- The recent data breach of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which exposed the Social Security numbers, job assignments, performance ratings and other personal identifying information of millions of present and former government employees, has major implications for HR departments worldwide, according to a SHRM.org blog post.
- The hack has left many HR leaders questioning whether or not their own systems are strong enough to prevent a future breach.
- With BYOD (bring your own device), virtual private networks and cloud computing, our network perimeters are no longer secure. Organizations must now focus on securing their internal information with data protection software and encryption technology that would make any stolen data useless, according to the post.
In an earlier SHRM Online article, “KPMG: Five Most Common Cybersecurity Mistakes” John Hermans, cybersecurity lead partner for KPMG, said a company’s IT department should employ a robust cyber defense. But employees’ awareness of how they can affect cybersecurity is critical. Human nature remains the weakest link in relation to security.
Hermans adds that “Cyber defense tools will be effective only if people understand how to keep their networks safe. One of the most persistent risks companies face is when hackers manipulate employees to gain access to systems.”
Mike Fleck, CEO and co-founder of CipherPoint Software, added that HR leaders need to understand that they have “massive influence over the security of their systems and data" and can use business drivers to justify massive security improvements. Additionally, HR should work with IT to implement the right tools and thoroughly train employees on all aspects of data security for the organization.