Published on Dec 07, 2023
10 Best Practices for HR When Keeping Employee Data Safe and Secure
In our digital era, where data has emerged as one of the most valuable assets, protecting it is paramount. With businesses increasingly becoming targets for cybercriminals, it’s crucial that everyone understands and adheres to best practices for preserving data safety.
This guide will focus on the fundamentals that human resource departments should incorporate into their processes to ensure a robust defense against potential breaches and cyberattacks.
10 HR Best Practices for Keeping Data Safe and Secure
Navigating the landscape of data security can be scary. But as an HR professional, it's essential to be vigilant. Here are 10 best practices that will keep your employee data safe and secure.
1. Use Reputable Online Software
In your efforts to keep employee data safe and secure, it’s critical to opt for reputable online software. Think about HR cloud software as an excellent example. Reliable software offers various layers of security that make it harder for unauthorized persons to access data.
It also comes with automated updates. These will keep the system protected against the latest potential threats. Hence, always ensure you invest in trusted software from authentic providers.
2. Establish Access Controls
Managing who has access to what is a critical aspect of keeping data safe. By establishing strict access controls, you can ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive information.
This could be implemented through role-based access control (RBAC), where permissions are assigned based on job roles, or through using tools for creating tiers of access qualifiers within your system. Regularly review and update these controls as roles evolve or staff change.
3. Encrypt all Company Data
In the process of data protection, employing encryption should be one of your primary strategies. This technique masks your data, transforming it into a code that cannot be easily cracked. Encrypting all company data guards information also protects it when it’s being sent.
As technology progresses, you must ensure to use up-to-date encryption standards and revise them routinely to dodge any cyber security threats. An untracked code means safe data.
4. Use Antivirus and Anti-Malware Tools
Besides practicing excellent digital hygiene, it's important to have a robust security system, like antivirus and anti-malware tools, installed on all your devices. These products are designed to detect, neutralize, or remove malicious software and potential threats from your computer.
They work as a shield, safeguarding your systems from various kinds of cyber attacks, such as phishing attempts, spyware, ransomware, Trojans, worms, rootkits, keyloggers, and more.
5. Appoint a Data Security Officer
A dedicated data security officer would oversee the development and implementation of security policies, lead staff training, conduct regular audits, and recommend necessary improvements.
This expert should be up-to-date with new threat forecasts and corresponding defensive strategies. In appointing a data security officer, you're not only getting an advocate for best practices but also ensuring ongoing adherence to them across the entire company.
6. Backup All of Your Data
The importance of backing up your company's data can’t be overstated. Backups are your safety net if disaster strikes, whether it's a hardware malfunction, human error, or a cyber attack.
By regularly creating duplicate copies of all your important files in a secure secondary location (cloud storage or external physical drives), you'll be prepared for swift recovery after data loss. It’s advisable to automate this process to ensure consistent backups and test them periodically.
7. Secure Personal Mobile Devices
With the continued rise in workplace flexibility and remote work, it's likely your employees will use their personal mobile devices for business-related tasks. However, these devices can also be susceptible to attacks, which result in stolen company data if not properly protected.
Encourage your staff to employ security measures for their mobile devices, like setting complex passwords or using biometric authentication. Also, train your employees on best practices.
8. Conduct Security Audits
Regular security audits are an essential step in ensuring that your data remains well protected. By regularly assessing your current security measures, policies, and procedures, you can identify any weak spots or potential vulnerabilities before they become a problem.
These audits should evaluate employees' adherence to the company's data safety guidelines. A robust audit will examine numerous elements, from physical to digital security measures.
9. Monitor Network Activity
Employing tools that monitor network traffic and system logs can flag anything out of the ordinary, like multiple failed login attempts, data transfers, or unexpected access to files.
Moreover, understanding your company's regular network patterns allows you to spot anomalies more effectively. This constant vigilance will protect not only from external threats but also internal ones where well-meaning employees accidentally offer avenues for data compromise.
10. Plan for Security Incidents
A well-structured plan will clearly outline the steps to take in an emergency, including identifying the breach, containing the fallout, communicating with stakeholders, and learning lessons.
Additionally, regularly test and update this plan to cope with new emerging threats. It’s not enough to just react to security breaches. It's essential to have a proactive strategy ready. Doing so will lessen the blow if an incident does occur and ensure a faster recovery.
Protecting your organization's data shouldn't be an afterthought. It's a continuous and critical process that warrants collective effort and mindful execution. So, act now! Start reviewing your current policies, investing in the right tools, and providing ongoing training to your staff.