With the advancement of cyber-attacks is on the rise, HR departments should identify ways and devise strategies that will enable them to safeguard their organizations and data against them.
The sophistication of a cyber-attack is evolving at a rapid pace. With the advancement in technology, acceleration of digital transformation initiatives, as well as the risk of cyber-attacks due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, organizations are increasingly becoming vulnerable to them. Thus, industry experts are advising HR departments to become vigilant for threats that will disrupt their business operations.
Instead of just concentrating on phishing training and ransomware education to educate employees about cyber-attacks, HR should also prepare for post-security incidents. It is their responsibility to explain the post-attack protocols in layman’s terms that will help to effectively deal with panic situations while simultaneously meeting the compliance expectations.
Here are a few strategies that HRs should incorporate to safeguard their institutions in the event of a cyber-attack:
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Develop a crisis response plan
In case of a security incident, communications methods are likely compromised. These can include backup communication methods that need to be tested, pre-existing chat rooms composed of relevant parties, as well as a phone list for external players that will need to be involved, such as the forensics team, payment facilitators and legal counsel.
Execute cybersecurity planning
The phishing email is easily the most common practice used by threat actors to get immediate access to the network. With employees still operating in a remote work environment, most individuals may not use VPN to safeguard their endpoints, thus, risking the infrastructure. Therefore, HR should regularly train and remind employees that it is their responsibility to be alert.
Additionally, HR departments should conduct business continuity plans at least annually to ensure that their team using these systems, as well as the IT teams that support them, have a plan for how to effectively minimize impact during outages or cyber-attacks. Last but not least, HR leaders should actively participate when preparing for a worst-case scenario that includes an attack. They should determine actionable steps to mitigate damage in post-attack while ensuring that their internal processes operate seamlessly.
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Evaluate the ongoing situation and proceed cautiously
The range of data that HR has within their system not only consists of personal data, business records but also business trade secrets, as well as other sensitive information. This poses a great threat to the infrastructure as employees can access their data. Hence, after getting hit by a cybersecurity incident, HR teams should figure out the confidentiality of data in the breach and how much of it has been compromised.
Do not panic
Panicking in a security incident only aggravates the situation. While employees begin to understand the scope of a data breach, the HR department should have a system in place that enables them to manage the emotional responses of their employees. Moreover, there are times when the HR department may not have all the information. In such times, HR should be honest with them by letting their employees know that they do not have the answer to some of the questions and will get in touch with them as soon as they have.
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