Without people, businesses would not exist. As important as they are, however, human capital, aka your employees, can sometimes do more harm than good. And, it’s often unintentional, happening without them even knowing it.

What am I talking about? Technology and information security in your company. When employees are not properly trained in this area, they are opening up your business to exposure to computer viruses, phishing scams, data breaches, and more. Fortunately, much of the damage related to these things can be prevented or mitigated by some simple training. Let me show you what I mean.

5 simple ways to improve human capital security

While each of these suggestions is simple in explanation, they do require some thought and planning and may be more complex in implementation. In my professional opinion, however, foresight is usually better and less expensive than having to correct an issue in hindsight.

Tip #1: Practice secure recruiting procedures.

This boils down to hiring the right people for the job and also the right people to fit the values your company lives by. Does each perspective employee meet your standards when it comes to educational, financial, or criminal background?

If possible, background checks should be part of your recruitment process. The more you know about an individual’s past experience, the better you will be able to know if they completely fit into your company’s profile. An obvious example of this might be looking into a person’s past employment history and uncovering the fact that they were released from a previous job due to improper handling of private information. Knowing this in advance of hiring them puts you in a better position to avoid hiring someone who will be a potential liability to your company’s security.

Tip #2: Train employees on your company’s code of conduct.

Have you put your company’s rules and procedures into writing, on paper? If not, NOW is the time to do so. Once employees are hired, they should be required to not only read your company’s Code of Conduct, but also sign a document stating that they have done so.

An even better option is to train employees on exactly what each piece of the code means. The fewer questions they have about policies and procedures, the more likely they are to follow them. Make sure you have clearly laid out plans for how to handle sensitive or secure information, such as copyrighted work or private data.

Tip #3: Create cyber security protocols.

While at work, it’s tempting for employees to open emails, post on social media accounts, or surf the internet. Whether done for personal or work related reasons, the protocols should be clear.

  • Are your employees well versed in what types of emails to leave unopened?
  • Do they know the dangers of computer viruses and the ways in which they can be acquired?
  • Are your company’s files encrypted and secured?
  • Whose responsibility is it to keep the company’s technology up to date on anti-virus software and firewalls?
  • What is the company’s procedure for creating secure passwords?

These are all important questions to address, but they are certainly not the only ones.

Tip #4: Enforce cyber security and appropriately handle violations.

When a protocol violation does occur, make sure your employees know how serious it is. There is no point in creating rules to follow if nothing happens to the people who break them.

Instead, create an enforcement policy that is clear to everyone who works for your business. Designate a person or department (often, Human Resources) to investigate the violation, report to the appropriate law personnel if warranted, and institute necessary disciplinary actions. Strict enforcement guidelines will go a long way toward keeping your human capital honest and your company free from litigation or other damage due to a security breach.

Tip #5: Hire an IT company to manage your human capital security.

As the business owner, you may not feel entirely equipped to handle security issues for your company. That’s okay. If it’s true, however, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Contact us and we’ll be happy to provide you with comprehensive technology and human capital security services.

When it comes to your business and its people, there’s no such thing as being too careful. Follow these tips today and your company will be better equipped for a secure tomorrow.