Stronger alignment between IT operations and HR is the first step toward a more secure organization.
Despite being a function created to put humans at the heart of how an enterprise is run, Human Resources (HR) teams often fall short of fully aligning with the IT teams and the core technology systems that define how a business is operated and safeguarded from cyber risk.
The lack of adequate coordination between HR and IT processes is still prevalent, and it results in security weaknesses that can lead to some of the most dangerous attack surfaces for an organization.
Here are some crucial cyber-asset management priorities that can help bridge the gap for a stronger cybersecurity posture.
Increasing HR’s Contribution to Enterprise Security
The time when HR’s contribution to enterprise security was limited to providing employees with basic training on how to protect passwords on company devices is long gone. From authentication flaws to user vulnerabilities, there are more ways than ever for the threat environment of today to interact with the workforce. Zero-click exploits, which compromise devices without the user ever needing to click a link or take any other action, are increasingly being added to traditional social engineering attacks.
Beyond malicious attacks, even routine HR procedures can put an enterprise at risk if they are not properly integrated with its IT processes. For instance, off boarding an employee involves much more than just conducting an exit interview; it also involves removing access to numerous enterprise accounts, systems, and devices. All of these activities necessitate close coordination between HR and IT teams and systems.
It is imperative that HR and IT work together more closely to develop a sophisticated understanding of risk reduction and cyber hygiene in order to increase enterprise security. This depends on heightened knowledge of the effect HR processes have on the organization’s other cyber assets as well as the role HR plays in access control, employees, workers, and vendors. As the access to data and systems may change many times during employment, this necessitates asset visibility that must be in real time and ongoing.
Crucial Priorities for HR and IT Alignment and Better Asset Visibility
Any lack of IT coordination across the numerous business systems and integration points used in the HR function exposes the company to threats. To connect HR activities with the company’s larger IT estate, increased visibility, and synergistic business processes must be pursued. Here are some crucial priorities for achieving this:
Better Data Literacy for HR Teams
Domain-specific business analysts need to be data literate, and the HR community has to be made more aware of this. As their processes and policies are implemented in the workforce, HR professionals can contribute more to protecting the IT infrastructure by better understanding the technological consequences of their work.
Integrate HR fully as a Prominent Domain in the IT Structure
The alignment of business processes of HR and IT is crucial for security between both departments. This integration should ideally incorporate pre-established, HR-specific compliance procedures that can be used for all current and future cyber assets. Additionally, HR’s responsibility for employee access to files, systems, and data should be clearly coordinated with IT.
Automation is Crucial
Due to the extensive digital presence of HR within the company, automation will unavoidably be required. Consider the situation of employee off boarding. Unless automation is used to handle more of these HR-related activities and manage them more rapidly, the various IT tickets generated by each off boarding can accumulate and lead to backlogs that expose the organization to risk.
The significance of cyber-asset management at the intersection of IT and HR operations is highlighted by these priorities. The ability for IT and HR teams to collaborate smoothly can be streamlined and scaled with a stringent cloud tagging schema, better compliance with common data standards, and other cyber-asset management fundamentals. As a result, there is better enterprise security due to increased visibility, control, and a single source of truth about how and where IT and HR processes impact one another.