Five top tips for dealing with HR data security issues

Updated: Jul 4

HR ADVICE: System hacks, information leaks, and identity thefts are some of the security issues HR professionals may encounter as they use new technologies at work. If not dealt with properly, such cyber attacks could damage the organisation.

The HR department handles sensitive information every day, from salary history to performance reviews. This is why HR must be proactive in managing and ensuring cybersecurity. Below are five things they should incorporate into their work practices.

1. Stay informed and updated with data security issues and trends.

In any type of work environment, HR should be aware of any risky behavior that might expose the company to data breaches or cyber assaults. For instance, since most companies allow a remote setup for employees nowadays, securing information they use at work is a challenge. In coffee shops, they may connect to unsecured Wi-Fi, which could lead to the accessibility of employee data.

Other data issues could be present in the day-to-day processes being executed by HR. The use of chatbots and internal and third-party or cloud applications could make HR data vulnerable to threats if there are no proper security systems in place.

2. Adopt best practices for data collection and storage.

HR should work with the company's technical staff in ensuring that security protocols and software for safeguarding sensitive information are updated and being observed.

Ensuring the development and strict implementation of privacy policies is also critical. Moreover, HR must comply with federal regulations in terms of using, managing, keeping and protecting information.

3. Provide continuous training on cybersecurity management.

Firms are gradually embracing digital technologies and systems that require large amounts of data, and the HR department is often a huge part of such initiatives. To ensure a smooth transition to digitization, HR should organize learning sessions for their department as well as for the rest of the workplace. Understanding how data security threats could harm the operational processes will allow HR to identify and contribute to providing the best solutions for potential issues and risks.

4. Integrate cybersecurity into the company culture.

As companies become more data-driven, how employees behave, perform, and interact with others would change. To strengthen data protection, HR should start a campaign for cybersecurity awareness within the organization. Apart from educational sessions, HR should ensure that departments are well-informed of data processing issues that occur in the company. Employees should understand the causes, risks, consequences, and what they can do in order to prevent future breaches.

5. Review the company's policies on data usage, collection, and storage.

HR must be involved in enforcing company-wide compliance with the policies for using, collecting, and storing data as well as in utilizing the tools needed for those activities. The quality of information security and data management in an organization can affect its operations and how individuals perform their jobs. For instance, it is important to know the rules that are applied to company-issued devices and to personal devices that employees use at work.

While data security seems a complicated area for non-IT professionals, it has become a critical part of an organization's system. The challenge for HR is not just to learn how modern tools work but also to ensure that people understand the changes and issues that come with using them and navigate them with proper guidance and leadership.

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