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How HR Systems Can Contribute to Your Company’s Data Protection

How HR Systems Can Contribute to Your Company’s Data Protection

In today’s digital landscape, security and data protection is of paramount importance for any business. When we think about security, we often focus on hacking and data threats, but while these are important to the topic of cyber security, it’s not the whole story. Data security is constantly evolving and the laws and regulations surrounding this subject need to be considered at all times. What many people don’t realise is that Human Resources plays a crucial role in how data security is managed, whether it’s how employees are trained on the subject to communicating with staff and encouraging people to take on the responsibility of adhering to data protection rules.

Why is data security important for HR?

How HR teams work has changed considerably in recent years with the changes in data protection law. Threats to data or data leaks can quickly damage a company’s reputation and can lead to irrevocable damage. But most data leaks can be prevented by improving security and using the latest in technology. HR bridge the gap between IT teams and the wider company, so they play an important role in contributing to the business’ data protection processes. HR teams hold a lot of sensitive data about all areas of the business, from employment history to salary data, details of holiday entitlement and TOIL, contact details and eligibility documents such as copies of passports or driving licenses. Therefore, a breach of data could be catastrophic for the business.

Ways to assist with data protection processes

There are several ways that HR teams can mitigate the risk of a data breach in their company. These include:

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Ensure all employees are trained

It’s vital that every company has a robust data security training programme in place that keeps staff educated about the important of data protection and the various ways that they can ensure it’s implemented. Every member of the company is responsible for keeping the business compliant with regulations, so HR teams need to ensure that this training is carried out and personalised for each team, depending on their role in the company.

Perform risk assessments regularly

Risk assessments are important as they show you where the weaknesses are so you can improve and strengthen your security systems. It also allows you to gain a clear understanding of the assets that are most important to the business. HR teams can lead the way in implementing these assessments to provide more tailored cybersecurity training and to create thorough protection processes.

Enforce relevant policies

As part of the onboarding process that HR professionals have to carry out with new employees, it’s key that there is a strict disciplinary process for staff who fail to comply with the data policies in place. These may include fines or even termination of their contract where necessary, depending on the severity of the breach.

Create an offboarding process

When employees leave the business, it’s necessary to have a strict policy in place that will help in minimising the risk of them leaking or stealing data. HR teams can create these processes based around the data the company holds and how it operates to ensure that when a staff member departs, they aren’t able to create a data breach in the process.


Staff Writer at CPO Magazine

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