Why is it important for HR to be involved in a company’s cybersecurity?

For more than a decade, cyber security or cybersecurity has been a concern not only for the government but also for the private sector. The accelerated growth of the information technology and e-commerce sector in the United States has also led to an increase in cybercrime, causing economic losses.

Human Resource areas are obviously also vulnerable due to the high level of data handling. Data breaches, data hacks, and identity theft are just three of the crimes that HR departments can fall victim to as they possess sensitive data such as employees’ personal information and salary details.

For this reason, HR departments are key players in the prevention of cyber threats and here we will tell you the important role they play.

Identify risk exposure.

It is a rule of life, before preventing a situation you must recognize it, that is why the human resources area must perform risk assessments. This means that if assessments are done periodically, employee behaviors that are a threat and expose or risk data can be identified.

Cybercriminals are very agile and will take advantage of any carelessness an employee may have. Being in an unsecured position or misplacing an ID card which would allow unrestricted access to networks.

Conducting risk assessments regularly enables you to proactively detect these areas of opportunity before they happen.


Restricting access to data

Data needs protection and HR being a major recipient of much of it can limit the number of people with access to view or use the stored data.

Similarly, HR can establish that employees do not have access to their data at the end of the contract, thus avoiding internal attacks provoked by former employees who have access to the company’s networks. Technological solutions greatly increase the chances of success in the data protection security strategy.

The United States has not adopted any international cybersecurity standards into law.

However, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has created a Cybersecurity Framework, which establishes voluntary standards applicable to critical infrastructure companies. This incorporates many international benchmarks as examples of best practices to help U.S. companies manage and reduce cybersecurity risks and prepare employees who have not been victims of data breaches.

Security policy

It is important that HR departments are involved in the development of the security policy because it ensures not only that the company and its customers are safe from threats, but also the employees.

HR is involved in hiring, delivers codes of conduct, and knows the procedure in case any employee violates the guidelines. In addition, the process of how data should be accessed should also be defined in the policy.

Promoting a culture of cybersecurity

Obviously, promotion is the task of all areas, but HR is the most important player in creating and growing the company culture because it is an employee’s first and last contact.

The culture must be strong and start at the top and spread to the employees. It is the job of the HR department to ensure compliance and to get new employees to integrate and adapt to it so that they understand the risks that exist in their daily actions.

Continuing education on cybersecurity issues

Information security should be a topic of everyday and constant training. Training employees regularly ensure that employees adhere to company best practices and recognize cybersecurity as a business practice.  Cybersecurity is everyone’s job.


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