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Importance Of Protecting Human Resources From Cyber-Attacks

Importance Of Protecting Human Resources From Cyber-Attacks

HR Is An Important Target For Cyber-Attacks

Businesses understand the importance of Human Resources when it comes to recruiting, onboarding and orientations, coaching, handling work-place disputes, and other affairs. However, this responsibility requires an enormous reserve of information and data which is handled by the HR. Subsequently, cyber offenders pose the risk to HR with intent of gathering professional, legal, fiscal data that are sensitive to the business and its’ employees, extending from banking credentials of staff to business ledgers. 

Company IT departments are equally prone to this hazard, but they are better equipped to quickly handle this due to their skills, capabilities and capacities. What’s worse? HR is not only more exposed to external hacking but are the object of disgruntled current or laid-off employees revenge schemes. These individuals likely already have key information about the company which allows them to penetrate through company securities. A 2018 study revealed a disturbing statistic that over 34% of data breaches came from inside sources. Therefore, protecting human resources from cyber-attacks requires one to tie up any loose ends, such as deleting ex-staff’s professional accounts, severing their access to company information, and finally parting in a cordial fashion. 

So how do these attacks occur? The most common way is through emails or messages sent to HR recruiters. They are exposed continually to new emails, messages and content sent from unknown potential candidates as it is part of their job to be on the look-out for new applicants and other extraneous messages. This makes them vulnerable to further attacks from internet malware and hacking. This indicates that Human Resources departments not only need to be responsible for their usual affairs but also be vigilant of cyber-attack possibilities. In the past, Human Resources have been increasingly reliant on the IT department to thwart and protect against internet or cyber offenses. Vigorously training and coaching the HR personnel is the first step to ensure potential breaches are proactively identified and prevented before damage is done. People in charge must be rigorously assessed and inspected to ensure that there is no chance of them being potential digital perpetrators in the future. 

Therefore, the best measure is to ensure regular interaction between HR and IT departments. This ensures both parties are aware of what is going on and can detect anomalies from afar. This coupled with frequent evaluations of software, applications, social media or other digital capabilities can be used in protecting Human Resources from Cyber-Attacks.


  1. HR being deliberately targeted in cyber security attacks, MARCH 04, 2019, HRMAGAZINE.