The HR department has been the custodian for ensuring the employees feel at ease at work. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to employees working from their homes for most of the year. Experts predict it would be the new normal hereon. The change in the workplace scenario brings forth the expertise of HR managers to ensure that good cybersecurity practices are in place while the employees work remotely.
The HR leaders must make the employees understand their responsibilities while they are working remotely. Their awareness of data security issues must be enhanced. There must be adequate processes in place to ensure the employees are aware of the internal IT policy. The HR team must team up with the IT department and ensure adherence to IT best practices.
- Creating robust security plans for remote work
The HR team must first assess the critical dangers that the organization faces as employees increasingly work from home. There are always hackers on the loose who are waiting to pounce on any endpoint vulnerabilities or using phishing emails and social engineering to target the company. The HR team must formulate adequate security policies to plug any security gaps.
The incumbent policy must be reviewed, and additions must be made to ensure the company's networks are secure. The plan must cover the expectations from each employee while they are using their devices. It should also include an incident response plan that will detail the steps an employee must take to help recover and respond to any security event.
- Watch out for security threats
As technological advancements happen, hackers too are using newer techniques to target your networks. The HR team must stay abreast of the latest techniques that can wreak havoc on the company networks. Now, as the employees are working remotely, the team must also find the ways and means of reaching out to the employees and keeping them abreast of these threats.
Security threats like phishing mail, eavesdropping attack, and more can make employees leave their sensitive information, leading to a devastating attack on the company's networks. The HR department must formulate robust security practices like suggesting using a VPN and undertaking security audits in association with the IT team. They must utilize technology to monitor the access to critical documents in the company. HR Software is also highly recommended to ensure cybersecurity.
- The use of an SSL certificate
The team must ensure that the SSL certificate is installed as it can easily prevent man-in-the-middle attacks. It can encrypt the communication being exchanged by the web server and the visitor's browser. It will also help prevent any attack on the server data containing confidential company-related information and employee records.
It is also necessary to ensure that the employees only visit secure websites and always check the padlock on the address bar. Insecure websites can be used to lure them into parting with their personal information. They must also not click links from unknown entities. In today’s time, a website should have strong online security like an SSL certificate. Many players are there in the market who are offering cheap SSL certificates for website security. SSL becomes inevitable security for any website.
- Create awareness campaigns
It must be noted that merely creating the policies and procedures is not enough to ensure that employees abide by them. The HR team must rope in the IT team and the creative team to devise awareness campaigns and proactively reach out to them.
The key points from the internal security policy can be used to create mailers and newsletters and sent out to the employees periodically. The creative team can help by designing engaging content that will be an instant hit with the employees. The teams must jointly develop strategies to ensure that the employees understand the precautions they must take to prevent any hacker from accessing their devices.
- Discuss more with stakeholders for adequate controls
With remote working being the norm, the HR team must assess the security situation and link up with the stakeholders to finalize adequate security controls. The security controls must be rolled out without making it stressful for employees. Rather than imposing it upon them, the HR managers must explain the reason why they are needed.
The usability of the systems must be tested before being rolled out. You must ensure doubts are clarified. It is even better to have a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that makes acceptance easier for employees. They must also be open to employee feedback and try to incorporate them in the FAQs too.
- Appropriate staff training
It is suggested that undertaking online training will help your employees to get acquainted with the security processes. The training could cover the acceptable activities while they are online and the websites they can visit. It will also cover adequate cybersecurity software training and the steps to be taken to report breaches.
If they use their own devices, you can inform them how safety mechanisms can also involve their family members. The benefits of using a VPN can be taken up, and the need to visit only secure websites be discussed in detail. The training can help ascertain that your employees will commit to the safety of their official work devices.
The pandemic has led to a change in the way various organizations work. With more employees working from home, it has been a nightmare for the HR team to ensure everything works as before. They must also consider whether adequate data security processes are in place to prevent a data breach.
The HR managers must ensure robust systems are in place to mitigate risks from hackers as employees from their homes. A robust IT policy formulated in association with various stakeholders can show the path ahead.