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6 Ways HR Can Help Prevent a Cybersecurity Breach

March 5, 2024

The more the world goes digital, the more there is to exploit online. This is why cybersecurity breaches have become a growing concern for many companies. Research shows that 88% of all cybersecurity breaches are due to human error according to data from Stanford University and a leading cybersecurity company. Therefore, whilst implementing technical safeguards is incredibly important for protecting digital assets, mitigating the human risk aspect is also crucial. This is why the role of HR in minimising cybersecurity risks can be huge for companies looking to protect their online assets. In this blog, we'll explore the ways HR departments can help cybersecurity efforts and help prevent data breaches within their organisations.

Understanding the Human Element of Cybersecurity

Before discussing the ways HR can help cybersecurity, it’s important to understand how the human element threatens cybersecurity. Whilst digital firewalls and methods of preventing cybersecurity breaches have majorly progressed in recent years, people’s attitude towards online security hasn’t seen as much of an increase. It’s still common to see people falling victim to phishing scams, using weak passwords or the same one for multiple accounts, and mishandling sensitive information. Employees often inadvertently compromise their organisation’s cybersecurity.

This is why HR leaders are uniquely positioned to address these issues and help form ways in which employees are aware of the risks posed by improper online safety and the ways in which this can be tackled.

1. Recruitment and Onboarding Practices

The first line of defence against cybersecurity threats begins with the recruitment and onboarding process. HR impacts this massively, as they can incorporate cybersecurity responsibilities as part of their onboarding. This could be done via a course from the HR leader, via an online tutorial using pre recorded footage, or even a simple word document highlighting the importance of cybersecurity and the organisation’s common practices to avoid a breach.

2. Cybersecurity Training and Awareness Programs

Whilst onboarding is a great opportunity for cybersecurity training, what about employees already at the company? HR departments can collaborate with IT and cybersecurity teams to develop and implement training initiatives that educate employees about common cybersecurity risks, best practices for safeguarding training initiatives that educate employees about common cybersecurity risks, best practices for safeguarding sensitive information and the importance of adhering to company security policies.

3. Proper Password Practices

So, we’ve explained when and how to train employees on cybersecurity practices – but what are the actual ways you can help prevent it? A great place to start is of course with passwords. Properly managing your organisation’s passwords is essential to making sure they’re not collected by malicious online users. This can be done by:

Using a different password for each account and user

It’s often for an employee to use the same password for multiple accounts – this means a hacker only needs one password to access lots of company accounts.

Include numbers, special symbols, and at least 16 characters in a password

This makes it harder for brute force attacks to determine your password.

Change passwords for crucial accounts regularly

This can be tedious, but changing passwords is great for preventing data breaches as employees who have left a company will still know of these passwords. This should be done especially for critical accounts, such as bank or executive level accounts.

Use password managers

Keeping track of all the different passwords we’ve recommended to employ can be especially difficult. Using password managers is a great way for keeping your passwords stored in a single place securely, and by one or a few people as opposed to spread across an entire team. When sharing passwords make sure to use encrypted software like Mega (which is also great for generating secure keys).

4. Secure Network Perimeters

Securing your company’s network perimeter involves implementing measures to protect the boundary between internal and external networks, therefore controlling access to and from the organisation’s IT infrastructure. This can be done by:

  • Implementing firewalls, intrusion detection systems (ISD), and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) to monitor and control the network traffic.
  • You can also use VPNs for remote access to company resources to ensure encryption of data whilst being transferred.
  • Segmenting network environments can also prevent cybersecurity breaches as they restrict access based on user roles and privileges.

5.Control Access to Data

Limiting who can access certain data in your organisation is another great method for preventing a breach. This can be done by implementing role-based access controls (RBAC) to limit access to sensitive data and systems based on an employees’ job role and responsibilities.

For example, a recent employee in the sales department does not need access to sensitive documents in the finances department. This is often a common occurrence as companies give access to all shared files. Managing who sees what information is a critical step to information safety. Monitoring and logging user activities to detect unauthorised access or suspicious behaviour can be a further step to making sure your company’s sensitive information is not seen by the wrong people.

6. Back-up Data Regularly

Whilst there’s lots you can do to prevent a cybersecurity breach, it’s impossible to be 100% safe. Therefore, it’s good to have a back-up of your company’s data in the event of a cybersecurity breach. Make sure this is regularly backed up and stored in a secure place. You should test your mode of back-up regularly to make sure it’s working and that your data is stored correctly. You can even consider leveraging cloud-based backup solutions for added security.

Conclusion:

The role of HR can’t be understated in helping prevent cybersecurity breaches. By implementing proactive measures such as ongoing training, onboarding and awareness programs highlighting some of the tips shared above your organisation will be well on its way to being a lot safer in the digital world.

As a recruitment company dedicated to helping businesses build high-performing teams, Paradigm understands the critical importance of cybersecurity in safeguarding our clients' success. Contact us today to learn how we can support your organisation's cybersecurity efforts and recruit top talent with the skills and expertise to protect your digital assets effectively.

6 Ways HR Can Help Prevent a Cybersecurity Breach

March 5, 2024

The more the world goes digital, the more there is to exploit online. This is why cybersecurity breaches have become a growing concern for many companies. Research shows that 88% of all cybersecurity breaches are due to human error according to data from Stanford University and a leading cybersecurity company. Therefore, whilst implementing technical safeguards is incredibly important for protecting digital assets, mitigating the human risk aspect is also crucial. This is why the role of HR in minimising cybersecurity risks can be huge for companies looking to protect their online assets. In this blog, we'll explore the ways HR departments can help cybersecurity efforts and help prevent data breaches within their organisations.

Understanding the Human Element of Cybersecurity

Before discussing the ways HR can help cybersecurity, it’s important to understand how the human element threatens cybersecurity. Whilst digital firewalls and methods of preventing cybersecurity breaches have majorly progressed in recent years, people’s attitude towards online security hasn’t seen as much of an increase. It’s still common to see people falling victim to phishing scams, using weak passwords or the same one for multiple accounts, and mishandling sensitive information. Employees often inadvertently compromise their organisation’s cybersecurity.

This is why HR leaders are uniquely positioned to address these issues and help form ways in which employees are aware of the risks posed by improper online safety and the ways in which this can be tackled.

1. Recruitment and Onboarding Practices

The first line of defence against cybersecurity threats begins with the recruitment and onboarding process. HR impacts this massively, as they can incorporate cybersecurity responsibilities as part of their onboarding. This could be done via a course from the HR leader, via an online tutorial using pre recorded footage, or even a simple word document highlighting the importance of cybersecurity and the organisation’s common practices to avoid a breach.

2. Cybersecurity Training and Awareness Programs

Whilst onboarding is a great opportunity for cybersecurity training, what about employees already at the company? HR departments can collaborate with IT and cybersecurity teams to develop and implement training initiatives that educate employees about common cybersecurity risks, best practices for safeguarding training initiatives that educate employees about common cybersecurity risks, best practices for safeguarding sensitive information and the importance of adhering to company security policies.

3. Proper Password Practices

So, we’ve explained when and how to train employees on cybersecurity practices – but what are the actual ways you can help prevent it? A great place to start is of course with passwords. Properly managing your organisation’s passwords is essential to making sure they’re not collected by malicious online users. This can be done by:

Using a different password for each account and user

It’s often for an employee to use the same password for multiple accounts – this means a hacker only needs one password to access lots of company accounts.

Include numbers, special symbols, and at least 16 characters in a password

This makes it harder for brute force attacks to determine your password.

Change passwords for crucial accounts regularly

This can be tedious, but changing passwords is great for preventing data breaches as employees who have left a company will still know of these passwords. This should be done especially for critical accounts, such as bank or executive level accounts.

Use password managers

Keeping track of all the different passwords we’ve recommended to employ can be especially difficult. Using password managers is a great way for keeping your passwords stored in a single place securely, and by one or a few people as opposed to spread across an entire team. When sharing passwords make sure to use encrypted software like Mega (which is also great for generating secure keys).

4. Secure Network Perimeters

Securing your company’s network perimeter involves implementing measures to protect the boundary between internal and external networks, therefore controlling access to and from the organisation’s IT infrastructure. This can be done by:

  • Implementing firewalls, intrusion detection systems (ISD), and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) to monitor and control the network traffic.
  • You can also use VPNs for remote access to company resources to ensure encryption of data whilst being transferred.
  • Segmenting network environments can also prevent cybersecurity breaches as they restrict access based on user roles and privileges.

5.Control Access to Data

Limiting who can access certain data in your organisation is another great method for preventing a breach. This can be done by implementing role-based access controls (RBAC) to limit access to sensitive data and systems based on an employees’ job role and responsibilities.

For example, a recent employee in the sales department does not need access to sensitive documents in the finances department. This is often a common occurrence as companies give access to all shared files. Managing who sees what information is a critical step to information safety. Monitoring and logging user activities to detect unauthorised access or suspicious behaviour can be a further step to making sure your company’s sensitive information is not seen by the wrong people.

6. Back-up Data Regularly

Whilst there’s lots you can do to prevent a cybersecurity breach, it’s impossible to be 100% safe. Therefore, it’s good to have a back-up of your company’s data in the event of a cybersecurity breach. Make sure this is regularly backed up and stored in a secure place. You should test your mode of back-up regularly to make sure it’s working and that your data is stored correctly. You can even consider leveraging cloud-based backup solutions for added security.

Conclusion:

The role of HR can’t be understated in helping prevent cybersecurity breaches. By implementing proactive measures such as ongoing training, onboarding and awareness programs highlighting some of the tips shared above your organisation will be well on its way to being a lot safer in the digital world.

As a recruitment company dedicated to helping businesses build high-performing teams, Paradigm understands the critical importance of cybersecurity in safeguarding our clients' success. Contact us today to learn how we can support your organisation's cybersecurity efforts and recruit top talent with the skills and expertise to protect your digital assets effectively.

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