Yes. It is possible to work in cybersecurity with a felon; however, this will most often depend on certain important factors such as the severity of the crime and how long ago the crime was committed.
Cyber security positions within the government tend to have stricter requirements regarding criminal backgrounds than do positions in the private sector.
Cybersecurity professionals are known to have access to a company’s intellectual property and the very sensitive information of clients.
To guarantee that they hire qualified, trustworthy candidates, businesses that employ these professionals most often carry out background checks.
The essence of these background checks will be to investigate an applicant’s criminal history, certifications, education, former employment, as well as other information related to the job.
The information companies obtain from a cyber security background check will often depend on the searches they request and the applicant’s background.
If the position necessitates a security clearance, then the company might ask for more extensive searches and equally carry out a fingerprint-based search. Truth be told, everyone makes mistakes. But mistakes that result in felonies can negatively impact your career.
However, if you intend to work in the cyber security industry and have a criminal record, your past is one issue you’ll have to address.
Factors That Determine the Possibility of Working in Cyber Security With a Felony
Felonies vs. Misdemeanors
A good number of jobs in the cyber security field will necessitate security clearance; however, you have to understand that the level of security clearance will indeed vary depending on the job title or the company you intend to work for. Nevertheless, note that security clearance at any level will require a background check.
It simply entails that the investigating agency will evaluate every bit of your past legal history, coupled with your previous addresses and places of employment.
If it is a misdemeanor on your record and not a felony, you have a better chance as it will only dampen your chances, but in most instances will not automatically disqualify you.
If your record includes more than one felony or multiple misdemeanors, a good number of agencies will consider that as a negative pattern of decision-making and judgment, and this will definitely impede you.
The Nature of the Crime
If the crime you committed was a white-collar crime like theft, embezzlement, or tax fraud, you should just forget about getting a job in this industry, as most employers believe that those types of crimes will negatively impede their business.
Howbeit, if your crime was something like a minor drug possession or a lesser crime that can be viewed as youthful exuberance and show that you have outgrown that flair, then it is possible to convince the employer to offer you an opportunity.
The Timing of the Crime
Keep in mind that this particular factor remains the most important factor. For instance, if you are in your late twenties or early thirties, and the crime you were involved in took place when you were 18, then it is possible to make your employer understand that the crime was committed out of exuberance and that you have grown to become a more responsible citizen.
The Cyber Security Job You Are Applying For
Keep in mind that as someone with a felony, it can be daunting to get a job in the government sector as against getting a cybersecurity job with a private sector employer.
Private sector employers are usually more flexible and can make adjustments to their decision-making and hiring process as they see fit.
However, the government tends to be more restrictive and might not deviate from their hiring standards and practices. A private company might not even necessitate a security clearance (except when they are acting as a contractor for the government), but will most definitely carry out a background check, particularly if they are a big establishment.
A good number of small employers might not indulge in complete background checks but might carry out basic judicial case searches within the state.