HR Expert: Cybercrime

My client wants to know how they can protect their business from cybercrime?

In recent times, there have been several high profile examples of businesses being hacked or falling victim to costly data breaches. This activity is generally referred to as cybercrime and there are several steps your client can take to protect their own business interests.
Perhaps the most logical first step would be to set up a specific IT department or employ a designated IT expert with the remit to prevent cybercrime within their organisation. If implemented correctly these individuals will be able ensure your client’s equipment is up to date with the latest protection software, whilst also guarding against unauthorised attempts to gain access to their network.

Having said this, your client’s ability to employ a designated IT expert full-time will depend on their resources, and as a result they may find alternative solutions are more preferable. In fact, in many cases cybercrime has been orchestrated by company employees, therefore your client should keep a close eye on any suspicious looking activity.

Introducing a policy on the use of computer equipment at work will enable your client to lay down ground rules which staff can be expected to follow. This will often include specific bans on sending work related content to personal email addresses as well as the use of USB devices not previously authorised by your client. These measures should help prevent employees from stealing confidential business information which could prove detrimental to your client, especially if the employee was planning to set up their own rival business.

It is also worth noting that many cases of cybercrime actually occur inadvertently, as a result of an employee error, and it is important that staff are given the appropriate amount of training. Phishing, by which hackers attempt to trick employees into opening harmful emails, is especially common and training on avoiding this should be an important part of your client’s induction programme for new starters.

With the rise of flexible working it is common for staff to have access to multiple work devices including laptops, tablets and mobile phones, each of which is likely to contain confidential business information. Unfortunately, there is always the risk that individuals could misplace these items or have them stolen whilst outside of work, potentially placing this information in the wrong hands. Therefore, your client should remind staff of the importance of work devices as well has how to report any lost property.

Staying alert to the risk of cybercrime should help your client stay safe and ensure business operations are able to run smoothly. Whilst IT support will always be a reliable solution, other methods can prove equally effective in their own right if incorporated correctly.

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