Categories: Cyber, HR & Employment Law | by admin

HR and IT departments have worked together for quite some time, but 2021 may be the year where these two departments fuse more than they ever have before.

The pandemic forced many organizations to re-envision the workplace, and human resource departments have been tasked with a number of new and different responsibilities, ones that technology departments likely specialize in (ie. Increased awareness of cyber security threats).

Many organizations have been working remotely for some time, and many will continue to from here on out – opting for a permanent work from home model. Human Resources and Technology departments alike have had to, and will continue to, keep cyber security at the forefront of their minds when making changes and policies around remote work.

Cyber Security – Why focus on it?

Organizations have likely been focusing on cyber security solutions for their employees for a number of years, but the pandemic forced many organizations to rethink their cyber security practices. Traditionally, physical places of work have built secure and robust technology systems to protect their employees from external cyber threats, but those systems were often built without remote work in mind.

The shift to remote work has forced technology departments to re-think cyber-security and for human resources departments to shift focus and education too. Forbes detailed the top 3 concerns and hazards of remote work earlier this year:

  1. Home Wi-Fi Security
  2. Phishing Scams
  3. Insecure Passwords

How to protect your organization and your employees?

  1. First, make sure your policies are up-to-date; current policies may need to be adjusted to account for long-term or permanent remote-work;
  2. Re-train your employees on how malware and phishing schemes are often used;
  3. Follow-up by testing your employees using phishing messages to see how they perform;
  4. Use multi-factor authentication and require passwords at many stages of the open enrollment process;
  5. Provide accessible IT support – make sure your employees know who to contact if they have a technology or security issue;
  6. Regulate the use of personal devices – current policies on BYOD (bring your own device) may need to be amended as well;
  7. If needed, set up VPNs (virtual privacy networks).

Always communicate – both human resources and technology departments will need to continue to be in constant communication with one another. Technology may likely be responsible for helping develop policies, testing schemes, and training points, but human resources will likely be responsible for rolling out any new initiatives. Keep the lines of communication open, with employees as well. Encourage them to ask questions! Business workflows may still be difficult to navigate in the wake of the pandemic, but cyber security doesn’t have to be one of them. HR departments, alongside IT, can protect their organizations and their employees by providing cybersecurity awareness training, tools and information.