How to improve cybersecurity in recruitment

Last updated:
July 21, 2021
December 22, 2021
min read
Stacey Wonder
herausforderungen im recruiting|Cybersecurity in recruitment|cybersecurity in recruitment|
Table of contents

Even though cybersecurity keeps improving over time, cybercriminals always find new ways to breach closed company systems and steal valuable information.

A survey from 2019 showed that one out of three businesses reported some type of cyberattack in the previous year.

The costs of such attacks can be measured in hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, so businesses must update their cyber defenses on time.

The HR department is one of the weakest points in every system, which is why you should do everything you can to stop data breaches before they happen.

Soft targeting

As companies update their cyber defenses, hackers might have limited options for their attacks. Since they can’t get direct access to the company’s database, they opt for softer targets that seem irrelevant.

The vast majority of these attacks happen because of human errors and phishing, with 92% of malware being delivered by email. Whenever one of these attacks happens, companies either lose large patches of data or money from their accounts. Some of the most significant cyberattacks in recent history compromised the personal details of millions of users worldwide.

Cybersecurity is usually a job for IT specialists. As threats keep changing, they can’t hold the line independently. As a business owner, you must put extra effort into educating your entire staff about cybercrime dangers.

You can have the best antivirus software and still end up as a cybercrime victim because your workers are unaware of the constant threat they encounter daily.

That includes your HR teams who deal with recruits and their information. One wrong move and a small mistake could compromise your entire system and lead to serious data breaches that could add up to a hefty sum.

Relevant: The importance of cybersecurity for HR teams

What your HR team can do to minimize threat

There are a few things your HR team members can do to make it harder for cybercriminals to steal information. Here are a few tips you should implement in your recruitment process as soon as possible.

Allow your HR team to work closely with IT

Your IT compartment can’t keep track of everything that’s going on, so you must include other teams in the process. The best method is to provide your entire staff with a system that connects all departments and existing elements. That includes everything from technologies to policies and procedures. Also, make sure that everyone knows their roles.

Educate your HR team

Employee education about cybersecurity will make the biggest difference of all. As long as your HR team and other staff understand that they are under constant threat, they will be more careful when conducting business. HR is specific because it controls user access, so the best thing to do is limit employee access to the areas they need. You can extend extra permissions only when needed.

Regulate everything with the right policies and procedures

You must define access rights with strict policies and procedures. Not only that, you have to make sure that they are constantly updated according to new technologies. Also, all access rights must be revoked once a team member leaves the company.

Limit the use of mobile devices the use of personal devices (BYOD). A new employee will need to be informed of all rules that employees need to follow. Using personal devices could be seen as a major risk, and the new member might be unable to conduct tasks safely at first.

Many employees could even work remotely full-time. In such cases, recruiters have the responsibility of making sure that all necessary guidelines are followed. For instance, companies could use software for remotely checking up on devices and offering instant remote support.

Additionally, people might need to access internal resources that require certain access privileges. All these rules need to be explained in a clear-cut manner, leaving no room for interpretation.

You need to set up a detailed security policy that explains when your employees can use their devices and for what reason. The idea is to limit their access to sensitive information that could be used to breach your system. The policy should extend to sharing information on social media as well. Every candidate should go through a detailed background check, and if any of them break the rules, various disciplinary measures will be used.

Secure communication

Applicants should not be forced to reveal too much during their initial interviews. Additionally, communications with potential employees need to happen in a secure environment.

For instance, use only the best tools for conducting remote meetings with candidates. Of course, before setting the actual interview, most of the communication might happen via phone calls or email exchanges. The latter poses some issues. As a recruiter, you need to be prepared for all scenarios.

For instance, a candidate might use an emailing platform that does not offer encryption. To safeguard information from leaking, you need to set up tools or plugins to encrypt all emails anyway.  

Protect your system with a VPN

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it allows you to connect to the internet anonymously. Anyone within your company should use a VPN every time they go online, as it makes it much harder for hackers to track their actions.

A VPN offers immunity to accidental data leaks and enforces encryption on all platforms lacking this feature. As a recruiter, you need to use a VPN for all your activities and design similar requirements for employees.

The bottom line

Cybercriminals are lurking behind every corner, and they are always waiting for someone to make a mistake they could use to steal information. As your HR team works with people outside of your company, you must ensure that they conduct each interview carefully, do full background checks on each candidate, and allow limited access for each employee.

Additionally, once the selected candidates join the company’s ecosystem, they need to be fully prepared to work safely and effectively. During the booming era of remote work, people should be especially resilient to attempts to intercept connections.

So, as a recruiter, you have the responsibility of transferring company values and guidelines to the new members.

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