An HR's guide to Cybersecurity in 2022


Cyber security is the practice of protecting mobile devices, laptops, servers, computers, networks, electronic systems, etc. from malicious attacks. Understand What is Cybersecurity and Why Cybersecurity Training important for employees.

What is cybersecurity?

Cyber security is the practice of protecting mobile devices, laptops, servers, computers, networks, electronic systems, etc. from malicious attacks. It can also be described as the practice of securing vulnerable devices from intruders, either in the form of a targeted attack or an opportunistic malware. There are different types of malware such as viruses, Trojans, spyware, ransomware, and more.


Cyber security may also be referred to as information technology security or electronic information security. To ensure an efficient cyber security system is in place, an organization is required to coordinate its efforts throughout its entire information system.


Why is cybersecurity training for employees required?

Let us first understand what is cybersecurity training? Cyber security training encourages employees to be aware of security threats and identify security risks. Cyber security training for employees can be extremely beneficial to any organization’s computer security. Vulnerabilities and threats to business operations must be taught through cyber security training for employees. Each employee in the office must be aware of their responsibilities and accountabilities when using a computer on the organization’s network.


There is an unprecedented amount of data stored on any organization’s network. A significant amount of that data can be sensitive information. With proper cyber security training for employees, the sensitive information can be safeguarded from malicious attackers.


Also read: How to find an ethical hacker?


The role of Human Resources in managing Cybersecurity

The Human Resources department is a conduit between the IT security department and the employees. They are often responsible for carrying out cyber security training for employees, clarifying policies, providing resources, anticipating the potential cyber security issues that may arise in the company, and much more.


To manage cyber security there should be regular new hire cyber security training and scheduled refresher cyber security training courses for employees. Here’s what a typical cyber security training for employees should include:

1.   Responsibility towards company data


HR must continually emphasize on the critical nature of data security. They must ensure that each employee understands their role and responsibility in contributing towards company data protection. Proper employee security training must be conducted for employees to help them get familiar with data threats and risks. Each and every employee in the company has a legal and regulatory obligation to respect and protect the privacy of company information.


Also read: Which areas of your company do you Audit?


2.   Passwords

Organize employee security training to teach your employees how to use strong passwords. Passwords used by employees must be cryptic so that it is not easy to guess them but also simple so that employees don’t have to write them down somewhere to remember. Set your company systems to send out regular reminders to employees to reset their password. Changing passwords regularly is a great way to avoid potential data risk.


3.   Unauthorized software

Under human resource security policy, mention that employees are not allowed to install unlicensed software on company computers. Downloading unlicensed software might make your company devices susceptible to malicious software downloads. These software downloads are capable of corrupting your data or attacking your network system.


4.   Internet usage

Cyber security training for employees should talk about proper internet usage. Employees must avoid emailed or online links that are either from an unknown source or look suspicious. Such links are capable of releasing malicious software, infecting company computers, and stealing company data. Human resource security policy can also include guidelines on safe browsing rules and limits on internet usage by employees.


Also read: How to Manage Employees' Performance?


5.   Email handling

The best defense against data attack is to use emails responsibly. Most of the attacks are carried out in the form of suspicious emails. Employees must be made aware of scams and taught not to reply to any email that they do not recognize. It is important for employees to properly look at the sender mail id before accepting the mail or opening any attachments.


Cyber security training for employees is useful in generating awareness amongst employees and educating them to accept the emails that fulfil below criterias:

  • Comes from someone they know
  • Comes from someone they have received email in the past
  • Is something that they were already expecting
  • Does not look odd with unusual spelling and characters
  • Passes the devices antivirus test


HR should send dummy spam emails from company systems to help employees differentiate between spam emails and regular emails.


6.   Phishing attacks

Regularly train employees to recognize the common cybercrime and information security threats such as social engineering, online fraud, phishing, and web-browsing risks.

It is important for all employees to be equipped with tools, awareness, and processes needed for basic security. HR personnel must find innovative ways to keep workers motivated and vigilant about security.


7.   Social media policy

Make it a point to educate employees on correct social media usage. Use cyber security training for employees to convey company policy and guidelines towards using company email to register, post, or receive on social media platforms.


8.   Mobile devices

HR must convey company policy towards usage of both company-owned and personally-owned mobile devices during the course of business.


Also read: How to manage Employee Performance?



Top Security Issues that HR can Evaluate

Now that we know what is cybersecurity training and what should be included in cyber security training for employees, let us look at the top cyber security issues that HR may evaluate in order to ensure a secure network.


  • Measures to protect company data when most of the staff is working remotely
  • Ensuring that information security controls are in-line with the organization’s missions, goals, initiatives, etc.
  • Defining and updating the different roles and responsibilities employees must carry out in order to keep data secure.
  • Maintain well documented policy documents, standards, and best-practices.
  • Conduct regular training for employees to get familiar with company policies.
  • Ensuring that in case of a data breach, the entire staff is aware of the next steps to be taken. Procedure to report a data breach incident must be carried out efficiently and must not include additional data compromises.
  • All policies and regulations must be in adherence with legal regulations and in compliance with industry norms.
  • Acceptable-use policy must be clearly written and communicated to staff members.

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