persistent problem in business, but it doesn’t have to be a crisis at your company. By using a common sense approach and some key prevention strategies, you can help ensure that your employees know the rules and are less likely to be victims. For assistance in developing and implementing a fraud prevention strategy, contact us today or get a FREE QUOTE now!

Speak up – report any illegal, unethical, or improper behaviour

Ethics & Compliance Hotline is an anonymous reporting mechanism that facilitates reporting of possible illegal, unethical, or improper conduct when the normal channels of communication have proven ineffective, or are impractical under the circumstances. At CRI Group, we are committed to having an open dialogue on ethical dilemmas regardless.

Learn more about how EmploySmart™ can help your company stay protected during these strange and uncertain times. Contact CRI® Group today.

About us…

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS102000:2013 and BS7858:2019 Certifications is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

MEET THE CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI® Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations. Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center – QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguard businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI® Group Chief Executive Officer

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

Fraud Advisory Panel UK counter fraud 2019 report is out!

Fraud poses a major threat to the UK and the world. The slow progress in fighting fraud in 2019 was evident to all of us with the never-ending stream of news stories documenting bribery and corruption cases around the world in 2019. We documented each with our article on Top 10 Bribery and Corruption Cases of 2019  where we count down the stories:

  • Juniper Networks
  • Alstom
  • Microsoft
  • KPMG
  • Samsung Heavy Industries
  • Fresenius Medical
  • Walmart
  • TechnipFMC
  • Ericsson
  • Unaoil

But these cases helped some of the welcome signs that government and law enforcement were beginning to ratchet-up their interest in fraud with new regulatory updates. 2020 was looking promising to all fraud fighters around the world. Unfortunately COVID-19 pandemic has turned the tide in the fraudsters’ favour – creating the current environment of fear, confusion and economic uncertainty in which fraudsters thrive.

The latest Fraud Advisory Panel’s report, The calm before the storm UK counter fraud in 2019 highlights all of these and more. According to the report the SFO continued to conclude
successful deferred prosecution agreements (though still without converting any of them into individual prosecutions):

  • 53% conviction rate (17 defendants out of 32)
  • 11 criminal investigations opened
  • 8 defendants charged (investigations closed without charge – 14)
  • 16 defendants awaiting trial
  • £3.9m funds recovered
  • 11 new confiscation orders (combined value £4.1m)
  • £1.5m for the first Account Forfeiture Order
  • 70 total caseload

And all of the stories help illustrate the need for organisations to have proper controls in place to prevent bribery and corruption. A certification such as ISO 37001 – Anti-Bribery Management Systems standard can provide a comprehensive approach to mitigating bribery and corruption risk. Organisations of all sizes and industries should take steps now to ensure that they don’t end up on a future list of top bribery and corruption scandals. Only a well resourced, cross-sector, intelligence-led response can tackle fraud.

Staying one step ahead of any critical risk to your organisation is part of being an effective business leader. For assistance in developing and implementing a fraud prevention strategy, contact us today or get a FREE QUOTE now!

Who is CRI Group?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

Fraud Advisory Panel have set up a COVID-19 fraud watch group

The Fraud Advisory Panel have set up a COVID-19 fraud watch group.  A cross-sector and cross-industry coalition of trusted partners (including the Cabinet Office and City of London Police) who meet weekly to share information on emerging fraud threats and trends affecting business. The panel aims to act as a conduit to warn the public, private and third sectors about COVID-19 fraud risks. In addition to supply  preventative actions that can be taken.

Measures announced over recent months to deal with COVID-19 have seen our day-to-day life drastically changed forcing us to spend more time at home and online. Unfortunately, criminals are using every opportunity they can to scam innocent people and businesses.  has also released advice and guidance on how to protect yourself and your business from fraud and cyber crime. This guidance explains simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your business against fraud and cyber crime and where to get help. The National Cyber Security Centre has also published advice on how to spot COVID-19 scams and keep remote working safe.

If you think you’ve been scammed or you’ve found something which looks like fraud or a scam, contact Action Fraud.

Staying one step ahead of any critical risk to your organisation is part of being an effective business leader. For assistance in developing and implementing a fraud prevention strategy, contact us today or get a FREE QUOTE now!

Have you read?

Who is CRI Group?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

COVID-19: Background Screening More Critical Than Ever

The COVID-19 pandemic is fundamentally affecting the world and businesses. In this time of crisis, businesses have to adapt quickly to survive, which sometimes means cutting costs and steps in various business processes, including hiring practices. Unfortunately, neglecting to conduct proper due diligence in pre-employment background screening during COVID-19 can have disastrous consequences.

Many companies are still hiring during the pandemic. Some are hiring at an accelerated rate – especially in the medical profession and industries dealing with infectious diseases, medical supply, pharmaceutical companies and research facilities. Also, supply chains have changed. The increased need for delivery personnel and filling supply gaps in countries under quarantine are driving more hiring and, subsequently, a need for quick and effective pre-employment screening.

For more about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting hiring and increasing risk, download our new FREE ebook: “Employee background screening during COVID-19: everything you need to know & more.” Learn about how “money mule” scammers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis and how EmploySmart™ can help mitigate risk and keep your organisation better protected.

Benefits of background screening

Skipping pre-employment background screening increases the risk of hiring someone who could cause irrevocable damage to your organisation. One bad actor in your hire can have serious consequences from the loss of reputation and brand damage to outright fraud or theft. Conversely, a robust pre-employment check can help you and your company:

  • Reduce turnover & training costs
  • Gain a competitive edge through the hiring of better people
  • Increase productivity – help your employees be more productive knowing that everyone employed by your company has been screened
  • Set your company apart & win more business
  • Reduce employee-related problems
  • Protect company reputation/brand & customer relations
  • Comply with mandates created by state or federal law for certain industries
  • Increase retention
  • Reduce negligent hiring claims
  • Avoid violence in the workplace (threats of violence & actual violence)
  • Reduce theft & espionage
  • Avoid lawsuits & the costs associated with a legal defence
  • Avoid loss of goodwill

EmploySmart™ in a time of crisis

EmploySmart™ is CRI Group’s robust pre-employment background screening service that helps companies of any size and industry avoid negligent hiring liabilities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially important to ensure a safe work environment for all of your employees. EmploySmart™ can be tailored to meet the requirements of each specific position within your company. As a leading worldwide provider of specialised local and international employment background screening, CRI Group’s services are second-to-none in providing risk mitigation and peace of mind in the hiring process.

Timely and robust screening

EmploySmart™ provides a full, quick and efficient in-depth background screening service for candidates and employees at all levels. This covers your bases from senior executives to shop floor employees, from registered nurses and communications associates to social workers, project managers and technicians. Our background screening checks include the following:

  • Address verification (physical verification)
  • Identity verification
  • Previous employment verification
  • Education & credential verification
  • Local Language Media Check
  • Credit verification & financial history (where publicly available)
  • Compliance & regulatory check
  • Civil litigation record check
  • Bankruptcy record check
  • International criminal record check
  • Integrity due diligence … and more.

Manage international hires

In today’s global economy, many corporations engage in international hiring. When doing so, it is critical for each international candidate to verify that they are permitted to work in the region you are recruiting for. You are subject to statutory penalties if you employ foreign nationals who don’t have the correct visas.

Criminal records checks may be required depending on the role you are recruiting, such as roles with children or vulnerable people, which are highly regulated – and the rules for these vary from country to country. Privacy laws also vary, which is why CRI Group’s experts’ research and understand local laws so that you don’t have to. CRI Group has established an interdisciplinary team of experts in employment law, best practice and data protection to manage your employment background screenings across borders for you.

Our specialised approach to employment screening ensures that we operate fully within local laws and in harmony with local culture and customs. Our team have extensive language capabilities, flexible working patterns and intelligent time-zone workflow to provide a comprehensive and fully compliant global screening service.

Learn more about how EmploySmart™ can help your company stay protected during these strange and uncertain times. Contact CRI® Group today.

Who is CRI® Group?

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider.

We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body that provides education and certification services for individuals and organisations on a wide range of disciplines and ISO standards, including ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management- GuidelinesISO 37000:2021 Governance of OrganisationsISO 37002:2021 Whistleblowing Management System, ISO 37301:2021 (formerly ISO 19600) Compliance Management systemAnti-Money Laundering (AML) and ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems.

COVID-19’s impact on Cyber security: is your team safe?

When you download an app and it asks to access your contacts, location, and other information, it seems harmless enough, right? Surely the app will only use your data for its stated purpose, and only when needed? We all know that is not the whole truth. However, with COVID-19 forcing your workforce to embrace new practices of remote working you need to ensure your team’s business data is safe and your cyber security is too. Cybercriminals around the world are capitalising on this crisis, and your employees may not be aware. WHO reports fivefold increase in cyber attacks, urges vigilance, according to the article some 450 active WHO email addresses and passwords were leaked online along with thousands belonging to others working on the novel COVID-19 response.

According to a ScienceDaily article, “7 in 10 smartphone apps share your data with third-party services.” As the article warns:  “More than 70 percent of smartphone apps are reporting personal data to third-party tracking companies like Google Analytics, the Facebook Graph API or Crashlytics. When people install a new Android or iOS app, it asks the user’s permission before accessing personal information. Generally speaking, this is positive. And some of the information these apps are collecting are necessary for them to work properly: A map app wouldn’t be nearly as useful if it couldn’t use GPS data to get a location. But once an app has permission to collect that information, it can share your data with anyone the app’s developer wants to – letting third-party companies track where you are, how fast you’re moving and what you’re doing.”

The article also finds that the problem is not just limited to cell phones and tablets:

“Tracking users on their mobile devices is just part of a larger problem. More than half of the app-trackers we identified also track users through websites. Thanks to this technique, called “cross-device” tracking, these services can build a much more complete profile of your online persona.”

Another article, “Your Apps May Be Selling You Out” by Mondaq, sounds the alarm as well. The authors write that many of us likely aren’t aware of the degree to which our information is shared with advertisers and other third parties when we sign up for various apps. The principle is simple enough:

“If you have ever downloaded a ‘free’ app, you may have pondered how the app’s creator can maintain a financially viable company by giving away its product. The answer soon becomes evident when an advertisement pops up, interrupting your interaction with the app. The less obvious answer may come to you when you uncomfortably wonder how the ad that just popped up somehow relates to the items you browsed on Amazon a few days ago. Coincidence? Probably not. This happens because, in addition to selling advertisements, app creators may also access and sell information collected from your phone to allow advertisers to customize the ads they send to your device.”

How can people reasonably expect to solve this dilemma, and protect their privacy? How can organisations help their teams protect themselves? Short of changing laws, the answer is to be more vigilant in monitoring downloaded apps and our security settings. Follow this advice:

  • Don’t give apps permission to access your personable information. Most app stores require apps to gain permission before using your location, camera or using other information. If you deny the apps these permissions, your personal information should be safe from their grasps.
  • Check the permissions you have granted your existing apps. You may be letting them access personal information without even realizing it (even for apps you don’t use!).
  • Don’t sign up for apps on websites, especially ones you don’t know or trust. You have more protection when they are downloaded through a popular app store.
  • Delete apps that you don’t remember downloading or no longer need/use.
  • Consider adding security and privacy apps that scan your phone to help you find security risks. In other words, apps that police your other apps!

Unfortunately for those of us who frequently use mobile devices and are now working-from-home because of COVID-19 the odds are stacked against us when it comes to controlling and protecting our personal information. The best we can do is be aware of the risk and try to minimize it as best as possible. And to support new laws and regulations that aim to protect consumers and their privacy in all aspects of our “online lives.”

It is important to remember that the same principles that apply to protecting yourself on mobile devices and elsewhere also apply to protecting your business. Just as you must vet your apps, websites and other content to make sure they come from trusted sources, it is also critical to thoroughly check third party partners and perform background checks on potential and existing employees to ensure that your organization doesn’t face unseen risks from fraud and corruption.

CRI Group offers an entire suite of expert services focused on protecting your organization through proper pre-employment screening and background checks. These protections include:

Staying one step ahead of any critical risk to your organisation is part of being an effective business leader. Contact us today to get started on implementing a robust program that will serve you well for years to come. Get your FREE QUOTE now!

CRI Group, based in London, works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Background Screeningand Due Diligence solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations.

CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.
CRI Group has safeguarded businesses from any risks, providing investigations (i.e. insurance fraud), employee background screening, investigative due diligence, business intelligencethird-party risk management, forensic accounting, compliance and other professional investigative research services. In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.