Cyber Security: The People Impact

 The number one reason for cyber attack breaches isn't technology malfunction, it is people.  Employees' behavior represents on of the biggest risks to cyber security. Organizations attempt to manage cyber risk through technology solutions. While ensuring that your technology stack meets current security standards is crucial, the mere presence of this technology won't ensure cyber security. The missing link is your employees behaviors. 

Employees' behavior represents one of the biggest risks to cyber security.

Many organizations offer online training to educate employees on security issues. While training is a useful foundational step, it can't be the only step. Building cyber security into everyday decisions, actions, and behaviors is crucial to ensuring cyber security. Managers need to make cyber security part of their management process. Making is part of team meeting agendas raises awareness and allows for sharing of best practices. When projects are being undertaken, part of best practices include assessing technology and  data security. Technology management must be integrated role responsibilities across the organization. In addition, technology management including cloud service upgrades, certificate renewals, and vendor security protocols must be monitored.

Managing an organization's technology adoption and change process is crucial to ensuring data security.

From a people engagement perspective, managers need to regularly engage with their team on the issue of data security. While policies may exist about keeping desks clean, securely storing laptops, and not emailing personal identifiable information (PII), it is up to managers to have regular checkins with employees on both physical asset and data security. Employees need to understand how to work securely especially when using a public access WIFI. With the increasing prevalence of work from anywhere, the need for engaging employees on data security is especially crucial.

The following is a list of six top mistakes made by organizations when managing their technology stacks and digital transformation highlighted in a recent WSJ article

1. Focusing on technology rather than employees

2. Depending upon training rather than behavior change

3. Leading with poor examples

4. Not analyzing decisions through a cyber security lens

5. Focusing on prevention at the expense of building resilience

6. Underestimating the competitive advantage of building security and resiliency into your organization.

If your organization  has been involved in a significant cyber security breach, these points will resonate with you. Managing an organizations' digital transformation adoption and change process is crucial to ensuring data security.  Tool selection and management is only part of the process for successfully leveraging technology. As we evaluate an organization's risks and opportunities, cyber health and resiliency must be on leadership's top priority list.  In our practice, we often say, more than 50% of a digital transformation budget must be allocated to adoption and change management. Once a digital transformation has been completed, digital and AI tools and processes must continue to be integrated into roles and responsibilities for ongoing monitoring and support.

Help Wanted!! HR Technology and HRComputes delivers!!

Last year we wrote that a “top issue on CEOs minds is the challenge around finding talent”.  Well, everyone is still talking about the challenge of getting and keeping talent and the Great Resignation has only added to the problem!

Candidate relationship management is today’s Recruiting 101.  Keeping the conversation going through existing automated tools can be a great way to get an “A” in this class.  Most Applicant Tracking System Systems are delivered to be configured to send emails to candidates at many stages during the talent journey.  Why don’t we include a note to new candidates thanking them for their interest and inviting them to view their videos on culture or a day in the life or a message from a leader?  Why don’t we let candidates know they are still being considered during the process by sending them an automated email with information on how to check their status or apply for another spot?  And did you know that the incidence of people just disappearing after getting an offer is on the rise?  Of course, you did!  Ghosting works both ways!  Your existing system probably has an Onboarding module that can include videos, links to new team members, a candidate check list, even work style questionnaires to help you connect with new coworkers of a similar mindset.  All of this can be provided to a candidate of interest to keep the relationship growing.

Keeping talent is the other side of the equation.  This week I was speaking to a senior Talent professional in a great, highly rated company and he said they have 19% turnover in some of their most crucial research and management positions.  The systems that they already have can probably manage and track things like check ins, 360 conversations, just in time coaching and so much more that keeps the lines of communication open.  HR Business Partners work hard to take the pulse of their people and organization, but the systems/technology you probably already have can really help. 

Often the issue is that the team that implemented the technology is long gone.  And the team that does the care and feeding of the system is busy with administration and maintenance of what was implemented as well as handling the quarterly “upgrades” from the vendor. 

Bringing in consulting help to optimize the use of what you have can make an impact without costing too much money, time or resources.  Understanding what is in your HR Technology stack and what it can do for you is the first step.  We recently helped a company cut down turnover and reduce the use of agency workers by implementing a scheduling software technology that they had been paying for but not using for 4 years.  With another client, we were instrumental in getting the existing Performance module of their overall HCM system configured, communicated and supported internally to smooth the process not just for an annual review but for more frequent check ins for existing employees and for a 30/60/90 days review for new hires!

We would welcome the chance to talk about the ways that we can be more successful together.  Reach out to me at or +1 856 982 7162.