Keeping the Company Safe: Human Resource’s Role in Cybersecurity

With modern employees working remotely and on multiple devices nowadays, the need for increased cybersecurity is more prevalent than ever. Unprotected computers are easy targets for cybercrime, and make companies vulnerable to security breaches and hacks by cybercriminals. The risk of a security breach could be detrimental to the prosperity of a business and the digital health of its employees.

To help combat the risk of cybercrime, information technology and human resources can work together to keep everyone’s information safe. Because human resources professionals have a strong understanding of human behavior, their role is imperative in detecting potential threats and mistakes from their employees.

Similarly, information technology professionals can help human resources by implementing strategies on the back end that detect these risks. If human resource professionals hire trustworthy employees while information technology implements and monitors security precautions, the risk for data breaches can decrease significantly.

How can you keep your information safe?

Technology & Training

There are various things HR professionals can stay on top of and encourage their employees to do in order to ensure their technology is doing all it can to keep information secure. One of the most important of these is informing and frequently updating employees on how to use the technology necessary through an implemented training program.

First and foremost, provide employees with secure hardware and software from the get-go. As a company, dig into the available options for hardware and software to make sure you are spending money on certified safe devices and software for your industry. Whether you need phone services, contact center solutions, a messaging platform, video conferencing technology or other tools, you’ll want to implement a secure and reliable unified communications suite. Do some research to ensure whatever devices you choose meet the criteria for safety certifications such as HIPAA or HITECH compliance, depending on your industry.

Once these solutions have been chosen and purchased, implement a cybersecurity training program for all employees to learn what potential risks exist, what tools have been put in place to help mitigate those risks and how those tools work. A few basic solutions to start with include: emailing IT when suspicious emails come through, updating software as soon as possible, and avoiding using unsecured wifi networks if working offsite.

Policies & Monitoring Activity

With digital storage and server advancements making it easier than ever to gather and share data, the need for a secure platform increases dramatically. This is especially true when considering the financial and personal information that human resources handles every day. One safety precaution that’s important for HR departments to take suggests implementing a technology clean-up policy.

This type of policy requires employees to clear out their outdated cloud space, computers and phones used for company business every so often. Old pay statements, health insurance documents and performance evaluations should be cleared out of the system as they become obsolete.

Human resources should also collaborate with information technologies to monitor employees’ activity online. One key to cybersecurity is ensuring company information is in the right hands and the right hands only. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, monitoring authentication and authorization can help detect who is using a program and whether they have the right to carry out certain activities. Companies can do this through implementing detection systems, which have the capabilities to alert human resources when employees access or download documents that they normally wouldn’t. This is especially important for keeping classified insurance information, social security numbers, bank information and health records secure for all employees.

Final Thoughts

Utilizing these tools and policies will give HR the control necessary to ensure classified company and employee information is safe and secure. From monitoring employee activity to requiring frequent updates, implementing different forms of checks and balances allows all bases to be loaded in terms of data protection.