Cyber attacks have been a dreadful phenomenon across the world for the past few years causing financial and reputational damage for the organization across manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, telecommunication, pharmaceuticals, education, retail, and many other sectors. This threat is only likely to escalate with the digital revolution happening across the business. Among any organization, its human resource department is a juicy target for cyber attackers. The HR departments are bombarded with emails and attachments from job seekers, and it is a rich source for hackers and cybercriminals to act on. Professionals cannot avoid opening emails and attachments from people they do not know.
The sensitive information including financial and personal data attracts malicious actors, but many organizations have scope for improvement in their threat prevention plans. The primary step a company can take to secure its information is ensuring the HR team is appropriately vetted. HR professionals handle the most sensitive employee data and are involved in complex organizational operations such as recruiting, promoting, and even firing of staff.
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It is common that many HR employees don’t have an adequate background in cybersecurity, and they do play a significant role in thwarting cyber attacks. They must be made aware of fundamental principles of information security, for instance being attentive of suspicious texts and URLs, grammar, and not opening emails that raise concerns. They should also alert the corresponding information security teams about suspicious activities if found any. HR professionals are the ones who are empowered to train employees and implement cybersecurity policies in the company. It is essential for HR personnel to be vigilant and invest in the most advanced tools for securing the perimeter company.
If an organization is outsourcing recruitment or staffing agency, it is imperative to conduct an assessment of that agency the company is working with. With any third party, there is an inherent risk of compromising on sensitive information.
Implementing each of the best practices stated above can make the HR department better equipped in dealing with cyberattacks and protect sensitive information and finally the organization in its entirety.