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Completing the puzzle; Part 2- Checking on people January 28, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in Risk & Risk Management.
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OK..in part one we talked about how to research companies a bit.  Now we move on to people.  Once you have taken a look at the company, you will find the principals.  You want to ensure the principals are on the up and up.  Here is a way to start your search….

1)  Check civil records.  In the US all lawsuits etc. are public record.  Do a google search and you will find a number of places that list civil lawsuits.  Many states will provide access for free while some states are more difficult to access and you are better served to use a third party.  Either way, it is worth the effort.  Start with the state in which the company is incorporated OR where it has its headquarters.  In the US many companies incorporate in Deleware (don’t ask…another blog post).  check the state in which the principal either resides or where they list the HQ.

2) Check military records.  Some people are surprised to find that you can actually get military records on people that have been discharged.  It is completely legal and is your right under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).   Any US Citizen can request a DD214 for ANY former military member and it will be provided.  Here is a link.  Unfortunately there are always those Walter Mitties (Thank you Will McManus for the phrase) that will embellish their military records or flat out lie about what they claim to have done.  In the US, it is relatively easy to check.  Under the FOIA you can get a redacted DD214 (discharge paperwork) that shows, units served, dates, occupational specialties, schools attended, and awards.  If they claim to have a Navy Cross, you can check to see if they are lying.

3) Monster.com and Linkedin.  I am always amazed at how many people will not cross reference their own linked in or monster resume.  Find their profile on linkedin and monster.com AND take a screenshot.  Why?  Experience shows that when people find someone is snooping, they will “update” their profiles to remove any references in which they were less than truthful.  By taking a screenshot, you have the evidence.

4) Check corporate records.  Like I outlined in the first part of the post, check company records.  If someone claims to have owned a company since 1988 and you find that the dates overlap with their linkedin profile showing they were working at McDonalds, you have to question how they could both work at Mickie D’s and own a business?

5) Google, Google, and Google some more 😉  See the previous post.

It is amazing what you can find on individuals with a little work.  All of the information shown above is in the public domain.  Very easy to find and it can provide some very valuable information on the companies you are considering for security work.

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