Cybersecurity in this digital age is becoming an organizational concern. Many people do not think that HR professionals, for instance, have nothing to worry about when information leaks, data hacks, and identity thefts happen. However, every employee needs to practice basic cyber hygiene for a company to be safe.
HR professionals handle a lot of sensitive business data. This includes employee personal information, salary details, etc., which can cause massive damage if leaked. Thus, HR professionals are in an excellent position to prevent cyber threats. This article explores the role of HR in an organization's cybersecurity.
Here are a few things HR professionals can do
Identify an Organization's Risk Exposure
The first step to preventing threats is recognizing them. An organization's HR can determine its risk exposure by regularly conducting a risk assessment. Regular assessments help establish what risky employee behaviors can expose an organization to data breaches or other threats.
For instance, a risk assessment by HR can help an organization discover an unsecured workstation. It can also reveal whether employees have misplaced their ID cards. These are employee errors that can give cybercriminals sensitive information or uncensored access to an organization's network.
Besides, risk assessments help organizations customize their training modules. It can be challenging to provide the right kind of employee training if you don't know what threats your organization could be vulnerable to, making risk assessments even more vital.
Employee Data Controls and Access
There are a variety of ways to protect sensitive data. One of them is putting in place different access controls to this information. A good data management strategy needs access controls to ensure that only a specific set of people can see or use the data stored on an organization's network.
The HR department can help a business set up and implement access controls. HR can define the data that an employee needs to use even before hiring or onboarding them. They also need to ensure that the employee doesn't have access to this information at the end of their contract.
Thankfully, there are some IP rotating residential proxies and other digital solutions that can help them do this. HR can use proxies to prevent access from employees once they terminate their contracts. Proxies can enable HR to avoid insider attacks planned by former employees who have some form of access to company networks.
It has become difficult to work without tech solutions in every business aspect. Proxies are some of the tech solutions helping businesses step up and deal with cyber threats. They make securing sensitive data easier and increase the chances of a business's security strategy succeeding.
Help in Security Policy Making
Security policy-making is very important for organizations. Every department, including HR, has a role in making and implementing organizational security policies. This ensures that the firm, its clients, and the workforce are always safe from different threats.
The role of HR in policy-making and implementation starts during recruitment. They need to do consensual pre-employment background checks to know their prospective hires more. They also need to issue employees with a code of conduct and sign it before hiring them.
Besides, HR needs to encrypt all employee files and have policies on how employees can access them. It is also vital for HR to work with a firm's management when employees violate guidelines. They should take part in the investigation and also help press charges against offenders.
Promote a Cybersecurity Culture
Technically, promoting a cybersecurity culture in a company is everyone's role. HR is one of the most critical players when it comes to creating and nurturing company culture. This is because it is the first and last employee contact point in every organization.
The HR industry needs to show employees why the organization's cybersecurity matters. It also needs to define the employees' role in ensuring the company's network is safe early enough. This will help reduce neglect as it will bring a sense of responsibility.
New hires also need to see the cybersecurity culture the first time they interact with the organization through HR. This is because recently onboarded employees can be the weakest link in a company. Creating a mindset in them that the risk is real and their daily actions impact that risk is essential.
A robust cybersecurity culture should always exist within a business. It needs to start from the top management and trickle down to a firm's employees. The HR and other departments need to work together to ensure that every new employee understands the culture and fits in well.
Educate Employees on Cybersecurity
For information security to be effective, there needs to be a continuous training process. Every organization needs to train its employees on information security regularly. This ensures that employees recognize cybersecurity as a standard business practice and stick to the company's best practices.
The HR department has a massive role to play in employee information security training. They need to integrate security pieces of training into new-hire orientations. This includes emphasizing the threats that the firm is vulnerable to and what employee practices can help to prevent them from happening.
A robust security-awareness program can help a business boost its security. Through training, employees who have not come across data breaches and hacking can react appropriately. This helps to prevent attacks such as phishing or drastically reduce their risk.
Every piece of training should push the understanding that a firm's cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility. This makes it easy to implement policies and even promote the security culture we mentioned above.
Those are some of the ways that HR can contribute to an organization's cybersecurity. However, this list isn't exhaustive as there are many more things that HR can do. For instance, HR is also responsible for monitoring remote workers because they pose more security threats to an organization.
We have already mentioned essential roles of HR, such as policy-making. HR needs to maintain well-documented policies and ensure that every new hire understands them. This includes procedures for reporting threats, responding to them efficiently, etc., to safeguard a firm and its data.
The rising threat of cybercrime has made security too critical to overlook. Besides, it has made online security a whole organization's role and not only for information technology security specialists. The insights mentioned above can help HR professionals contribute positively to a firm's cybersecurity.
About the Author: Dan has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.