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increased cybersecurity

Streamlining human resource management for increased cybersecurity

from  June 16, 2021 | 5 min read

Due to Covid-19, remote work has become the norm rather than the exception. Businesses that have adapted to demands with digital transformation have become stronger and resilient; those that did not risk failure.

However, digitalization isn’t as simple as 1, 2, 3. As businesses integrate more digital tools into their processes, data entry and record-keeping will consume more time. Moving pen-and-paper processes and records online is also tedious. Then there’s the challenge of onboarding and training employees to use digital tools. These training sessions can be resource-intensive, often cutting into precious working hours.

Another, less visible problem lurks ahead. Digital changes carry with them high security and privacy risks. Without careful planning, an organization might unknowingly be leaving itself open to data leaks, theft of personally identifiable information (PII), and serious reputational damage. There are four main steps a company can take to ensure data security amid digitalization efforts. Let’s explore them further.

Digitalization: a complex process

Although companies wish it were as simple as a flip of the switch, transitioning to remote work is never that easy. Digitalization completely changes the way data is gathered, analyzed, and utilized to drive change in the business model and business processes. From HR portals to online communication platforms to cloud-based databases—every online platform and tool is an avenue for cybercriminals and a potential source of revenue loss.

Even if one does not consider their business to be particularly holding sensitive data, research has shown that no industry is completely safe. Though the retail industry has the highest cybersecurity risks of all, the hospitality, travel, and F&B industries all made it in the top ten.

The same research also shows that companies that use corporate networks, cloud platforms, e-commerce, and point-of-sales are all vulnerable to data breaches. In fact, over half of all internal corporate networks investigated by Trustwave are already compromised.

These data risks need to be mitigated. But rather than a lack of technology, it is a lack of planning that organizations mainly struggle with.

Planning and delegating PICs

This aspect of resource planning is often overlooked. Companies often focus more on securing more growth and profit. In times of crisis, opportunities for financial gain tend to come first. Thus, the tedious work of data entry, record-keeping, and related tasks are relegated outside of the company’s priority. No clear PICs are assigned for the task of digital migration.

When no specific individual is placed in charge of a digital transformation, it may take a very long time to discover a security breach. Furthermore, when employees have weak leadership with no clear responsibilities, they are more susceptible to phishing and social engineering.

This is doubly true for smaller companies. All too often, small companies assume that they do not need to worry about cybersecurity. After all, why would they be targets of cyber threats? Unfortunately, this is a mistaken assumption. In fact, small companies might be more likely to become entry points because hackers know their best practices are not as strong.

If and when cybersecurity threats come, a business will need to conduct a proper cybersecurity audit. This process becomes so much more manageable if the business has a clear record of security personnel and their responsibilities.

Just as in day-to-day business operations, appointing PICs carelessly can give rise to various issues. It causes a lack of reliability in business processes. When problems arise, no one knows who should fix them. Personal conflicts might abound.

Investing in a cybersecurity team

Cybersecurity is as much about human resource management as it is about technology. But of course, a proper delegation of PICs will not suddenly make a company free from cyber threats. During a digital transformation, businesses are still advised to hire a good cybersecurity analyst to help diagnose potential risks involved.

The integration of various new tools into business processes will inevitably introduce vulnerabilities. A cybersecurity team can help mitigate the technical aspects of those vulnerabilities. The analyst will conduct research, penetration testing, regularly update the IT stack, and analyze weak points throughout the process of digitalization. They can also advise on data security best practices such as creating and storing backups of sensitive data.

More importantly, cybersecurity teams can minimize the time of discovery and response when a breach does happen.

Developing a regular schedule of audits

Throughout the course of a business, many things introduce potential challenges. Growth in the number of customers comes with new risks. Updates of existing technology and future digitalization efforts can bring about new vulnerabilities. New kinds of cyber threats are always being discovered. Hence, you’ll need to develop a regular schedule of cybersecurity audits—either with your security team or a third-party partner.

Like any audit, a cybersecurity audit is not a task that can be done at any given time.  It requires plenty of preparation. An auditor will need to diagram the company’s assets, the company’s data structure, and documents relating to security policies, protocols, and compliance standards.

In some countries, cybersecurity audits are necessary for a company to continue to be allowed to operate.

Streamlining HR management

A company’s human resource management can highly influence its approach to cybersecurity. Proper planning of a company’s human resources can mitigate the risks involved in its transition to remote work.

The challenge, then, is to streamline all of these efforts so as to not disrupt the day-to-day operations of the business. Fortunately, Unit4’s Prosoft is designed to do exactly this. Unit4 Prosoft provides increased visibility and control over all of the company’s human resources within an intuitive UX. With Unit4 Prosoft, a business can manage the payroll, leave, claims, timesheets, and attendance of existing employees. The software can also schedule employee appraisals, recruitment, and training.

As we enter a post-pandemic world, it has become clear that digitalization has benefits beyond mere temporary survival amidst a pandemic. It holds the key to whether a business will thrive in the future.

Unit4 Prosoft

Unit4 Prosoft have been serving customers in Asia for 30 years and is trusted by over 1,000 businesses across the APAC region in the manufacturing, healthcare, retail, construction, and professional services industries. Unit4 Prosoft HRMS has modules that support every aspect of your HRMS programs and allows you to manage people’s entire hire-to-retire cycle with a central control center and database. Your people get the flexibility and freedom to have what they need—how, when and where they need it.