How HR Proactively Prepares for and Prevents Cyberattacks
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022, cyber-attacks have become more of a threat than ever before. Any countries that had ties to Ukraine were made vulnerable to Russia cyber-attacks. To keep ahead of these, HR departments stay apprised of the latest cyber threats from Russia and can advise companies about how to best protect themselves.
Some of the most harmful attacks are those on payroll, where funds are rerouted to untraceable debit cards. These cyber threats can be costly and must be prevented.
Yet, those aren’t the only cyber threats companies should be worried about. We need look no further than the LinkedIn data breach in 2021 to see that cyber security threats come in all shapes and sizes.
The LinkedIn data breach exposed 700 of the 756 million LinkedIn users to being hacked, as their personal information was scraped. Armed with the email addresses, phone numbers, usernames, and other personal information, the hackers had the potential to target millions more easily.
How Employers Can Prepare
Many employers are aware of the devastating effects of cyber-attacks, but not all of them know how to prevent and plan for them.
As Jim Cichanski, the CHRO and Founder of Flex HR states,” Many companies have put extensive policies and procedures in place to protect cyberattacks,” but, “stop short on the employee preparation on how to get critical tasks done. If they lose internet or power, what would they do?”
So, what should employers do to protect their employee’s data? How do you prevent and prepare for a cyber-attack?
First, every company should have policies and procedures that safeguard information, just in case. Companies need to prevent important information from being stolen and to create plans to keep the business operating in the event that there is a cyber-attack.
One of the most important pieces of information that needs protecting is payroll. One of the latest cyber threats is someone hacking into the system and rerouting the money. To protect against cyber-attacks, always check that the information for direct deposit is correct before pressing payroll.
Similarly, if you receive an email request to change or set up a new direct deposit, never do so automatically. Always call the person who sent it and verify the request. Additionally, you may want to send a new email instead of replying to the thread so that you can check the source of the email you received.
Cyber-attacks usually happen in grids, and therefore each company should have a backup grid if one is shut down. At Flex HR, our payroll partners have a 3-loop backup. If up to two of the grids get hacked and shut down, there is still a third available.
IT supports should also have back-up internet and files. If a grid is shut down, all the important files should be backed up so that they can be accessed elsewhere.
How HR Helps to Prevent and Plan
HR can help companies create plans to prevent and deal with cyber threats. If the power grid has to be shut down, HR can come up with a strategy to communicate to employees what they need to do.
Employees will need to be prepared to move to a different grid if necessary, which would require them to have enough gas, emergency food and water, and an internet back up such as a cell phone.
Employees would need to be able to continue operating as normal, which means that they should have phone internet cards, be able to use their office, their home, or a family member’s home as backups. Similarly, employees can prepare to operate when the power is down by having solar powered devices and chargers.
Additionally, the company will need to have all of their clients’ numbers on hand to let them know what is happening.
HR can help companies create a tiered protocol plan in the case of a cyber-attack. Using payroll management as an example, the first backup plan would be to do payroll in the office, then in the employee’s home, and thirdly in a family member’s home. If none of those are possible, employees could use an air card with internet access that does not require a cable to be hooked up.
It Could Happen to You
We all want to believe cyber-attacks won’t happen to us, but they are increasingly common. Human Resources can be a great asset in preventing and planning for cyber-attacks. Contact Flex HR to increase your cyber security and peace of mind.
Flex HR customizes plans for each client, letting you choose as many or as few services as you need, depending on your business. Reach out for more info today! 770-814-4225 or 877-735-3947 (1-877-7-FlexHR)
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