Data collation is one of the most viable ways of monitoring and gauging employee performance metrics. Every forward-thinking organization knows that. It bolsters talent acquisition, lowers attrition rates, and maximizes workforce productivity.
However, over-relying on this approach without proper safety measures can be devastating to your business. We’re in a time when cyber crimes and data breaches are ravaging the industrial sector.
In 2022, 85% of global organizations experienced bulk phishing attacks, and in the United States, 59,000 cases of personal data breaches were reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Centre. Sadly, the stats have shown no signs of regression.
So how does an HR team keep a tab on employee productivity amidst the maddening scenario of cyber crimes? Well, you’re about to find out.
The IT team is primarily responsible for handling issues of cyber-security, but with data collection and employee productivity coming into the picture, this piece explores the roles of HR in creating a safe work environment through data security.
Roles of HRM in balancing data security and employee productivity
We must understand what HRM is before going into detail. HRM stands for Human Resource Management. It’s a tactical approach to overseeing the growth and well-being of an organization’s workforce and creating an atmosphere that fosters positive work experiences.
Typically, HR departments oversee the collection and processing of varieties of data from job applicants, new and old employees, contractors and what have you. This data may include sensitive information about work history, health status, income levels, and job compensations to name but a few.
Since data security and privacy also enhance workforce productivity, the burden naturally falls on the HR department to devise and implement company policies that protect these details. Check out how HR professionals can successfully impact this process;
- Choosing a Web Proxy Server
Web proxy services have one common feature, high-security standards. They serve as a countermeasure for cyber threats and data breaches. For most organizations, residential proxies are the go-to option due to their wide range of legitimate IP addresses and higher levels of anonymity.
As an HR professional, choosing the best residential proxy lowers and eliminates the risks of cyber attacks. It heightens your security profile by preventing malicious content and scanning for malware programs capable of hijacking your organization’s database.
The best residential web proxy server services allow data encryption. This secures your data from getting intercepted by hackers when accessing public wifi and other websites. It also adds an extra layer of security through user authentication, allowing you to restrict and grant access to specific content and data.
Although web proxies have other functions and use cases like SEO and web scraping, network segmentation, load balancing, and more, their usage depends on your business needs and goals.
- Managing business payroll
Payroll payment processing systems are one of the most significant points of entry for cybercriminals. It involves handling highly classified data such as personal information, bank account details, salary, and other personal information that hackers find alluring.
HR can use third-party service providers with high cyber security measures to prevent phishing attacks, data theft, and other means by which hackers divert electronic payments.
For instance, global companies that transact with digital currencies can leverage crypto payroll solutions from Toku to fast-track cross-border payments. It uses a decentralized platform that allows you to transact directly with employees without third-party influence. This prevents hackers from gaining access to your payment processes or having knowledge of your transactions.
Other security measures include;
- Regular updates of payroll and security systems
- System alert configurations to detect and report malicious activities
- Emergency action strategies to counter potential breaches and unauthorized access
Cybercriminals are unflinching in bypassing security systems especially those involving payroll processes. As such, paying close attention to payroll management security measures could greatly reduce the risk of data breaches.
- Compliance with data protection laws
It is the sole responsibility of HR professionals to protect employee and organizational data at every point. This includes staying updated with laws binding data protection and privacy to ensure businesses fulfill all legal and regulatory demands.
However, these laws usually vary depending on jurisdiction and firm. For instance, the EU GDPR has it that sensitive information like employee data can’t go beyond the borders of the European Union unless certain measures have been put in place.
- Controlling data access
When employees give out sensitive personal information to an organization, it’s only normal that they expect a high level of confidentiality in return. How this information is used and who has access to it becomes the burden of HR.
It’s not sufficient to merely save these files without setting protective measures. HR departments can ensure these confidential data are encrypted and made accessible to only authorized personnel. This eliminates the potential for data breaches from inside and external attacks.
- Choosing consent and transparency
If your business tactics predominantly revolve around the data that you garner from your employees, then you must cultivate a work culture that facilitates trust and transparency.
HR professionals must have a clear-cut objective on what needs to be evaluated and get approvals from employees before initiating the process. Communicating the intent of your data collection, who has access to it, and what the organization and employees stand to benefit from it brings transparency and facilitates trust.
- Instilling the culture of data security
Data security should be an all-round practice across all strata in an organization. Fair enough, the HR and IT support team oversees issues of data breaches, but considering the surge in the rate of cyber crimes in today’s digital space, HR can sensitize employees about the necessity of data protection and the consequences of data breaches.
Proper orientation and training on how to protect classified information, how to discover data breaches, and the devastating effects of non-compliance with data security policies can help align the goals and interests of an organization’s workforce and imbibe in them, a sense of responsibility and accountability.
- Managing third-party security risk
HR activities are extensive and oftentimes, multiple third-party systems are usually brought into play to enhance the process of recruitment, payroll, performance reviews, attendance management, and other HR tasks.
The downside of this is that it leaves an organization vulnerable to new security threats. If any of the third-party service providers experience a cyber attack or breach, it directly affects their clientele.
The HR management can develop a systematic approach to ensure third-party security standards are imposed when signing contracts with vendors and suppliers.
- Conducting regular vulnerability scans
Vulnerability scanning is an integral security exercise of cyber security. It’s an automated process of assessing an organization’s IT assets (like computers, desktops, printers), network, or applications to screen out security vulnerabilities and cyber threats.
The typical program used in this case is a vulnerability scanner. It lets you perform regular and automated inspections to ensure all possible entries to your devices and networks are secured from cyber criminals. HR can leverage this software to;
- Gauge security risk levels; Scanning systems can generate a detailed report of an organization’s IT assets and how secure they are. This report lets you identify high-risk areas in your network that require immediate security attention.
- Stay updated with changing security standards: It’s nearly impossible to keep pace with all the nitty-gritty of today’s network environment. They’re constantly undergoing modifications.
However, regular scans keep you abreast of new attack vectors so you can promptly alter your network configurations.
- Increase reputation with customers and stakeholders: Paying close attention to your security strategies is a green flag to customers and stakeholders. It shows how much you value their input and are willing to safeguard their interest.
- Initiate continuous penetration tests
Penetration testing is a simulated security exercise for identifying anomalies and potential threats in a company’s IT system. The primary aim is to weigh the efficiency of an organization’s security measures by testing in real-time.
We can liken this to a situation where a slice of cheese is used as bait to lure a mouse into a trap. If the mouse succeeds in escaping with the cheese, we will have identified a possible weakness in the trap and gained new insights on how to make it more effective.
As an HR professional, pen testing can help you gauge the efficiency of your company’s data security measures and how it responds to real-world threats.
Making the workplace a haven through data security
HR is the heart of an organization and its role transcends hiring and onboarding new talents. It stirs a middle course in building a formidable workforce and bringing the human touch to workplace security.
Data security contributes greatly to employee work experience. As such, HR must strive to maintain high-security standards when dealing with sensitive information about the organization and workers at large.
By formulating data security policies, complying with data protection laws, and other data security measures mentioned in this piece, HR can ensure the workplace is a home for everyone.