Data breaches are all too common, and no business is safe from a cyber-attack. As an employer looking to hire top talent, much of your focus is placed on the credentials of prospective employees. However, are you minding the processes you have set in place to protect the information of those you’re profiling for a job?
No matter the size, cybercriminals will target any business and likely look to breach human resources and recruitment teams. Unfortunately, this is where the transfer of the most personal information commonly occurs.
Taking precautionary steps is the only way to prevent attacks from happening and to ensure all employee information is secure. The loss of personal data can be detrimental to business. Companies run the risk of losing credibility, destroying their reputation and taking a hit on their financial bottom line.
So, what can be done to ensure the latter doesn’t happen to your company? We’ve got five tips to help make sure your HR data stays safe and secure.
Determine What Information Is Necessary
Recruiters and human resources departments often ask for sensitive and confidential information. Take the time to review your hiring process and evaluate the information you are seeking at each stage of the hiring process. The most confidential information, such as social security numbers, should only be necessary when you are close to making a job offer or are in the process of completing a background check after an offer has been accepted. In all other scenarios, hold off on requiring sensitive information for as long as possible. The less information that your company stores, the less risk you have to manage.
Connect Your Tools
The modern recruiting and hiring process often involves several means of communication. From online application submission to remote interviews conducted via phone and video conferencing to frequent email exchanges, there are often several devices and systems used throughout the process.
The best way to protect your company and prospective employees is by connecting all of your communication methods to be compatible with one device. Nowadays, your computer can be used for every standard form of business communication with the use of an internet connection. VoIP capabilities also allow you to get rid of your landlines and outdated phone systems, providing the ability to make phone calls through your internet-connected device. After all, securing one device is easier and more foolproof than trying to sync many to do the same job.
Protect From Malware Attacks
Ensuring that your servers are secure seems like a daunting task, but it is easier than it seems (and more important than you realize). Partner with your IT department and determine if the correct steps are being taken to protect sensitive information from any type of malware attack. Malware is software designed to dismantle computer systems so that it can steal sensitive information. Commonly, malware looks to obtain keystrokes, acquire your credentials and slow down your internet connection in order to use your company computers to spam and attack others. To break it down, you must have the appropriate software and systems in place to ensure that your network is secure. Install anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-ransomware software to ensure that nothing malicious runs rampant through company files.
Encrypt and Secure
Securing messages and sensitive files is an extra step in verifying that those who are not meant to access internal information cannot easily do so. Essentially, securing and encrypting an email means that information is protected because the contents of each message is scrambled.
Intended recipients should have the required credentials to decrypt the information beforehand. It is recommended that you do not transfer these credentials digitally, as that information can easily be discovered and used by those who are not meant to have access.
Set Team Standard
Each person that applies for a job at your place of business is trusting you to keep their information safe. Whether applications are mailed in and scanned into your system or sent via email, applicants are trusting you with their most personal information.
Addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers and the personal information of references can often be found in a single document, which is what makes HR and recruiting a prime target for cybercriminals to hack. Invest in applicant tracking or human capital management technology that embraces a robust approach to data security and initiate internal processes and procedures for handling and guarding sensitive information.
Keeping data secure is an essential part of HR management, especially during the recruiting and hiring process when large amounts of personal information are exchanged. Keep security top of mind throughout the process and make sure everyone in the organization understands the importance of these sensitive measures.
Article provided by Bianca Casey, Tech Writer
Bianca Casey is an enthusiast of all things internet and safety, especially in regard to the business world. She often spends her time reading about tech trends and their relation to the workforce we operate in today.
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