Privacy and Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is not just for the IT group. Digital threats are getting bigger and scarier and they target everyone. Here's how HR can help spread the word and raise vigilance.

Using any digital device — computer, laptop, tablet, phone — makes every employee a target. Hackers, criminals, and cyberthieves hope some employee will be the weak link that opens doors into a lucrative target.

Here's what the HR team needs to know and how they can work with IT to spread the word and raise vigilance inside your business.

Why is this a concern now?

  • The IT team would argue that security has always been a concern. However, what has changed is everyone's involvement in the digital world.
  • Technology platforms are bigger targets than ever given the criticality of items they control and store.
  • Date volume and value has grown exponentially. This is the goldmine criminals want to tap.
  • Our digital work interconnects us. These connections entice hackers. A small-value target can be the gateway to a more lucrative mark.
  • Hackers and cyberthieves are more sophisticated, better organized, better funded, and harder to catch.

What makes a weak link?

  • Employees who don't understand how they are targets. Employees rarely think about cybersecurity. Education goes a long way in helping them understand how and why hackers try to attack a company through its employees.
  • People who click before they think. Hackers are more clever than ever. They often send phishing emails that look legitimate. It only takes one click done without thinking to open up a security hole.
  • Staff who believe security is IT's job. Many staff assume that IT bears the responsibility for corporate security. In today's interconnected world, however, security is everyone's job.

How can HR help?

  • Clearly state security policies. Work with IT to understand why security policies are in place and then explain them in simple terms to employees.
  • Show the ways hackers target employees. Share real-life examples with employees so they can see how simple it is for hackers to gain entry.
  • Educate employees early and often. Security training is not a one-and-done deal. It requires vigilance and repetition to be sure employees understand their role in keeping the business secure.
  • Call in the experts when you need help. If you don't feel comfortable with this topic, don't think you have the expertise, or simply want to cover your bases, it's okay to call in an expert.

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